Cruises: Expert hopeful for 'July' return of holidays
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Summer holidays seemed like a pipe dream in 2020, as although Covid had receded, the Government cautiously chose not to allow significant travel. Since then, pharmaceutical companies have turned out three successful vaccine candidates, providing a conceivable way out of Covid restrictions. And the Government has introduced its provisional roadmap, opening up the possibility of a return to normality by June.
Can I go on a cruise this summer?
Cruises were quickly outlawed in 2020 after authorities identified a series of outbreaks on ships.
They have remained banned since, in line with the Government’s lockdown rules.
But its lockdown roadmap – which teases a total end to these restrictions by June 21 – could potentially allow people to go on holiday once more.
Cruise company P&O has now said it plans to restart its cruise operations this summer.
Covid has grounded much of the firm’s fleet until August and September this year.
Instead, it will conduct holidays closer to home with trips around the UK.
Passengers can board the Britannia and the Iona for three to seven nights between July 27 and September this year.
But the trips come with a catch, as people will need to prove they are Covid-free first.
The company wants all potential passengers to have immunity before stepping on their liners.
All passengers would need to prove they have had both doses of an approved vaccine at least a week before departure.
Anyone who cannot meet these requirements won’t be allowed on board.
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Organisers will need proof of vaccination and dates, although P&O is yet to disclose what form this should take.
The vaccine programme prompted cruise organisers to reestablish these trips, but ships will remain under Covid security measures.
Enhanced sanitation, social distancing and masks will remain during these trips.
P&O chiefs hope the return of these holidays will help speed up the return to “normality”.
Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises president, said he wanted to ensure Brits could enjoy a “proper summer holiday”.
He said: “Following recent Government announcements and as the vaccine programme is rolled out across the globe we can all begin to feel a sense of reassurance and hope that this current lockdown period in the UK will come to an end.
“Life can, we hope, slowly return to some semblance of our previous normality as hospitality opens up and summer holidays can be booked with confidence.
“Whilst holidays here in the UK will be the first to become a reality we will, of course, gradually see the return of international travel but first we want guests to be able to enjoy a proper summer holiday at sea with the best in relaxation, entertainment and dining choice.”
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