UK cruises – capacity and gathering restrictions

2021-04-29T19:48:54+00:00 April 29th, 2021|Safety|

The UK Department of Transport has issued protocols for UK cruises under the Government’s current roadmap.

No earlier than 17th May, under Roadmap 3, domestic cruises will be permitted in England.

They will be able to operate with up to 1,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is lower. This capacity limit applies to passengers only.

COVID-secure guidance will continue to apply. Groups of more than six people or two households will not be allowed to mix indoors – whether or not they originally booked in the same group.

By Step 4, no earlier than 21st June, the UK Government hopes to remove all legal limits on social contact. This includes lifting capacity limits for domestic cruises.

When booking a UK domestic cruise that calls/docks outside of England, a guest should:

  1. Check that the cruise activity is permitted in the UK nations you plan to visit.
  2. Ensure that you understand the relevant public health and pre-travel information about mitigating the risk of COVID-19 that your travel agent or cruise operator provides at the time of booking.
  3. Get 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.
  4. Familiarise yourself with the UK Chamber of Shipping COVID-19 guidance for passengers.

You must not travel if you have been advised that you must self-isolate by the NHS test and trace service or you are:

  • Experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Self-isolating as a result of COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Sharing a household or support bubble with somebody who has experienced COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days.

For those wishing to take an international cruise, it is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays at this time, the UK DoT said.

International cruises are cruises which begin, end, or call at ports outside of the UK. The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against international sea-going cruise travel based on the latest public health medical advice.

FCDO advice against cruises applies to international travel on a ship that is exclusively for pleasure or recreation, providing overnight accommodation and other leisure facilities such as entertainment venues or swimming pools.

However, the advice does not include ferries or privately-rented boats.

The UK Chamber of Shipping has published detailed COVID-19 guidance for cruise passengers, operators and seafarers.