Coronavirus: Cruise operators out in the cold as quarantine rules end for some air passengers | Business News


Cruise operators continue to be left in the cold, despite restrictions easing on air travel.

Quarantine rules end today for people flying to the UK from more than 70 countries and British Overseas Territories, meaning they will no longer have to isolate for 14 days on their return.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office had issued advice against all non-essential foreign travel in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.



, Coronavirus: Cruise operators out in the cold as quarantine rules end for some air passengers | Business News



‘We’ve definitely seen an increase in bookings’ – TUI UK boss

The FCO also advised Britons aged 70 and over, and those with some underlying health conditions, to avoid cruise ships.

On Thursday the government strengthened this, advising people against all cruises, leaving those with bookings at risk of having their trips cancelled.

The FCO says it will “continue to review” its position, which is “based on medical advice” from Public Health England.

Debbie Marshall of Silver Travel, which organises trips for older travellers, told the Daily Mail: “There is no logic in now making this a blanket extension and we hope that it will be revised before the cruise lines look to resume operations.

“The government should have more confidence that the cruise industry knows what it is doing and it would be better if they worked on a collaborative basis with the industry rather than throwing carefully-laid plans into disarray.”

Phil Evans, owner of Cruise Nation, told Travel Weekly: “The update from the FCO is lacking in information and we need clarity on it. We also need a date when we can expect the next update on this.

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“The last update from the FCO was four months ago, and there’s been nothing in between that and this latest, so we need to know that we won’t be kept waiting for another four months.”

Caroline Dinenage, culture minister, told Sky News: “We have at the moment dissuaded people from going on cruises probably until October – just because of the situation we were in when the crisis hit, when we had to repatriate people from all over the world who were on cruise ships.

“We want to be a little bit more secure in where we are as a country and as a world.

“But we do want to get things up and running; the British people have worked so hard in recent weeks and months to tackle this virus together and have endured an enormous amount of restrictions. We want to try and open (cruises) up as quickly as we can.”

Rory Boland, editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said: “The FCO’s advice against cruise ship travel will lead to most upcoming cruises being cancelled or postponed.

“Most cruise holiday customers should be legally entitled to a cash refund within 14 days under the package travel regulations, but as we’ve seen across the travel industry recently, operators facing a surge in refund claims are often taking longer to return customers’ money to them.

“If refunds will be delayed, cruise companies must urgently let customers know and give a clear timetable for when money will be returned.

“The FCO should also extend its warning to include a definitive date, to give operators and customers clarity over when it will be safe to re-book.”



Sky News