The body representing the British and Irish cruise industry has said the sector will engage with government as part of the new Global Travel Taskforce.

Clia UK & Ireland issued a joint statement with the UK Chamber of Shipping after the timeline for the easing of restrictions was unveiled by the prime minister Boris Johnson in the House of Commons on Monday (February 22).

They welcomed the roadmap and said: “The announcement of next steps leading to a restart of domestic and international travel is welcome.

“The cruise sector will be represented on the new travel taskforce and we look forward to working with Government to plan for a safe restart of cruise this summer.

“The health and safety of passengers will remain our priority and the cruise industry has over the past year been working with government on a detailed set of protocols to allow cruising to resume in a safe way.”

Johnson said a successor to the Global Travel Taskforce will be created by government and report on when international travel might resume by April 12.

Subject to review, the earliest international travel could resume is May 17.

In the 60-page government document outlining the plan to ease restrictions, the section on international travel said: “International travel is particularly important in gateway cities and underpins the competitiveness and global reach of the UK’s national and regional economies, supporting jobs in hospitality, in retail and in our world class museums, theatres and visitor attractions.

“It is also the case that global restrictions have hit airlines, airports, cruise and travel operators particularly hard. The resumption of safe travel will be particularly important for these businesses.”

The guidelines say vaccinations will be a key element in international travel and some cruise lines have said passengers will need proof of inoculation against Covid-19 before boarding.

The taskforce aims to develop a framework “that can facilitate greater inbound and outbound travel as soon as the time is right, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants”.

It will work with UK representatives of the travel sector, including airlines and airports, say the guidelines.