Today I was pleased to speak on in the House about the need to get the Cruise industry moving after more than a year of not being able to sail.
For a maritime nation such as ourselves, the impact of COVID19 on the cruise sector has been seismic with a massive loss of capacity in the industry, operators have gone to the wall, ships have been scrapped. but we really need to get this sector going again.
At this time, the Foreign Office treats cruising as it would a country, it is actually not allowing international cruising and really, we should be thinking about cruise ships not as a destination which is how the Foreign Office advice is working but as a method of travel. Ships are very flexible methods of travel safe country is on itinerary and goes onto the red list the ship could simply go somewhere else. There are incredibly sophisticated COVID secure measures now in place, and there is no reason why they cannot get going again
This is an industry which is the great British success story and have done everything that was asked of them. My message now is to the Foreign Office, to the Department of Health and the Chief Medical Officer particularly, give this sector break and let's get our ships back sailing on the seas where they belong.