Saga Holidays, a travel company that specialises in holidays for the over 50s, says customers will have to prove they have had both doses of the Covid vaccine at least two weeks before their holiday.
The firm introduced this policy after a survey of 2,000 customers revealed that they were in favour of compulsory vaccinations and has become the first holiday business to insist that all of its customers must be vaccinated against coronavirus before they embark on its cruises.
Without the jab their customers who have already booked will be offered an alternative date or a full refund.
Saga is scheduled to re-start their operations in May, but it’s not clear whether or not they will be able to do so without problems. They are unsure whether all its customers will have been offered a vaccine by the time of their holiday.
Saga said customers in that position will have options. Their spokesman said:
The latest government guidance suggests that the roll out will be well progressed for our planned return to service, but if for any reason customers need to change their cruise/holiday plans, we will offer them either a different date or a full refund.
Commenting on the compulsory vaccination policy, the UK based company said:
The health and safety of our customers has always been our number one priority at Saga. 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.
The company said the vaccination policy will be in addition to ‘detailed arrangements we have already put in place for when cruises and other holidays restart’.
To ensure as many customers as possible have been vaccinated, Saga has delayed the resumption of ts cruise programme to 4 May, while its touring and river cruise holidays will now restart on May 1 2021.