Domestic cruising could restart in the UK on 17 May, said maritime minister Robert Courts at a virtual meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Maritime and Ports Group.
Courts said the reopening of the industry could coincide with the resumption of domestic and foreign holidays which is expected to happen on 17 May at the earliest, depending on factors such as the number of Covid-19 cases, the success of the vaccine roll-out and other factors.
The Department for Transport has since confirmed in a statement that the ban on domestic cruising in the UK "will be aligned with the wider resumption of the domestic tourism and indoor hospitality sectors".
“We strongly welcome the announcement that cruise will be included alongside the restart of other domestic tourism in the UK,” said Andy Harmer, director of Cruise Lines International Association UK & Ireland. “The industry has been working with the Government over the last year on health protocols which put the safety of our passengers and crew first. Many of these protocols have already been tested successfully where cruise has been able to operate elsewhere in Europe.
"The industry has long planned a phased restart for cruise, with domestic cruises representing the first stage of this plan. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Government, including through the Global Travel Taskforce in order to ensure the safe restart of international cruise in time for the summer season.”
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