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23 hours ago, Windsurfboy said:

 

This is not a ban on cruising just FCO advice, but this invalidates insurance for most policies.  However SAGA has the potential to offer an insurance policy that covers you despite FCO advice, they are on sale for land based holidays . Clearly it can't do anything till lockdown is lifted

 

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It is highly unlikely that Saga, as a British company with British registered ships operating from British ports and carrying mainly British passengers, would go against FCO advice, especially as a significant number of passengers may have non Saga insurance.

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47 minutes ago, Kohima said:

It is highly unlikely that Saga, as a British company with British registered ships operating from British ports and carrying mainly British passengers, would go against FCO advice, especially as a significant number of passengers may have non Saga insurance.

 

Clearly  Saga would have to insure everyone.  It clearly  would want to match what ever restrictions on land in UK. If for example  pubs in UK could open   , banning a cruise for which everyone was vaccinated would look irrational.  But if UK is still under say teir 3 with hospitality closed can't see Saga sailing.

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Might be a good idea for Saga to rethink and start with cruises around the UK to see how things work out. It’s quite possible that cruise ships won’t be allowed to dock in some ports abroad anyway.

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1 hour ago, Kohima said:

Might be a good idea for Saga to rethink and start with cruises around the UK to see how things work out. It’s quite possible that cruise ships won’t be allowed to dock in some ports abroad anyway.

 

Definitely the most sensible idea , would think about one if we can't go abroad. 

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We are considering taking our first Saga cruise (we are experienced cruise folk), having just received our first vaccinations, meaning we should be fully vaccinated by mid to late April. We do miss our days onboard and the new Saga ships are very appealing. I agree that ports of call will be very problematic, especially as the traditional round British Isles cruises generally include stops in the Republic of Ireland. A wait and see for us, I think !

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  • 2 weeks later...

When Saga announced this they obviously expected that their customer group would have received the vaccine before they started sailing. However with the extension to 12 weeks for the second jab this now might cause issues.

 

That extension will most likely impact those closer to 50 as they are the last of the vulnerable groups in the UK to be vaccinated, so a refusal to allow someone (say) in the 50 to 55 group to travel because they have only had the first jab will be as a result of their age. It would be interesting to see the legal advice Saga has received to see how they are going to defend age discrimination claims.

 

As Saga allows those over 40 if accompanying someone over 50, then the 40 to 50s will almost certainly not have had both jabs before Saga starts sailing. Therefore a definite age discrimination claim if Saga refuse to allow them to travel.

 

Then you have those for whom the vaccination is not recommended; those who are allergic to the ingredients or those who are pregnant.
 

The first group is extremely small, but nevertheless does exist and refusing to allow them to travel is likely breaching disability discrimination.

 

The second group is unlikely for Saga, but not impossible since as before, they allow those over 40 if accompanying someone over 50, and refusing to allow a 40ish pregnant woman to travel would certainly breach sex discrimination laws.

 

Then you have those who can demonstrate a phobia for injections (not just an ‘anti-vax’ view) which is a recognised medical condition, and again refusing travel is likely to breach disability discrimination laws.

 

It will be interesting what Saga will do when faced with such discrimination claims.
 

Of course Saga is offering a full refund if they won’t let you travel, but would the law consider that sufficient - I doubt it. You don’t get a free pass normally if you refuse service based on discrimination by arguing “well we didn’t charge them”.

 

So what will Saga do? Pay them because it might be cheaper than the impact if they allowed a non-vaccinated person to travel, or quietly make an exception. My money would be on the second option, since as the crew and entertainers are not vaccinated then will the odd unvaccinated passenger make much difference.

 

And finally you have the issue of proving you have been vaccinated. The vaccination record isn’t a document with security features which prevents someone producing a fake, it just a simple document providing information to health professionals. Therefore it would be trivially easy for someone who hasn’t had both jabs and wants to travel to pretend they have by producing a false document. Saga doesn’t have access to your medical records (and I can’t imagine they would be stupid enough to think about asking for them as that would generate far more legal claims) so they either trust the non-secure piece of paper or they don’t. People talk about “vaccination passports” but unless it has the security (and cost) of a real passport then it is worse than useless by giving a false sense of security.

