International cruising will return alongside the government’s wider restart for overseas travel and follow its planned “traffic light” system, according to the Global Travel Taskforce report.
A “risk-based approach” to managing the safe restart of international voyages will be put in place “underpinned by analytical evidence”, the Department for Transport has said.
Its return is subject to “continued satisfactory evidence” from the sector’s domestic restart taking place from 17 May, as well as “successful cruise operations elsewhere in the world”.
It is also subject to the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the UK government and the cruise industry covering the cost and liabilities of repatriation.
As part of its findings, the Global Travel Taskforce recommends removing measures limiting outbound cruising by 17 May “at the earliest” and implement a “traffic light” country system – with different restrictions depending on risk.
The progress of cruise’s international restart will be considered at reviews on 28 June, 31 July and 1 October.
The report noted that “much has changed” in the industry’s knowledge, understanding and response to mitigating Covid since restart framework was published by the government and industry last autumn - with the report recognising “the significant progress” made by the cruise sector over the last year.
As part of the restart framework, cruise operators must work in accordance with UK Chamber of Shipping’s Covid-19 regulations and prior to restarting, must undergo a “full expanded inspection” of its ships by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.