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  • The Scottish Government has cited "unknowns around the new Delta variant" in its decision to ban cruise ships from docking

    The cruise ship MSC Virtuosa was yesterday prohibited from visiting Greenock port, with the Government later confirming that all cruise ships will be banned until the country’s alert level is downgraded. 

    A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: "This decision has been informed by the combination of risks that exist between both cruises and the wider travel context, including the current trajectory of Covid infections and the unknowns around the new Delta variant, in addition to the potential for high risk of uncontained rapid transmission on the cruise."  

    Although the ship can carry more than 6,000 passengers, it has just under 900 currently on board to allow for social distancing measures. All the passengers are UK residents, fully vaccinated, and recently tested negative.

    The Government said it "fully understood" the impact of its decision on the cruise industry. "We explained our concerns about the transmission risks posed by cruise vessels in an update to industry on the 24 May and confirmed that we would clarify the position in June," added the spokesperson.

    "Following extensive engagement with stakeholders, we have now confirmed that domestic cruises can restart when all of Scotland reaches level one."

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