P&O Cruises Australia has revealed passengers will need to show proof of vaccination to board its ships once they begin sailing again.
The cruise line said it would provide guests with further detail on the policy once there was an agreed restart date for domestic cruising; however, the broad intent was to require proof of vaccination for those in the population eligible to be vaccinated at the time.
In the absence of an agreed pathway for the resumption of domestic cruising, P&O Cruises Australia president Sture Myrmell said it was unclear how long it would require vaccinated-only cruises.
“We expect that P&O’s vaccination-only policy for guests and crew would provide further reassurance for local authorities in working with the sector in developing protocols for resuming domestic cruise holidays,” he said.
“We anticipate this policy will be in place until governments and public health authorities advise the broader community it has achieved the required public health outcomes and/or provides direction on public health management in the post-vaccination phase.”
The cruise line is pinning its hopes for a resumption of cruising on governments promising expanded freedoms based on vaccine rates.
“Governments have been connecting vaccination rates to plans to end lockdowns, border restrictions and, ultimately, re-opening Australia,” Myrmell said.
“In addition, our research shows that the vast majority of our guests want to cruise with other vaccinated Australians.
“P&O’s vaccination policy is an indication that everything possible is being done to support the resumption of cruising in a way that provides further reassurance for our guests and the authorities that public health and wellbeing are our top priority.”
The cruise industry has been pushing to work with Australian governments and public health authorities since last October to agree on a pathway for the resumption of cruising within Australia for Australian residents.
P&O’s announcement comes shortly after the Cruise Lines Industry Association released its own four-phase pathway towards the resumption of cruising.
In line with its flexible booking policies, P&O said any guest who wishes to cancel their cruise due to the vaccination policy will receive a full refund.
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