Foreign Office updates advice to end cruise ban
International cruise will be able to restart as of August 2 after the Foreign Office changed advice against “cruise ship travel” that has been in place since July 2020.
A statement from the Department for Transport said: “Following the close monitoring of epidemiological evidence, gained through the restart of the domestic cruise industry earlier this year, the UK government has also confirmed the go ahead for international cruise sailings to restart from England in line with Public Health England guidance.
“International cruise travel advice will be amended to encourage travellers to understand the risks associated with cruise travel and take personal responsibility for their own safety abroad.”
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, also confirmed the easing of quarantine restrictions for fully-vaccinated travellers from the EU and US.
An ABTA spokesperson said: “ABTA welcomes today’s announcement that international cruising can restart from England, which follows the successful operation of a number of domestic cruises around the UK over recent weeks, and we’re glad the government has produced updated guidance to assist passengers and the industry. We hope each of the devolved nations will adopt the same approach.
“It’s also good to see the government taking positive steps to open up international travel with the US and the EU, and we hope this will be the first step to reciprocal arrangements that will help the travel industry to get back on its feet.
“However, the industry is not out of the woods and there is more that needs to be done to support travel businesses through to recovery. We know the sector is facing a more gradual relaxation of restrictions than the domestic economy, and we need to see a tailored package of support measures to recognise that, including ongoing furlough and income support schemes, full business rates relief, and consideration of tailored grants schemes.
“We also need to see the government make further progress on making testing more affordable and proportionate, and we need to see more destinations added to the Green list at next week’s review. We are still seeing other countries reopen more quickly than the UK and we need to capitalise on the success of the vaccine rollout by getting our international travel industry moving again.”
Nick Stace, CEO of Saga Travel, said: “We are pleased that the government has confirmed that restrictions will lift on international cruising. The entire cruise industry has been working closely with Government to reach this point and it is a huge boost to receive the news that we will once again be able to welcome guests on non-domestic voyages.
“Ensuring the safety of our guests and crew is our number one priority and we’ve worked tirelessly to create the safest possible environment on-board our ships. Our customers have been eagerly awaiting certainty from Government so they can plan their cruises beyond UK shores and today’s news will give them the clarity they need to do that.”
Andy Harmer, Clia managing director for UK & Ireland, said: “The decision to allow the restart of international cruise is very good news for the industry. The success of this summer’s round Britain cruises has led the way.
“The cruise industry has worked intensively during the last 18 months in collaboration with the Government, health authorities, ports, and other industry bodies to develop enhanced protocols that protect guests, crew, and the destinations we visit. The industry looks forward to welcoming guests back onboard to visit international destinations.”