One of the last remaining Covid restrictions could finally be scrapped to help revive the economy in NSW
Vaccine and mask mandates could soon be scrapped on cruise ships in NSW in an attempt to help revive the billion-dollar injection into the tourism economy.
The NSW government is pushing a key federal advisory body to approve dropping requirements that passengers be vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear masks in public spaces on board.
The rules remain in place across the eastern seaboard and in Western Australia after an agreement struck at national cabinet earlier in the pandemic.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said he was confident the state could roll back the mandates in a safe way following advice from health officials.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, made up of federal and state chief health officers, is expected to make a decision in the coming days that would clear the way for NSW to formally scrap the rules.
Vaccine and mask mandates could soon be scrapped on cruise ships in NSW in an attempt to help revive the billion-dollar injection into the tourism economy
‘Frankly, a lot of those rules were seemingly arcane and not applied to any other part of life or business in Sydney,’ Mr Minns said on Wednesday.
‘Given these restrictions don’t apply to airports and other parts of the transport economy, they shouldn’t apply to cruise ships either.’
With many cruise ships docking in multiple ports around the country, Mr Minns said he was hopeful other states would not ‘drag their heels’ in following suit.
‘I think that everybody recognises that we’re not in the middle of 2021 or the depths of the COVID pandemic,’ he said.
‘I’m pretty hopeful the other states will come on board and join NSW in this change very soon.’
Mr Minns said the state needed to signal to international visitors, in particular, that life was back to normal in NSW.
‘We want them to have fun, spend money, drive the economy right here in Sydney and Australia,’ he said.