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  1. Australia NOT ready to sail - until............??? The latest cruise ship ban here does not, apparently, have an end date i.e it is not for a specific period, like 3 months or so.
  2. Thank you Kiwi_cruiser - you are very fast!!! A lot comments about the the report will no doubt be made in due course on the related RUBY PRINCESS - THE VERDICT etc thread.
  3. No cruising this year - from the latest cruiseweekly.com.au "P&O Cruises UK has extended its pause until 12 Nov, while also cancelling two long itineraries departing in Jan, while Holland America will not sail until at least 15 Dec"
  4. "RUBY PRINCESS - The Verdict - Report & Recommendations - YOUR COMMENTS" I have started this new thread in anticipation of the release of the Inquiry report - due to the govt on 14 August - and no doubt publicly available some time later. May I suggest that your comments, in due course, about the Inquiry findings & recommendations may be more conveniently made on the new thread. Thanks to everybody who took the time to respond & comment - and for over 16500 views of this thread.
  5. I would not get too excited with the preliminary views of the police and others (widely communicated at the time to the press - and claimed by the Princess to be completely unfounded at the Special Inquiry) - that a criminal offense MAY have been committed. From what we know so far from the Inquiry evidence , it is quite unlikely that a serious adverse finding against Princess would be made (even though things could have been done better by them, in a challenging and constantly changing environment). And no criminal charges are laid by our independent Director of Public Prosecutions before they carefully consider IF the police brief shows a reasonable prospect of conviction on a criminal charge, under the criminal standard of proof i.e. beyond reasonable doubt. Any political considerations are not relevant.
  6. Somewhat surprised to still read this - the crew still stuck on board, the countries are being difficult. A longish article from USA Today - interesting points what the non-working crew does ( or cannot do) whilst waiting. "12,000 crew members still on cruise ships in US waters months after COVID-19 pandemic shut cruising down" https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/08/08/cruise-ships-us-have-12000-crew-members-amid-covid-19/5574288002/
  7. As I understand it, the 425 statements of so that were submitted by pax to the police - and NOT to the Inquiry - were obtained from the police by the Inquiry under its Special Powers - but they were kept confidential and NOT published as exhibits (as to not 'prejudice police investigation' - whatever it might be - and most likely a dead end, when the Director of Public Prosecutions gets hold of it. The statements/ submissions to the Inquiry - including when witnesses gave evidence - were published, except when the person sought otherwise. During the closing arguments of the inquiry a senior barrister for Princess was at pains to point out that Princess did what was required of it - and should not be held responsible. He also addressed the issue of the shortage of swabs, and provided evidence of the efforts Princess made to acquire them - form Aust, NZ and USA. Hopefully it won't be too long before the Inquiry verdict and recommendations are revealed - and what needs to be changed/ improved to work better in the future.
  8. Background The NSW opposition has just woken up to the fact that the Commonwealth, which provided a long and comprehensive 'Voluntary Statement' to the Inquiry, felt that it was not constitutionally compelled by the State Inquiry to allow for one of its witnesses (Border Force - Dept of Agriculture) to give evidence. A storm in the teacup, it seems, as the Commissioner did not pursue to challenge the Federal position - and the witness was not that important anyway. (the old mistake about negative flu tests, not covid tests) The longish story is here with these headings - and a few quotes: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/aug/09/ruby-princess-gladys-berejiklian-refuses-calls-to-extend-inquiry-to-hear-from-official-who-refused-to-appear "Ruby Princess: Gladys Berejiklian refuses calls to extend inquiry to hear from official who refused to appear" Shadow attorney general Mark Dreyfus says government reneged on promise to ‘provide full cooperation’ at inquiry "On Thursday, the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, claimed the government “had cooperated” because it provided a written submission, and angrily defended the actions of Border Force officers, despite the revelation one gave verbal authorisation for passengers to disembark and mistook negative flu test results for Covid-19 results. In April, Morrison was asked to guarantee the commonwealth would fully cooperate with the NSW government-commissioned inquiry into the Ruby Princess debacle and not take steps to stymie Walker getting evidence from federal agencies". Now, the Australian Border Force does not have a role in relation to clearing people on health grounds. “We do not employ doctors and nurses at airports or at seaports.”
  9. Exactly WHO and exactly WHEN the 'pratique' was granted to Ruby Princess on 19 March is a bit of a mistery - and the Commissioner was trying to get to the bottom of it - including what was the usual formal process involved in granting pratique. It seems that the verbal OK to disembark the ship was given by ABF after their usual non-health checks. This was because ABF saw that the on-line documentation previously supplied by Health NSW staff (in their role as Commonwealth appointed Human Biosecurity Officers) had determined that the ship was a low risk - and that Health was not interested in boarding Ruby Princess. ABF repeatedly emphasised (in the press and otherwise) that they are not qualified to assess health issues, and they always rely the State Human BioSecurity staff to make these decisions.
