P&O Cruises updates 2021 summer vaccination policy

P&O Cruises has updated its vaccination policy, requiring passengers sailing on board Britannia and Iona this summer to be fully-vaccinated at least 14 days before travelling.

Previously, passengers sailing on P&O Cruises voyages between July 8 and September 24 could receive a second dose seven days before travelling. Those sailing with the line from September 25 onwards already had to have both doses 14 days in advance.

The line resumed operations with a series of British Isles sailings on Britannia on June 27. New flagship Iona is due to sail its maiden voyage next month.

Confirming the updated vaccination policy, P&O Cruises said: “Following evolving scientific and medical advice and the latest understanding of the Delta variant, P&O Cruises has updated its vaccination and testing policy for the series of UK coastal cruises.

“For these cruises the definition of ‘vaccinated’ will now be a minimum of 14 days following the second dose being administered or 14 days following the recently approved single-dose Janssen Covid-19  vaccine being administered. All guests will still also require a negative Covid-19 test at the terminal.”

On Tuesday, MSC Cruises announced that it now required all passengers to be double-jabbed following “the government’s decision” so it could carry more passengers on its British-based ship, MSC Virtuosa, this summer.

The line had initially allowed passengers who had not received the Covid-19 vaccine to sail on Virtuosa when it began its summer season on May 20.

MSC had said this policy was in line with new Department for Transport guidance that allows larger ships to sail at 50% of capacity if all guests are fully-vaccinated. However, this has not been confirmed by the DfT, which still advises that ships operating in British waters can sail with the lower of 1,000 passengers or 50% capacity.

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