UK government relaxes more travel rules, along with international cruises

The UK has added more countries to its no-quarantine list for inbound tourists, while also giving the go-ahead for international cruise itineraries from UK ports.

The UK’s move to allow international cruises was immediately welcomed by P&O Cruises, with Paul Ludlow, the cruise line’s President & CEO, saying he’s “absolutely delighted”.

The UK has announced that cruises will be allowed to sail internationally from England

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The opening of international cruise itineraries from the UK was announced in a tweet by MP and Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps as part of the announcement of relaxed rules for fully vaccinated travelers from amber list countries.

“From 2nd August at 4am people from [European countries and the US] will be able to come to the England from an amber country without having to quarantine if they’re fully vaxxed,” he wrote.

“The changes will apply to fully vaxxed people with an FDA or EMA vaccine,” he added in a follow up post. “They’ll still need to do the usual pre-departure test before arrival and take a PCR test on day 2 of returning to the England.”

And then he dropped the news that UK cruise passengers had long been waiting for.

“We’re also able to confirm the restart of international cruises,” he wrote.

P&O Cruises immediately reacted to the news, saying that the cruise line is “absolutely delighted.”

“The Britannia has been sailing UK coastal cruises since the end of June and the Iona’s maiden voyage is on August 7th,” said Paul Ludlow, President of P&O Cruises.

“Our international cruise holidays on both ships are set to start from September 25th with the Britannia sailing to the Mediterranean and the Iona to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands,” he added.

“This is the news we have been working towards and cannot wait to welcome you back onboard,” he said.

Princess Cruises was also quick to welcome the news, with Tony Roberts, Vice President, Princess Cruises UK & Europe saying he was looking forward to the launch of international itineraries.

“From this Saturday, July 31st, Princess Cruises will have restarted domestic sailing in the UK, beginning with Regal Princess,” he said.

“We look forward to resuming our international cruises from the UK on Regal Princess and Sky Princess from the end of September, with a total of eight voyages sailing roundtrip from Southampton,” Roberts added.

International cruises can reopen in line with Public health England guidelines, it comes after close monitoring of epidemiological evidence gained from the restart of domestic cruising since May 20th, 2021.

Cruise lines operating from the UK have proved that cruise ships can operate safely and keep COVID-19 cases contained.

“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,” said Andy Harmer, Managing Director for UK & Ireland, CLIA.

“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,” he added.

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