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English cruise lines look to mid-May restart date

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Cruise lines are expected to be able to restart domestic voyages from English ports on May 17th, a group of MPs has been told.

The maritime minister, Robert Courts, appeared at a virtual meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Maritime & Group (APPMPG) to confirm the news.

Following the reopening plans laid down last month by prime minister, Boris Johnson, Brits will also be able to resume international travel at the same time.

Courts told MPs that the government is working with the home nations to get UK-wide domestic cruising restarted.

Meanwhile, voyages between English ports look likely to restart on the earliest date proposed for easing many travel restrictions.

Courts said the domestic move would help the cruise industry restore confidence and demonstrate the robustness of their protocols for passengers and crew.

The announcement comes after P&O Cruises, the leading British cruise line, cancelled all its international voyages for the summer and said it would instead run short cruises around the UK.

Almost all cruises worldwide ended a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

A Foreign Office warning against travelling on international cruises has been in force since early March last year.

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