United Kingdom

Cruises are back but over-50s travel firm Saga says all customers must be vaccinated against Covid

Saga has announced that all customers on its cruises and holidays will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The over-50s travel specialist announced yesterday that holidaymakers must have received both shots at least two weeks before departure.

It is the first cruise line to make vaccinations compulsory.

Saga also confirmed that as the rollout of the jab is ‘progressing well’, it plans to resume river cruises, escorted tours and hotel stays in early May and two ocean cruises by early June.

The Government is hoping to offer everyone over the age of 50 at least one shot of the vaccine by the end of April.

SAGA has announced that all customers on its cruises and holidays will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Pictured: A Saga river cruise ship in Austria's Wachau Valley

The over-50s travel specialist announced yesterday that holidaymakers must have received both shots at least two weeks before departure. Pictured: The cruise liner Saga Rose leaving Malta's Grand Harbour

But it has stretched the time between vaccine doses to up to 12 weeks.

Speaking to the Mail yesterday, Nick Stace, chief executive of Saga Travel, said: ‘There will be a blanket “no” to boarding.

‘If a guest is not able to get both jabs before their cruise we will move the sailing to a later date, free of charge.’

Addressing the fact that the government is still advising against cruising, he said: ‘It is our customers who prompted this. 98 per cent are saying loud and clear “we want to book” so we listened to them and the 93 percent who said they would feel more assured if other passengers were vaccinated.’

Saga said the policy will be in addition to pre-departure testing in the terminal, reduced capacity, bolstered cleaning regimes and social distancing. Pictured: Library image of a mask-wearing cruise passenger aboard a ship

Saga said the policy will be in addition to pre-departure testing in the terminal, reduced capacity, bolstered cleaning regimes and social distancing.

Passenger Jeremy Powne, 87, from Dorset, said: ‘I have only had my first jab so far but my cruise is not until October. 

'I feel much better knowing everyone will have had the vaccination.’

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