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Cruise ship with COVID-19 passengers to dock in Sydney

A cruise ship suspected of carrying as many as 1500 COVID-19 positive passengers is set to dock in Sydney this morning.

The Celebrity Eclipse is carrying about 3000 people, about half of whom are believed to be carrying the virus.

The ship has just completed a trip to New Zealand and will make harbour at White Bay in Sydney’s Inner West.

The Celebrity Eclipse is carrying about 1500 COVID-19 cases. (AP)

It comes as hospitalisations for COVID-19 continue to rise around the country.

The “fourth wave” of the disease has taken hold in the community and cases are rising, with some experts calling for the reintroduction of mask mandates.

Authorities have so far refrained from imposing more mandates, but have recommended people follow masking and social distancing protocols.

The sub-variants of the fourth wave have been dubbed the “grandchildren of Omicron”, and are not believed to be deadlier than previous waves.

However, infection rates are rising.

The New South Wales government has rated the Celebrity Eclipse as a “tier two” COVID-19 cruise ship.

This means that while the ship’s staffing and resources have been affected by the cases onboard, it can maintain “critical services”.

Two other ships arriving in Sydney today, Quantum of the Seas and Pacific Adventure, are “tier one” cases, meaning there is COVID-19 onboard, but only in low amounts.

The subvariants and mutations of COVID-19