Brits urged to ‘wear mask’ and follow ‘very strict protocol’ as international cruises back

Cruises: Simon Calder explains new 'hot areas' on ships

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Simon Calder appeared on ITV this morning to discuss the new Covid rules and restrictions in place on board cruise ships. Cruises around the UK restarted on May 20, but now international cruises can go ahead again from next week.

Although international cruises can once again depart from England this summer after a 16-month break, Covid measures will remain on board.

Travel journalist and expert Simon Calder appeared on This Morning today to discuss ship restrictions.

When asked what happens if someone gets Covid while on the cruise, Simon said: “There are an awful lot of concerns and cruising will not be quite like you knew it before.”

He stressed that so far, all UK cruise holidays have had “very very strict protocol” on board the ships.

“Every ship that sails has to have what is called a hot area,” Simon explained.

“That is part of a medical area where they are going to keep anybody who tests positive.

“They also need to have arrangements with ports in the area they’re cruising in in order to suddenly drop those people off if they are unfortunate enough to test positive.”

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However, the travel expert noted that “everything’s been done to try and minimise” the chance of travellers catching Covid in the first place.

“Everybody has to be vaccinated, not on all, but on most ships.

“And there are Lateral Flow Tests before you board.”

Simon explained that the crew, meanwhile, have not all been jabbed but they have self-isolated.

“They get on board and basically sit in their cabin for two weeks until they are demonstrated to be free of Covid.”

The travel journalist added: “But we’ve seen around the world as cruising is restarting that there have been cases of Covid inevitably brought on board.

“It seems that they can be dealt with without getting into the horrible situation that we saw in spring last year, when a number of ships were sailing around desperately trying to find a port that would accept them.”

Simon went on to explain the situation regarding mask wearing on board cruise ships.

He said: “Even though everyone’s been double jabbed and tested, it is still expected that you will wear a mask in all public areas of the ship when you’re walking around.

“You don’t need to when you’re having a meal, and there will be some parts where you are able not to use your mask, but the default assumption is that, yes, you will keep wearing that mask.

“You’ll find that it’s slightly emptier on board, which is good news, as we heard there’s a cap on the number of people.

“And you’ll also find that the whole dining and hospitality experience is rather different because of all the Covid rules.”

Simon added that all cruise-goers will have to get insurance as companies are “really really keen that you’re properly insured”.

Britons will be able to board an international cruise from England from Monday, August 2.

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