Maritime Union of Australia Assistant Secretary Paul Garrett says the government must “suspend all cruise ship movements until proper protocols are put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19”.
Mr Garrett told Sky News Australia the Ruby Princess cruise ship “was allowed to dock under the cover of darkness, and now there’s multiple cases out there in the community which should have been quarantined”.
Almost 50 passengers have so far been diagnosed with the coronavirus after disembarking the Ruby Princess in Sydney on Thursday.
Mr Garrett said government officials needed to “get on board these ships and check them before they come in” rather than trusting cruise ship companies to declare if their passengers are unwell.
“They’re just relying on self-declaration of ships, that’s the standard the NSW government’s accepting and that’s an absolute disgrace,” he said.
“The ministers for health and port authorities need to stop any cruise ship from coming in until those on board have been checked.
“At the end of the day, we’re in a national crisis, an international health pandemic and we need the government to stand up and start leading on these issues.”