On 12 March 2020, the World Health Organisation officially declared COVID-19 (coronavirus) a pandemic. As COVID-19 continues to make its way across the globe, the world’s governments are responding to the climbing number of infections. Here, you will find answers to the most important questions surrounding the coronavirus.
COVID-19 and the cruise industry
Many cruise lines have made the difficult decision to suspend their operations for a short period of time. To help you, here are all the latest updates from the cruise lines:
Which countries are affected by the outbreak?
As of 3:00 PM on 23 March 2020
According to current data from the World Health Organisation, there are more than 300,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. China remains to be the country with the highest number of cases. Outside of Asia, Italy has the most confirmed cases, followed by Spain, Iran, and Germany.
In Australia, the Department of Health has reported 1,709 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Take a closer look at the current figures.
Am I still allowed to travel?
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises Australians and permanent residents not to travel overseas during this time – regardless of destination, age, or health.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recommends that those currently travelling abroad and wishing to return to Australia should do so as soon as possible. As more countries close their borders and introduce travel restrictions and as commercial travel options become less available, you may not be able to return to Australia when you had planned.
If you are aboard and cannot return or choose not to return to Australia, consult the local authorities for best practices. Consider if you would have access to healthcare and local support systems if you were to fall ill overseas.
Read the information for Australian travellers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Prime Minister’s latest statement on COVID-19
On 22 March 2020, the Hon. Scott Morrison MP addressed the nation to announce new procedures to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the Australian community. The main measures are expected to be in place for at least six months and are as follows:
- limiting non-essential gatherings to no more than 100 people inside and no more than 500 people outside
- allotting each person four square metres of space during non-essential indoor gatherings
- distancing yourself at least 1.5 metres from others
- cancelling ANZAC Day ceremonies
- restricting visitors to aged care facilities
- restricting Australians from travelling overseas
Additionally, the following facilities will be restricted from opening:
- pubs and clubs (excluding adjacent bottle shops), hotels (excluding accommodation)
- gyms and indoor sporting venues
- cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
- restaurants and cafés (takeaway and home delivery allowed)
- religious gatherings, places of worship, or funerals
Read the full transcript.
FAQs about COVID-19
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses make up a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory infections in both humans and several animal species. These infections may lead to various complications from the common cold to serious or even potentially fatal diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
According to the Department of Health, symptoms of COVID-19 are flu-like. People infected may experience fever, flu-like symptoms (e.g., coughing, sore throat, and fatigue), and shortness of breath.
Certain coronaviruses may cause severe lower respiratory tract infections and lead to pneumonia. The progression of the disease varies widely from asymptomatic carriers to lung failure. Some people will recover easily, but others will fall ill quickly.
How long is the incubation period?
Symptoms of COVID-19 may express themselves after an incubation period of two to 14 days.
How does the virus spread?
The coronavirus can be spread from person to person. Because COVID-19 is a new disease, the population has no existing immunity. That means the virus could spread quickly. Transmission can occur in the following ways:
- contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person coughing or sneezing
- contact with a contagious person (even 24 hours before symptoms occur)
- touching your mouth or face after touching objects or surfaces that have respiratory droplets from an infected person on them
How can you protect yourself and others?
Just like with any virus, you should practise good hygiene and social distancing to protect yourself from getting infected and prevent COVID-19 from spreading. Consider adopting the following good hygiene practices:
- coughing and sneezing into your elbow or a tissue
- disposing tissues immediately after use
- washing your hands often with alcohol-based soap and water for at least 30 seconds
- disinfecting your hands with an alcohol-based sanitiser
- cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
- avoiding physical contact with others when you’re ill
- staying at least 1.5 metres away from others
- cleaning and sanitising frequently used possessions, such as phones, keys, and wallets
In general, those suffering from respiratory diseases should consider staying at home. If you have recently visited a high-risk area, you should self-isolate and avoid social contact.
Is there a vaccine?
Unlike the seasonal flu, there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Viruses are not affected by antibiotics.
Where can I find further information?
If you’re looking for more information on COVID-19, here are a few resources:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert from the Australian Department of Health
COVID-19 and Travel from Smartraveller of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
We at Cruise1st will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation. We remain committed to supporting our customers during this time and are doing all we can to ensure their happiness, safety, and health. If you have an enquiry or request related to cruises departing within the next 20 days, please do not hesitate to reach out. The Cruise1st team is here for you. Thank you for your business and support.