The UK cruise sector has welcomed the government’s roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions in England, with a source telling TTG they expected the industry to be represented on the new Global Travel Taskforce.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday (22 February) a “newly reconstructed” taskforce would be launched to produce a report by 12 April into how international travel should be restarted.
Johnson told MPs that as part of government’s four-step easing strategy, overseas travel would be allowed “no earlier” than 17 May.
Reacting to the news, Clia and the UK Chamber of Shipping said in a joint statement they would “engage with government” as part of the new taskforce to work towards “achieving a safe restart for cruise at home and abroad in the coming months”.
“The health and safety of our passengers will remain our priority and the cruise industry has over the past year been working with government on a detailed set of protocols to allow cruising to resume in a safe way,” the associations said.
A source close to cruise industry discussions with the government told TTG: “We expect the cruise sector to be represented at the new taskforce and to feed into the report being led by the Department for Transport.”
In a statement released after Monday night’s Downing Street briefing, Carnival UK president Simon Palethorpe thanked guests and crew for their support during its pause in operations.
“Our team has been working diligently to develop a comprehensive framework of protocols to protect the health and wellbeing of our guests, crew and the communities we visit,” he said.
“As more clarity is provided on likely dates for travel and tourism to return we will publish updates on our return to service and the experience onboard.”
Palethorpe added that the cruise sector was “a multi-billion pound industry” and both directly and indirectly provided thousands of jobs and livelihoods across the UK.