Limits to passenger numbers for domestic cruises could remain in place until 19 July, the Department for Transport has confirmed.
Sailings can operate with up to 1,000 passengers or 50% capacity, (whichever is lower), under current rules - with MSC Cruises and Viking the first lines to return to service in the UK last month.
A number of other lines – including P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Saga and Disney – will restart sailings this month and next.
Passenger limits were due to be lifted on 21 June under the next stage of the government’s “unlocking roadmap”.
Although, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday (14 June) a four-week delay to the easing of final Covid restrictions, cruise capacity looks likely to be capped until mid-July.
In an update to its guidance on Tuesday (15 June), the DfT said: “It is expected that England will move to Step 4 on 19 July, though the data will be reviewed after two weeks in case the risks have reduced.
“By step 4, the government hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact. This includes lifting capacity limits for domestic cruises.”
A Clia spokesperson said: "As part of the government’s roadmap we have seen the restart of cruising in the UK with protocols that go beyond any other travel sector operating today.
"We continue to encourage the Government to recognise the multi-layered approach being adopted by cruise lines during this restart phase and continue to seek clarity on a timetable for a full resumption of cruise holidays."