Scotland closes ports to cruise ships despite progress in controlling COVID

   June 10, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

An MSC ship refused docking permission in Scotland was allowed to disembark passengers at Belfast Ireland.

Hundreds of travellers from across the UK set sail on MSC Virtuosa, which left Liverpool England on Tuesday, June 8, and was scheduled to dock at Greenock-Glasgow Scotland on Wednesday morning, June 9. However, the boat didn't dock after the Scottish Government said it wouldn't allow passengers to leave her because of COVID fears.

A Cruise Belfast spokesman confirmed the tourists would be allowed to leave when the ship arrives in Port Belfast on June 17.

The 7-night voyage is also due to call in Southampton UK and the Isle of Portland (Weymouth, Dorset England) prior to returning to Greenock, where travelers may well get a warmer welcome in case the restrictions are at Level One.

According to a Scottish Government spokesman, the refusal was based on the transmission risks posed by cruise ships and uncertainties around the new Delta variant.

MSC Virtuosa cruise ship

In a last-minute decision, the Government of Scotland announced on Tuesday, June 8, that it had decided to keep its ports closed to cruise ships at this time despite progress in controlling COVID. The decision came just a day before the first large ship in the UK’s summer cruise restart program was scheduled to arrive in Greenock.