 

Thus at the end of the day this just strikes me as a marketing campaign by Sags to reassure people it is safe to cruise.

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Really?  I don’t think it’s going to be a major issue.  If customers can’t meet the vaccination requirements, Saga will give them  a refund.  They will then be able to book a cruise with another cruise line if they wish.  I can’t see many discrimination cases arising, if any.  People have got better things to do.
 

In any case, until the Foreign office advice changes, there won’t be any cruises from the UK.

 

Let’s try and be positive and look forward to cruising again.

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Pisca

 

You have three issues.

 

Firstly age discrimination,  Saga of could rightly say they are not discriminating by age , they have just said you have to be vaccinated.  They can argue that it is the government that is discriminating by age in the order they are vaccinating people. Obviously the government will say the are protecting the most vunerable first. So this arguement will not hold water.

 

Secondly the people who have a justifiable reason not to be vaccinated, Saga can argue that for health and safety reasons they cannot risk these people's health. Pregnant women are not allowed to bungy jump, no one challenges this

 

Thirdly  proof of vaccination.  This is the trickiest. As you say the cards we get are not secure. I think this is where Saga will have in the early stages to rely on trust that people will not forge these. Given their customer base and the high take up of vaccination in this age group, it's a safe bet. Also who would risk loosing many thousands of pounds turning up with a dodgy forgery. Anyway if 95% of customers are vaccinated and everyone has a negative test before boarding its a safe cruise. Especially for those who have been vaccinated. 

 

 

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I doubt that a claim of discrimination will work, as it would be regarded as "positive discrimination" for the benefit of passengers.

Saga, unlike some, have been impressive with their speed and efficiency refunding customers who want their money back on cancelled cruises, and sure they'll be the same with unvaccinated passengers..

 

I do agree with Pisca that it is very clever marketing from Saga - who, like all holiday companies, are working every possible legal angle to keep the bookings coming in - and every company is trying to reassure people that it is safe. We all have to make our own minds up on that.

 

First (as proven by comments on other forums) anyone reading the mandatory vaccination criteria will take this to mean that everybody on the ship will be vaccinated, so Saga must be safer than anyone else - only on the FAQ on the website does it become clear that there will be a lot of people on board who will not be vaccinated (this would not bother me once I have had my vaccinations, anyway).

Second, Saga say that this is in response to a customer survey, and this is what was wanted -  so cannot be a later claim of discrimination.

Third - if the May cruises are cancelled (which I expect they will be) Saga can blame it on the vaccination programme; I am group 5 (65 to 69) still waiting for my first jab, so there is no way that my 2nd jab will be a minimum of 14 days before any of the May cruises - especially as our local centre has been closed for the last 10 days because of a lack of vaccines.

(OR - being very cynical here - IF a May cruise goes ahead, it will be so empty of passengers that the press invited on board will all be able to report how spacious the ship is..)

 

As far as proof of vaccination goes, that does baffle me slightly - it is only on ocean cruises that proof is required, for Saga land based and  river cruise holidays, customers simply self-declare.

The vaccination card issued by the NHS will be accepted as proof, but they may have to change the terms about 2 doses if the single dose one gets approved.

 

Saga are simply like any cruise line desperately trying to survive, and trying to get an edge to be first choice for booking - if the marketing works, then good luck to them.

 

 

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Saga discriminates on age anyway as only those over 50 (or their companions over 40) can travel with them. As far as I am aware, this has never provoked legal action for age discrimination.

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21 hours ago, Windsurfboy said:

Pisca

 

You have three issues.

 

Firstly age discrimination,  Saga of could rightly say they are not discriminating by age , they have just said you have to be vaccinated.  They can argue that it is the government that is discriminating by age in the order they are vaccinating people. Obviously the government will say the are protecting the most vunerable first. So this arguement will not hold water.

