Over 50s tour operator, Saga says it will be writing to all cruise and holiday customers informing them that they must have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before they can travel.
In order to allow people enough time to be fully vaccinated, the tour operator and cruise line says it now plans to restart operations of its hotels, touring and river cruise programmes from 1st May.
Explaining their decision, chief executive officer Chris Simmonds said: “We have welcomed the news that the Covid-19 vaccination programme has started to be rolled out across the country, with many of our customers amongst the first groups of people to be offered the vaccine.
“With this in mind and having spoken with our customers, we want to ensure we are providing the safest possible experience whilst they are on holiday with us. Therefore, we have taken the decision to introduce the requirement that all customers must be fully vaccinated against Covid‑19 at least 14 days before travelling with us.”
He added: “In order to allow our customers enough time to be fully vaccinated, we have decided to extend the suspension of our operations for our hotels, touring and river cruise programmes until 1st May 2021 and will be contacting all customers affected over the coming weeks.
“I know how disappointing this news will be for many of you, but I also hope that you will understand why we have made this decision.”
Cruise holidays with Saga
The same requirement will apply across its cruise programme - customers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 14 days before sailing.
The cruise programme was due to restart on 3rd April with the Spirit of Discovery but it will now begin on 4th May with the Spirit of Adventure’s inaugural voyage. The first cruise of the season on board Spirit of Discovery, Sardinia, will now sail on 2nd June.
Customers will be required to bring the vaccination document and / or proof they are fully inoculated at the time of boarding.
A Saga spokesperson added: “Our customers want the reassurance of the vaccine and to know others travelling with them will be vaccinated too. To allow our customers time to get vaccinated, we are moving the restart date for our travel businesses to May.
“Our new vaccination policy will be in addition to the detailed arrangements we have already put in place for when cruises and other holidays restart.”
For more information visit: www.travel.saga.co.uk