Cruises: Expert hopeful for 'July' return of holidays
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Many cruises around the world have not set sail for more than a year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While many cruise lines have now turned to UK sailings in a bid to get customers back to sea, there is some good news for international cruise holidays too.
According to the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce report, overseas cruises can restart in line with the Government’s “traffic light system”.
The system will categorise nations as “green”, “amber” and “red” based on their Covid “risk”.
This will be determined by considering factors such as the number of confirmed Covid cases at that time, and the progress of a nation’s vaccine rollout.
The report explains the Government has plans to “restart international cruises alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the ‘traffic light’ system.”
However, the report does not specify an exact date for when cruise holidays will resume.
Furthermore, while the Government aims to resume some travel by May 17, the Prime Minister has warned this will be reliant upon data at that time.
Speaking to reporters earlier in the week, Boris Johnson said: “We have to be realistic… we can’t do it immediately.
“A lot of the destinations that we want to go to at the moment are suffering a new wave of the illness, of COVID, as we know. We can’t do it immediately.
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“But that doesn’t mean that we’ve given up on May 17.”
The Government further warned the resumption of international cruises will be “subject to continued satisfactory evidence from domestic restart”, alongside “successful cruise operations elsewhere in the world”.
Following the release of the Global Travel Taskforce report, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said: “We welcome today’s announcement to restart international cruises alongside the wider resumption of international travel, in line with the ‘traffic light’ system.
“This announcement is the culmination of extensive collaboration between industry, Government, health authorities and ports during the last twelve months to further strengthen health measures, which now go beyond any other travel sector.
“The industry’s protocols have already been tried and tested as almost 400,000 people have sailed on cruises since last summer elsewhere around the globe.
“Today’s decision sends a signal of confidence in the industry and is a welcome boost to the thousands of people employed in the sector or whose livelihoods depend upon cruise, including travel agencies, hotels, tour guides, port operators and many other service providers up and down the country.”
At the time of writing, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) continues to advise against cruises.
The FCDO states: “The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advises against cruise ship travel at this time. This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.
“Cruise ship travel means staying overnight for at least 1 night on a sea-going cruise ship with people from multiple households.
“Our advice against cruises applies to international travel on a ship that is exclusively for pleasure or recreation, providing overnight accommodation and other leisure facilities such as entertainment venues or swimming pools.
“Our advice does not include ferries or privately-rented boats.
“The Government will continue to review its cruise ship travel advice based on the latest medical advice.”
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