Ruby Princess cruisers thought they were SAFER from coronavirus on board the ship than on land

Ruby Princess cruise passenger reveals how holidaymakers were SNEEZING all over each other – and they thought they were safer from coronavirus on-board the ship than on land

  • Passengers onboard Ruby Princess cruise thought they were safer on the ship
  • One passenger claimed people were ‘sneezing all over each other’ on the cruise
  • More than 600 cases of coronavirus and 15 deaths are linked to the vessel 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

By Zoe Zaczek For Daily Mail Australia

Published: | Updated:

Holidaymakers on-board the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise have claimed passengers were ‘sneezing all over each other’ and thought they were safer on the vessel than on land.

The Ruby Princess became the largest source of COVID-19 infections in Australia, with more than 600 cases and 15 deaths linked the to the cruise. 

The ship docked in Sydney Harbour on March 19 and more than 2,600 passengers were allowed to disembark without adequate health checks.  

Stacie Hunt, 36, boarded the cruise en route to New Zealand with eight family members on March 8, The Washington Post reported.

The Australian finance broker said the virus rapidly spread across the vessel because lax passengers failed to follow good hygiene. 

‘People were selfish and thought they were safe being away on a boat,’ she said.

The ship (pictured at Port Kembla on April 6) docked in Sydney Harbour on March 19 and more than 2,600 passengers were allowed to disembark without adequate health checks

‘I had people sneeze all over me. I had people squeeze themselves into lifts that were already too full.’ 

Ms Hunt, whose mother and father-in-law contracted the deadly illness, said ‘people just didn’t care’ about the coronavirus pandemic. 

‘At the end of the day, we knew what was going on around the world. We knew how quickly it spread in ships,’ Ms Hunt said. 

Upon disembarking in Sydney, Ruby Princess passengers were given a leaflet advising they would need to self-isolate for two weeks.   

The cruise – which is now docked at Port Kembla, south of Sydney – is under investigation by police.  

A team of 30 detectives from state crime, counter terrorism and marine area command are investigating the communications and actions which led to the docking and disembarking of the vessel in Sydney Harbour on March 19. 

‘The only way I can get to the bottom of whether our national biosecurity laws and our state laws were broken is through a criminal investigation,’ NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said

The investigation will cover the actions of the port authority, ambulance, police, the NSW Health department and Carnival Australia. 

NSW Health on Saturday confirmed that at least 46 crew members of the Ruby Princess cruise ship contracted COVID-19. 

The cruise is under investigation by police. A team of 30 detectives from state crime, counter terrorism and marine area command are investigating the communications and actions which led to the docking and disembarking of the vessel

Timeline of Ruby Princess fiasco

March 18: The Ruby Princess issues an urgent mayday call for an ambulance for two of its passengers presenting with coronavirus-like symptoms 24 hours before the ship is allowed to dock in Sydney. 

March 19: The Ruby Princess arrives in Sydney Harbour. More than 2,700 guests are allowed to disembark without adequate health checks. 

March 25: Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram says New South Wales Health is responsible for letting coronavirus patients disembark the ship.

March 29: Several crew members are evacuated and taken to hospital after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

April 2: A 66-year-old crew member is taken off the Ruby Princess for medical treatment. More than 200 crew members are sick and in self-isolation.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian defends the actions of NSW Health and the Australian Border Force and points the finger at the Ruby Princess. She claims staff onboard may have misled NSW Health about the extent of illnesses in passengers.

April 3: Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton alleges Ruby Princess’ operators weren’t transparent about the health of crew: ‘It was ‘clear that some of the companies have been lying about the health of passengers and crew on board’.

April 4: Leaked emails show NSW Health knew of the coronavirus risk on board the Ruby Princess before allowing its thousands of passengers to disembark. 

April 5: A criminal investigation is launched into how passengers were able to disembark without health checks 

April 8: A team of 30 detectives from state crime, counter terrorism and marine area command start investigating the handling of the Ruby Princess coronavirus scandal. The first briefing into the investigation is held.

April 9: NSW Police clad in PPE equipment raid the vessel, questioning its captain and searching for evidence in a rapid escalation of the criminal investigation.

April 11: NSW Health confirms that at least 46 crew members of the Ruby Princess cruise ship have contracted COVID-19

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