Unvaccinated holidaymakers will be BANNED from P&O Cruises’ ‘staycation’ sailings this summer
- UK residents who have had two doses of the Covid jab will be allowed onboard
- P&O Cruises says all passengers must have been vaccinated a week in advance
- Maritime minister says domestic cruises could sail around Britain from May 17
Unvaccinated holidaymakers will be banned from P&O Cruises ‘staycation’ sailings this summer.
Brits who wish to sail on a domestic cruise will have to have received both doses of the Covid vaccine at least seven days in advance of their trip, the UK’s largest cruise line has said.
Last week maritime minister Robert Courts told MPs last week that domestic cruises could be permitted from May 17.
So far nearly 25million people have received at least their first dose of a vaccine, while 1.6m have received both.
P&O says it will not allow any passengers on domestic cruises unless they have received both injections of a Covid-19 vaccine
Failure to provide proof of the jabs ‘will result in denial of boarding’, the firm warned.
Other measures introduced due to the pandemic include requiring passengers to wear masks in certain areas of the ship, and making travel insurance mandatory.
There will also be enhanced cleaning regimes, as well as social distancing.
Cruise holidays are traditionally popular with older people, who have been prioritised in the UK’s vaccination programme.
P&O Cruises will operate a series of short breaks on Britannia, while new ship Iona will conduct seven-night itineraries.
Cruises will depart from Southampton between June and September, sailing around the UK’s coastline in search of good weather.
For her maiden voyage Iona will anchor off Iona, the small Scottish island after which she was named, until sunset.
The Government has advised people to avoid all cruises since July 9, 2020, due to the virus crisis, but Mr Court’s announcement last week has been welcome news for the maritime travel industry.
P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: ‘Given recent announcements we have every hope that our guests will be able to enjoy a holiday this summer.
‘After the stresses and challenges of the past year everyone certainly deserves a treat and this series of cruises will provide memorable and much-needed UK getaways.
‘Whilst there is still uncertainty about holidays abroad this summer, we are delighted to be able to offer our guests the ultimate escape here in the UK with the reassurance that we will take care of everything.
‘Also, we really will look at the weather forecast each cruise and aim to take our ships where it is warm and sunny.’
The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce will provide a report to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on April 12 setting out recommendations for how and when foreign holidays could resume.
Passengers will have to have received the second injection seven days prior to their trip, P&O Cruises announced today. So far nearly 25m Brits have received at least one jab
They could be permitted for people in England from May 17 under the Prime Minister’s road map for easing restrictions.
Turkey announced on Monday that it expects to welcome UK holidaymakers this summer without requiring proof of a coronavirus vaccine or negative test.
Greece will require international tourists to have been vaccinated, had a recent negative Covid-19 test or have coronavirus antibodies, while visitors to Cyprus must have had both doses of a vaccine.
On Monday it was announced that Portugal and Mauritius had been taken off the government’s red list in the first change to travel rules for months.
This means people will be able to travel from the two countries – as well as the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores – to England, the Department for Transport said.
However, four more countries – Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar – will now be added to the government’s banned list.
Quarantine restrictions for travellers from Portugal and Mauritius will be relaxed, with people allowed to travel to their own home for the 10-day isolation period rather than spending it in a government-approved hotel.
They will also still have to take a Covid test on their second and eighth days to end self-isolation early.
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