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Rottnest Island, which is famous for housing a nocturnal marsupial called quokka, will be turned into a quarantine zone for Australian cruise ship passengers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This news comes breaking after hundreds of passengers were stranded on cruise ships, sailing around the world with numerous nations refusing to allow them to dock. It is a much-needed precaution since an increasing number of confirmed cases can be traced back to cruise ships.
The island, once a tourist haven, will house 800 Australians from the cruise ship "Vasco da Gama" for 14-day isolation upon its arrival on Friday. The ship is currently carrying 950 passengers and 550 crew, with 800 Australian nationals on board. It is stated that there are no reports of anyone being sick; however, the quarantine is being taken as a precaution.
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Currently, the island has been cleared of visitors; and all overnight and daily visits have been banned indefinitely, according to the Rottnest Island Authority's website.
On a normal day, the island would be brimming with tourists, and the adorable little creatures called quokkas. These animals, found nowhere else in the world, have made the island a popular vacation spot.
The passengers will be placed into numerous accommodation spots, and whether they'll be able to roam freely among the island hasn't been decided yet. Being under quarantine in a place that they don't know about must be definitely scary; however, it is for sure that quokkas will make the process easier, since they love to be around people, and they can be seen smiling all the time.
Quokkas aside, it should be noted that there are two other cruise ships waiting in Australia's waters. These ships are not allowed to dock since they don't have any Australian nationals. Police are monitoring the cruises to make sure no one disembarks on Australian soil, and what they'll do next still remains undecided.
Interested in knowing more? You can stay up to date through our Latest Updates on the Coronavirus Disease.