  10. That is exactly what the Commissioner was indirectly suggesting - to avoid future confusion, clarify responsibilities and improve procedures between the Federal govt and the States. And to add to the confusion - the Human Bio Security Officers are State Health Officers - but appointed as such and trained by the Commonwealth - if this makes any sense- so they wear these two hats.
  11. Yes pretty technical - but here is my attempt to translate this gobblegook: - the press got very excited about a week ago, when they got hold of some documents which show the confusion by the Aust Border Force (ABF)staff when the Ruby Princess was cleared - the headlines screamed of the ABF 'mistake'. This related to the confusion by ABF (No negative tests for covid, only negative tests for the flu done on board for the pax of Ruby) - in light of this, the Commissioner sought further comment/ clarification about it from the Commonwealth The answer came back that from the Commowealth that: 1. Yes, the mistake was made by ABF staff - but 2. it did not make any difference anyway 3- because Health NSW was still responsible to do its job re health of the pax (biosecurity etc) 3. so no skin of the ABF nose - as it was not their responsibility to deal with the health issues. 4. Conclusion - the ball has been bounced back to the State - Health NSW. The Commonwealth (ABF) is in the clear Hope this might make it a a little bit more clear.
  12. Some more 'clarification' about ABF responsibility - in a different context. When about a week ago new media reports surfaced about the role of the Aust Border Force (ABF) in the disembarkation of the Ruby Princess, the Commissioner invited the Commonwealth to respond - and they did so, in a short further supplementary report of 3 August (exhibit 126). In essence - the ABF has NO responsibility for the human bio-security matters (i.e. pax sick or with symptoms). So the ball is passed back to NSW Health. The story in the press that ABF misinterpreted negative tests for flu as being negative tests for covid, was of no practical significance, because: "The Commonwealth accepted in the Statement at [173] that the ABF officer the subject of the reporting appears to have misinterpreted the test results emailed to him by Carnival’s port agent. However, this misinterpretation had no bearing on passengers being permitted to disembark or the granting of pratique ( i.e permission to disembark) as the ABF officer had no biosecurity role to play in those matters and the provision of the information about the test results did not occur until after passengers commenced disembarkation"
  13. Another bad news - covid on a SMALL ship - the third line so far? So how will the big ships manage - or should pax accept a reasonably high risk of covid on any cruise ship? cruiseweekly.com.au "SeaDream COVID "A PASSENGER who sailed aboard SeaDream Yacht Club’s SeaDream I has tested positive for coronavirus upon his return home.The passenger sailed aboard the previous itinerary the cruise ship sailed, but all passengers onboard the current sailing have been confined to their staterooms. SeaDream I is expected to arrive in Bodo soon, where local health authorities are expected to start testing passengers and crew, with no-one allowed to go ashore.The cruise line told passengers it was unaware of anyone else with the virus"
  14. Two very short and interesting supplementary submissions dated 31 July, from Health NSW and Princess on the Inquiry website. The Commissioner wanted to find out if Health NSW considered its responsibility to advise cruise lines to keep up to date with the frequently changing definitions of the covid suspect cases – which are communicated to the Public Health Units by the Communicable Disease Network Australia (CDNA). Health NSW considered that it “has no obligation to inform vessel owners and operatives of the need to ‘keep abreast’ of changes in a document published by a Commonwealth agency and directed to the work of Public Health Units.The National Protocol did not require it and nor should the Commission impose this obligation on NSW Health, retrospectively” “To suggest that in respect of every ‘vessel’ entering NSW Ports, NSW Health had an obligation to update them on changes to Guidelines is both unrealistic, impractical and absolves the ‘vessels’ of responsibility to keep apprised of matters relevant to its industry” And not surprisingly the Princess view is that: “There is no evidence that at any time up to 19 March 2020, any representative of any Australian Government agency (including the CDNA) was urging the community to monitor changes to the CDNA’s recommended testing criteria for the purpose of making judgements about how to reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19. This is still the case If, contrary to these submissions, the Commissioner is minded to find that the CDNA Guidelines should have been brought to the attention of the officers of the Ruby Princess, then it is submitted that the obligation was on an Australian Government agency to urge the operator to monitor them. Whether that agency was the Department of Agriculture (being the agency with prime responsibility for determining pratique) or NSW Health, is not a matter on which the Princess Parties can presently comment” So, in the rapidly changing setting of the covid world, and with the additional knowledge becoming available almost daily, NO ONE considers it their responsibility to keep the cruise lines operating in Australia up to date with the changing definition of covid suspect cases! Illuminating stuff.
  15. Once the ship obtained from the govt authorities the permission to disembark in Sydney (the formal pratique), neither the ship Capt or the ship doctor could, hypothetically, do anything about it - the horse had bolted by then. Re the 100 or so pax submissions to the Inquiry - add to this some 426 pax statements given originally to the police investigation, and then presented to the Inquiry (not publicly released) - so, quite a high number in total - even if some would be from the same people.
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