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Travel

P&O Cruises announce holidaymakers must have a Covid vaccine to board its ships

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P&O Cruises/Facebook

P&O Cruises has announced those who haven’t been vaccinated will be banned from summer staycation cruises.

P&O Cruises, the UK’s largest cruise line, has confirmed that only UK residents who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be permitted onboard its ships. 

They added that the final dose must have been taken at least seven days before boarding.

The firm warned that failure to provide proof of the jabs ‘will result in denial of boarding’.

A series of new short breaks on Britannia will be operating, while new ship ‘Iona’ will conduct seven-night itineraries.

Cruises will depart from Southampton between June and September sailing around the UK’s coastline. 

Travel insurance will be made mandatory and face masks will be a requirement in certain areas on the ship as well as other measures in place. 

The ships will be going through an enhanced cleaning schedule as well as social distancing. 

P&O Cruises/Facebook

Iona, the largest cruise ship built for the UK market, comes in at 345 metres long and has 17 passenger decks. 

The ship has a maximum capacity of 5,200 holidaymakers and has had its launch delayed since May last year due to the pandemic. 

Last week, Robert Courts told MP’s that domestic cruises will be permitted from May 17th after being told to pause since July 9th, 2020.

P&O Cruises president Paul Ludlow said: “Given recent announcements we have every hope that our guests will be able to enjoy a holiday this summer.

P&O Cruises/Facebook

“After the stresses and challenges of the past year everyone certainly deserves a treat and this series of cruises will provide memorable and much-needed UK getaways.

“Whilst there is still uncertainty about holidays abroad this summer, we are delighted to be able to offer our guests the ultimate escape here in the UK with the reassurance that we will take care of everything.

“Also, we really will look at the weather forecast each cruise and aim to take our ships where it is warm and sunny.”

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Travel

Brits will be able to book summer holidays abroad this year, government announces

‘For the first time people can start to think about visiting loved ones abroad or perhaps a summer holiday’

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A government minister has confirmed that you will be able to book a summer holiday abroad this year.

Grant Shapps announced the news today, saying that the official advice not to plan foreign trips has now been ditched.

The transport secretary also said the government would attempt to drive down the cost of testing for anyone wanting a summer holiday or to see friends and family abroad.

Portuguese Gravity / Unsplash

However, Mr Shapps urged people to wait a little bit longer to start booking anything, as the government won’t be publishing the ‘green list’ of countries for ‘two or three weeks’.

The Government will operate a ‘traffic light’ system for international travel when it resumes, which is currently penciled in for May 17th.

Countries will be classed as either green, amber, or red under the scheme, depending on each destination’s rate of vaccination and testing capacity.

He added, when asked whether people should start booking trips: “My advice today would be moving on from where we were before.

“I’m not telling people they shouldn’t book summer holidays now, it’s the first time I’ve been able to say that for many months.”

Sarah Labuda/Unsplash

According to reports, the US, Malta, Gibraltar and large parts of the Caribbean have been tipped for the green list, while Greece could also make the cut.

Spain and Italy could also join from June if their vaccine programmes have progressed well.

Mr Shapps advised people to wait and see which countries will be on the green list, saying: “And of course actually I think people would want to be clear about which countries are going to be in the different traffic light system and people predominantly of course will be looking to book in a green country.

“There’s only two or three weeks to wait before we publish that list itself but yes, tentative progress.

“For the first time people can start to think about visiting loved ones abroad or perhaps a summer holiday.

“But we’re doing it very very cautiously because we don’t want to see any return of coronavirus in this country.”

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Travel

Thousands of tourists are still being let in to the UK every day

‘We’ve got no grounds to refuse them’

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Moujib Aghrout / Unsplash

Thousands of tourists from other countries are reportedly being allowed into the UK every day, at a time when British people are banned from going on holiday abroad.

According to Border Force estimates which have been shared with The Times, around 40% of the 20,000 people arriving at British borders daily are holidaymakers, which equates to about 8,000 tourists per day.

Hundreds of these visitors are granted holiday visas from the Home Office, with one traveller from Peru getting a visa after saying the reason for their UK trip was to ‘visit Big Ben’.

Mikey / Flickr

A Border Force source revealed to the Times that hundreds of people coming to the UK each day are ‘basically coming here on a two-week holiday’, adding that the agency has ‘no grounds to refuse them’.

They said: “As long as they’ve got an address where they say they’ll quarantine, and they’ve completed their pre-departure tests, they’ve got their certificates and everything else, they’ve got means and a return ticket, we’ve got no grounds to refuse them.”

On average nearly half the people arriving here are tourists, but at Gatwick and the Eurostar Terminals that number jumps to 80 or 90%, according to the data from whistleblowers.

Portuguese Gravity / Unsplash

However, the Home Office has responded by saying it ‘does not recognise these figures’, insisting that ‘tough health measures’ are being enforced at airports, train stations and ports.

Minister for Future Borders and Immigration, Kevin Foster, said: “We do not recognise these figures. We are enforcing tough health measures at the border for the small minority of people coming to the UK, including those entering on a visitor visa for legitimate reasons.

“Since January 2021, we have paused all decisions on visitor visas to applicants applying from a ‘red list’ country or where it is apparent an applicant has visited one of those countries in the last ten days.

“Border Force officers also have the right to refuse entry to any visitor who they believe has travelled to the UK to carry out activities not permitted under current local health restrictions, such as holidays or tourism, or who will not comply with self-isolation and testing requirements.”

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Holidaymakers will have to wear a face mask on the beach in Spain this summer

Would you still go to Spain on holiday?

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If you’re planning on going to Spain for a holiday this summer then you better make sure you pack your face mask alongside the Factor 50.

It’s been announced that any holidaymakers heading to the country will have to wear face coverings on the beach, ITV News reports.

Spain is tightening mask rules, and while face coverings have been mandatory in places you can’t social distance since May 2020, as of this Wednesday the rules are getting even tougher.

This means face coverings will be required outdoors and in all public places, like the beach, for everyone over the age of six – unless you have a medical condition, respiratory problems or if you are exercising.

Julian Wan/Unsplash

However, while this new rule is to be processed as law, it depends on the agreement of regional health ministers and therefore might not be mandated nationwide.

For example, regional authorities could previously allow tourists to take their masks off while they were sunbathing – so long as they maintained a 1.5 metre distance.

Some regions have suggested they would not enforce the rule, with Balearic health minister Patricia Gómez indicating that masks at beaches and by pools will not be obligatory as long as people social distance.



Earlier this week health secretary Matt Hancock said ‘the door is not shut’ on international travel over the summer.

According to reports, the government is considering a four-tier traffic light system for international travel which could allow people to go abroad after May 17th.

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