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Saga will require vaccine from all passengers

Cruise operator Saga has said that all customers travelling this summer must be vaccinated.

The over-50s travel firm has seen a spike in bookings since the vaccine began being rolled out. The group will require passengers to have both shots of the vaccine at least 14 days before travel as well as provide a negative Covid test at departure.

“The health and safety of our customers has always been our number one priority at Saga, so we have taken the decision to require everyone travelling with us to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19,” said a Saga spokesperson. “Our customers want the reassurance of the vaccine and to know others travelling with them will be vaccinated too.”

Nick Stace, chief executive of Saga’s travel arm, commented: “Given that many of our customers are in the priority age range and we’ve done calculations based on what government has said, we think shortly after beginning of May almost all of customers will have received a second vaccination.”

The group has delayed tours until 4 May. Saga polled 2,000 customers and found 98% of them in favour of the move. The UK government has said that everyone over 70 in the UK would have had their first vaccination by mid-February.

The move comes as the global airline body Iata called on governments to allow those who had been vaccinated to freely travel. Alexandre de Juniac is the director general and said: “For travel and tourism, testing is the immediate solution to reopen borders. And eventually that will transition to vaccine requirements.”

Over the past six months, Saga has seen its share price fall by over 50%. In the six months to the end of July 2020, the group fell from a profit of £52.6m to a loss of £55m.

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