P&O and Carnival Cruise Line will suspend operations for a month due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic
- Both cruise liners will close business for 30 days and reconvene on April 13
- The announcement follows Viking Cruises who closed last week until May 1
- Australians planning international travel on cruises were urged to reconsider
- Coronavirus has caused huge disruption to both travel and tourism industries
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P&O and Carnival Cruises are suspending all operations for a month due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The two Australian businesses have implemented a 30-day pause period and will reconvene on April 13.
The response mirrors Viking Cruises who closed last week until May 1, after both businesses were criticised for continuing to operate.
The Queen Elizabeth cancelled its trip from Sydney to New Zealand on Sunday, with P&O Cruises Australia president Sture Myrmell telling 7News they were prioritising the health of staff and guests.
P&O and Carnival Cruises are suspending all operations for a month due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured: The Pacific Dawn arriving in Brisbane in March 2017
Passengers wait as a man is tested for coronavirus on board the Norwegian Jewel cruise ship in Sydney in February
‘Cancelling or reducing the length of a cruise is the last thing we would ever want to do but these are extraordinary times and we have no hesitation in putting the health and well-being of our guests, crew and the wider community first,’ Mr Myrmell said.
A Carnival Cruises statement said they are following the advice of health officials.
‘While Carnival has not had a diagnosed case linked to our operation we realise this situation is bigger than the cruise industry and we will continue to do our part to support public officials to manage and contain this unprecedented public health challenge,’ the statement reads.
Holiday makers who had plans with P&O and Carnival Cruises will be contacted by their respective company for further details.
The Australian government has urged passengers to reconsider international cruise trips after the Diamond Princess was forced to quarantine in Japan for two weeks in February as the virus ran rampant on board.
Viking Cruises had a passenger on a river cruise in south-east Asia this week who had been exposed to the deadly virus while in transit.
Passengers watch on as the Sea Princess cruise ship departs Sydney Harbour on March 10
Twenty-nine guests have been put into quarantine as a result.
The travel industry has been hugely impacted as the coronavirus has spread around the world, with countries closing borders for nomads and preventing large gatherings of people in the wake of the disease.
Travel bans are in place for China, Italy, Iran and South Korea, while Donald Trump announced that no one, bar the country’s citizens, who have been in Europe can enter the country.
New Zealand are enforcing all internationally arriving people – including returning Kiwis – to self-isolate for a fortnight upon arriving in the country.
Virgin, Qantas and Jetstar have reduced flights in the wake of the pandemic, while various sporting events have been cancelled or banned fans from attending to prevent the risk of spreading the disease.
An elderly couple wearing protective face masks in Sydney amid the coronavirus pandemic in March