Coronavirus: Wish this was your quarantine? Cruise passengers to stay on holiday island

Cruise passengers onboard the Vasco da Gama cruise ship Australia are perhaps enjoying one of best coronavirus quarantine situations there are. The state of Western Australia has decided to put 800 Australian cruise passengers onto a popular holiday island for a two-week quarantine, in the latest cruise news. The cruisers – 200 of whom are West Australians – are being sent to Rottnest Island, a 30-minute ferry ride away from the coast of WA.

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Rottnest is home to sandy beaches, unique wildlife and spectacular scenery.

There are 63 beaches in total and snorkelling is a popular activity on the island.

Families often flock to the car-free island at the weekend to soak up the sunshine and relaxed atmosphere.

Rotto – as it’s been nicknamed by locals – is particularly famous for the quokkas who live there.

Quokkas are fluffy marsupials about the size of a domestic cat.

The critters have earned the title of “happiest animal in the world”.

There are estimated to be 12,000 quokkas on Rottnest, according to National Geographic.

Rottnest is also a perfect location to see humpback and southern right whales during their annual migration.

The Vasco da Gama cruise ship is due to arrive at Fremantle Port tomorrow.

Cruise company Cruise and Maritime said of the vessel in a statement: “Vasco da Gama is now undertaking a 2837 nautical mile voyage directly back to Australia with 952 passengers including 907 Australian & New Zealander nationals and 552 crew members onboard arriving back in Fremantle (Perth) on 27th March.”

The 800 Australian cruise passengers will then be ferried to Rottnest.

This will likely take a number of trips to allow for appropriate physical distancing and cleaning between journeys.

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During their-two week quarantine, they will stay in empty holiday accommodation.

This includes a hostel, bungalows, cabins and dormitories.

Any visitors on the island have been ordered off the island so it can be prepared as a quarantine base.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said at the time preparing Rottnest as a potential quarantine site sounded almost “ridiculous” to him, reported local news site ABC.

“But I’m so pleased we made that decision a couple of days ago because we now need it,” he said.

The WA Government has said current staffing levels on the island will be sufficient to cater for the passengers, reported ABC.

State and commonwealth emergency services personnel will also be made available.

All cruise passengers will be assessed by medical staff and triaged if needed.

The Tourism Minister for WA Paul Papalia, said that “The intention is that we take people out there who are well, they isolate for 14 days, hopefully, they come off at the end of that time and they can go back home,” reported the NZ Herald.

CMV has said it has no health concerns for anyone on board the vessel, according to newspaper The Australian.

Express.co.uk has contaced the cruise line for further comment.

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