Passengers embarking on P&O cruises around the UK this summer will have to have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, the Carnival-owned firm said this morning.
Announcing a new programme of cruises to start from June, the company said:
“Given the advanced progress of the UK vaccination programme, and strong expressed preference on the part of our guests for this limited series of UK coastal cruises, these sailings on Britannia and Iona will be for UK resident Covid-19 vaccinated guests only”.
It is not the first cruise company to announce such a step. Over 65s specialist Saga has already done so, has as Virgin Voyages in the US.
The decision by P&O could add fresh impetus to the debate around whether people should need vaccine passport to access some services both domestically and internationally.
Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng this morning said that the government was reviewing whether it was fair for companies to do as P&O has done.
Carnival said that passengers would have to show evidence that they had been vaccinated at least seven days before boarding the cruise.
“Failure to provide this evidence will result in denial of boarding”, it said.
Two ships will be involved in P&O’s summer programme. The Britannia will cruise from Southampton along the south coast of England for three or four days, and the Iona will travel up to Scotland from Southampton for seven-day trips.
President Paul Ludlow said that the ships would in effect chase the sun while on the cruises.
“We really will look at the weather forecast each cruise and aim to take our ships where it is warm and sunny”, he said.