P&O Cruises has announced it will only allow customers who have taken two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine but that those individuals will still be asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.
In order to take cruises which depart in June, travelers will have to prove they’ve had two coronavirus jabs at least a week before departure.
However, despite being protected against the virus, customers are being told they will still have to wear face coverings and follow social distancing rules while on board.
While many have supported making vaccines mandatory for travel in order to get “back to normal,” the announcement that coronavirus restrictions will continue anyway is likely to cause confusion.
“All guests of all ages must be vaccinated to come on board with us”
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) March 17, 2021
The initial expectation was that the vaccine program would end onerous rules surrounding face masks and allow the world to return to something resembling pre-COVID, but now that the public has been conditioned to accept “the new normal,” that seems unlikely.
Paul Ludlow, the president of P&O Cruises, said he expected the UK government would have in place an “accredited scheme to prove your vaccination,” despite 10 Downing Street insisting for months that they weren’t working on such a program.
The wider debate will subsequently shift to whether people will be forced to prove they’ve had the vaccination to engage in domestic leisure activities such as entering a live venue, a cinema or even a pub.
The government has repeatedly assured the public there will be no ‘domestic’ vaccine passport, although that’s exactly what they said about international travel certificates which are now on the verge of being rolled out.