Australia will lift today its two-year, pandemic-induced ban on cruise ships entering the country’s waters. The ban was instituted in
Australia will lift today its two-year, pandemic-induced ban on cruise ships entering the country’s waters.
The ban was instituted in 2020, after an arriving cruise ship eventually left 30 passengers dead and 600 infected, ultimately leading to one in ten covid cases in Australia being linked to the ship.
The resumption of cruises is a boon for the industry worth $3.7 billion to Australia’s economy pre-pandemic. The ban was estimated to have cost $7.4 billion over the past two years. It also feeds neatly into centre-right Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pro-business post-COVID recovery narrative ahead of the May 21 general election. Indeed, cruise ship industry polling suggested that 48% of employees would have voted against his government if the ban was extended.
Despite Morrison’s ruling coalition trailing the centre-left Labor party in national polling, the election will depend on swing votes in key marginal seats scattered throughout the country. While this cruise ship decision is unlikely to be the decisive factor in those votes, the post-pandemic recovery and rising business confidence narrative will put Morrison in a strong position entering the May elections—likely spurring tightening polling numbers in the coming weeks.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.