Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells ALL tourists not to go on cruises because of coronavirus risk, having previously insisted that those over 70 want to avoid them
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) insists on cruise ship travel
- The government previously urged those over the age of 70 to avoid cruise ships because of the corona virus
- The FCO says a new position comes after advice from Public Health England
- Consumer organizations have warned that the decision will prompt companies to cancel sailings
The British have been urged today to avoid cruise ship travel due to the corona virus, despite general advice against canceling all non-essential foreign voyages.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) today issued a statement advising vacationers not to board cruise ships, fearing the spread of Covid-19.
The government had previously urged the 1970s to avoid sailings.
It’s also because the government’s general advice against all nonessential foreign trips on Saturday was lifted for dozens of destinations.
The FCO says the new position comes on the advice of Public Health England.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) today released a statement advising people not to board cruise ships, fearing the spread of Covid-19. Pictured: The world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, in Malaga, Spain, 2018
It pledged to “continue to review its position” and insisted that it “continue to support the work of the Ministry of Transport with industry to resume international cruise shipping”.
How Cruises Change After Covid: End of the Traditional Buffet, Fewer Coastal Visits, and Temperature Controls
By Rita Sobot and Tom Pyman for the Daily Mail
Major cruise lines are dropping self-service buffets, while onboard entertainment can also be cut short as part of a series of changes in voyages after the corona virus crisis.
Guests and crew may also need to be tested for the virus or at least go through infrared checks in some cases so that their temperature can be measured to reduce the risk of infection spreading.
Other measures include limiting the number of passengers and staggering boarding and alighting to ensure fewer people at the terminals and gangways.
Hand disinfectants are placed everywhere on the ships, germicidal air filters are installed and the occupation of lifts is limited.
At least one cruise ship has had to reduce hospitality by cutting plans for the traditional welcome with a free buffet, while others say that only staff should serve food and never the passenger.
Prime locations like Spain are currently still banning cruise ships entering ports, and the government says this will continue until “the end of the coronavirus crisis,” with no firm date.
Due to the travel advice, many holidaymakers with future bookings run the risk of canceling their trips.
Rory Boland, editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel said, “The FCO’s advice against cruise ship travel will result in most upcoming cruises being canceled or postponed.
“Most cruise vacation customers should be legally entitled to a cash refund within 14 days under package travel rules, but as we’ve seen recently in the travel industry, operators often take longer to get money back to get their money back.” to them.
If the refund is delayed, cruise lines must urgently notify customers and provide a clear timetable for when money will be refunded.
“The FCO should also extend its warning with a definite date to provide operators and customers with clarity when it is safe to rebook.”
In March, the FCO advised British people aged 70 and older and those with some underlying health problems to avoid cruise ships.
The UK’s largest cruise line, P&O Cruises, has suspended all sailings until mid-October.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line, the third largest cruise line in the world, which regularly departs from Southampton, said: “Our top priority remains the safety, security and wellbeing of our guests, team members and everyone in the communities we visit.
As such, we are actively working to improve our already stringent health and safety protocols and continue to consult with global public health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to take action if necessary.
In addition, this week we announced the ‘Healthy Sail Panel’, which consists of experts who work together to develop recommendations that will help us resume operations safely.
Despite today’s news, we remain optimistic and hope to restart cruise operations in the near future. We look forward to welcoming our guests back on board soon. ‘
What does the FCO’s advice mean for cruise ship passengers?
The Department of Foreign Affairs has issued a warning against all cruise ships on medical advice from Public Health England.
In the early stages of the pandemic, the ban only applied to holidaymakers over the age of 70.
This was then replaced by a general embargo on “all but essential” global voyages, but at that time cruise lines had canceled all sailings.
Now, despite flights resuming easing travel restrictions, officials have issued an indefinite warning against all cruise vacations.
Why did they do this?
Experts fear that cruises are simply too risky at this stage.
There are two reasons for this: the first is because of the health risks of stuffing an average of 3,000 people, many of them elderly, on a liner where social detachment is difficult to maintain.
The second reason is diplomatic. The Department for Transport (DfT) schedule is based on the assumption that most will travel between the UK and another country.
Cruise ships, on the other hand, stop at multiple locations and often dock in small towns or cities where the arrival of thousands of foreigners would pose a significant risk to local communities.
What are the risks?
Cruise ships have been described for years as ‘floating petri dishes’ for viruses.
This is due to the proximity of passengers and crew, as well as the high percentage of elderly people who tend to go on cruise holidays and are more susceptible to illness.
A study last month into the coronavirus outbreak at the Diamond Princes said communal facilities such as dining rooms, swimming pools, and spas also contributed to the risk of infection.
What if I booked a cruise vacation this year?
There is uncertainty as to whether sailings for this fall are likely to continue and you should contact your cruise line or tour company for guidance.
If your trip is canceled, you are legally entitled to a cash refund within 14 days under the package travel rules – although this may take longer due to the number of claims.
Customers are advised not to accept credit card vouchers for a future trip as they offer little consumer protection.
You may also be offered a replacement cruise in 2021 when cruise lines want to resume operations – although this is not guaranteed as the advice against all cruises is indefinite.