Latest travel advice for cruises after international sailings get green light
Cruise holidays will be back in full swing next month after it was revealed today international cruises will resume on August 2.
Cruises will be free to start and end in England, having called in foreign ports, without fully vaccinated travellers having to quarantine.
The Department of Transport announced: "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."
So what are the latest cruise rules for international cruises now?
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International cruises travel advice
The Government has axed its warning against international cruises and now cautions that "travel is different."
The authority urges travellers to follow travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), avoid travel to red list countries and check what you need to do when returning to the UK.
The FCDO shared a selection of top tips for people looking to book a cruise.
Get travel insurance
You should get travel insurance. The advice stated: "Before boarding a cruise you should buy travel insurance, and make sure you are content with the level of cover it provides.
"If you already have travel insurance check it is valid and provides appropriate cover. Certain operators may require evidence of a certain level of travel insurance if you are not fully vaccinated. You should consult your operator’s booking conditions and contact them if you require further information."
The FCDO added: "You may need to pay for costs including medical care, quarantine, testing and return travel to the UK if your cruise is affected by a COVID-19 outbreak. Consult your operator and insurance provider to ensure you are aware of what is and what is not included in your policy."
Research safety measures
It's vital you are comfortable with the safety measures implemented by cruise lines.
The FCDO detailed: "Although operators have taken steps to improve infection control, cruise ships continue to experience COVID-19 outbreaks, affecting passengers and seafarers. The confined setting on board and combination of multiple households enables COVID-19 to spread faster than it is able to elsewhere.
"Cruises with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases have previously been denied permission to dock or to disembark passengers. This can have serious implications for passengers and seafarers on board. You should check the protocols of the cruise operator to ensure you are comfortable with safety measures."
- READ MORE: Complete guide to major cruise lines' face mask policies -
Check with your doctor
Make sure you are fit enough to travel. "Consider your own health needs and the risks that relate to you, particularly if you are clinically extremely vulnerable and at higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection. Speak with your doctor before booking, if you are concerned," said the FCDO.
"You should take face coverings, hand gel and wash your hands regularly. You may also wish to wait until you are fully vaccinated before taking a cruise."
Research medical facilities onboard
Do your homework. The FCDO advised: "Access to healthcare may be limited on-board. For example, intensive care beds and oxygen provision are limited and urgent medical evacuation to a hospital on land may not be possible.
"Research the facilities on the ship you intend to sail on before booking your holiday. If you take specialist medication, you should take more than your journey’s duration, in case you are abroad for longer than expected."
- READ MORE: Guide to major cruise lines' vaccine policies -
Research contingency measures
Gen-up on what happens if the worst takes place. "You may be required to quarantine on board or at designated facilities if your ship is affected by a COVID-19 outbreak. Check with your operator to ensure you are aware of outbreak contingency measures," urged the Government.
Don't try and get out of the rules and restrictions in place at sea and on land. "You may be asked to disembark the cruise ship and return to the UK at your own cost if you fail to follow operator protocols, including during official excursions," said the FCDO.
"You should comply with the local restrictions in all the countries you will be travelling to or through, even if only for a short shore visit."
Check the latest travel advice
"You can find up to date information for all countries and territories on FCDO travel advice. You should also check the requirements for what you need to do when you return to the UK," encouraged the Government.
"Even if you remain on board, if your ship calls at an amber or red list country, you will be expected to follow government rules on return to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland."
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