After an 11-day voyage, the Ruby Princess cruise arrived back in Sydney just before dawn on March 19, 2020, and offloaded its 2,700 passengers onto the Circular Quay forecourt.
Some of them were visibly sick – coughing and spluttering as they walked onto land.
And yet, amid a coronavirus crisis that was already enveloping Australia by this point, everyone on the ship was free to leave.
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They hopped on planes, trains and buses as they split up and headed back to their respective homes (some of which were overseas).
Now 215 people from that cruise have tested positive to COVID-19, and two passengers have died.
State and federal governments are blaming each other, and passengers have expressed their anger at not being put through more rigorous checks.
So how did this happen?
The Ruby Princess’s route to New Zealand was, according to NSW Health, “low risk”.
It departed Sydney on March 8, and by March 14 when it docked in Wellington, it had a number of passengers reporting flu-like symptoms, reports The Age.
The ship became one of four given an exemption to land back in Sydney after the government introduced a country-wide 30-day ban on foreign cruises.
The cruise liner had to cut its trip short to get back into Australian waters in time.