 

Secondly the people who have a justifiable reason not to be vaccinated, Saga can argue that for health and safety reasons they cannot risk these people's health. Pregnant women are not allowed to bungy jump, no one challenges this

 

Thirdly  proof of vaccination.  This is the trickiest. As you say the cards we get are not secure. I think this is where Saga will have in the early stages to rely on trust that people will not forge these. Given their customer base and the high take up of vaccination in this age group, it's a safe bet. Also who would risk loosing many thousands of pounds turning up with a dodgy forgery. Anyway if 95% of customers are vaccinated and everyone has a negative test before boarding its a safe cruise. Especially for those who have been vaccinated. 

 

 

Age discrimination - Saga might be saying that only vaccinated people can travel, but as younger people cannot choose to be vaccinated Sags have applied a restriction which is related to age. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/age-discrimination
 

Pregnant women - men cannot get pregnant, so that is discrimination due to sex. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/sex-discrimination

 

In addition, since the staff and entertainers are not vaccinated then the ‘you must be vaccinated’ is not a safety requirement but just a marketing stunt to persuade people back to cruising by giving the illusion of a safe environment so defending the discrimination will be much harder.
 

The negative test before boarding is part of that marketing stunt as it is a rapid test, and those detect less than half of positive cases, giving a false sense of security - https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4848

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22 hours ago, LandC said:

Really?  I don’t think it’s going to be a major issue.  If customers can’t meet the vaccination requirements, Saga will give them  a refund.  They will then be able to book a cruise with another cruise line if they wish.  I can’t see many discrimination cases arising, if any.  People have got better things to do.
 


I can certainly see some 50ish customers not being happy that they are not allowed to travel on the ‘safe’ cruise they have booked and were looking forward to, and who have been told through no fault of their own that they are not wanted on the trip. As for just giving a refund, anything equivalent which is to be booked at short notice is going to be very hard and more expensive to get something equivalent, so unlikely a court would consider it adequate compensation.

 

Roll up the ‘no win, no fee’ lawyers who sniff a poorly thought out discriminatory marketing stunt and an opportunity for them to make money.

Edited by picsa
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On 2/7/2021 at 12:09 PM, nosapphire said:

As far as proof of vaccination goes, that does baffle me slightly - it is only on ocean cruises that proof is required, for Saga land based and  river cruise holidays, customers simply self-declare.

The vaccination card issued by the NHS will be accepted as proof, but they may have to change the terms about 2 doses if the single dose one gets approved.

 

Nosapphire (and anyone else who's had their vaccination),  what sort of vaccination card have you been given, and did you have to ask for it? My OH has his first jab on Sunday and mine is yet to be arranged, so it would be helpful if we know what to expect. Thank you.

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It's credit card sized, cardboard with name, vaccine type, batch no. and date written on it.

Space for 1st vaccine and 2nd vaccine details.

Pretty easy to replicate IMHO if you had a mind to.

I really can't see this as being sufficient to prove vaccination.

 

Edited by Glenndale
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Not only is the UK ruling out any official Covid passport, I cannot seem them changing the current Foreign Office ruling which makes almost all overseas travel a criminal offence.  As long as that is in force it doesn't matter about the vaccination proof. 

 

I think the UK government is determined to prevent us from going anywhere this year - this means the UK economy will benefit and we won't be bringing back any more nasty variants.

Edited by Fletcher
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3 hours ago, Wacktle said:

Nosapphire (and anyone else who's had their vaccination),  what sort of vaccination card have you been given, and did you have to ask for it? My OH has his first jab on Sunday and mine is yet to be arranged, so it would be helpful if we know what to expect. Thank you.

 

3 hours ago, Glenndale said:

It's credit card sized, cardboard with name, vaccine type, batch no. and date written on it.

Space for 1st vaccine and 2nd vaccine details.

Pretty easy to replicate IMHO if you had a mind to.

I really can't see this as being sufficient to prove vaccination.

 

The FAQ questions on the travel updates section for cruises state:

QUOTE:

How will you check that I have received the vaccine?

You will be required to bring the vaccination document and/or evidence with you as proof at the time of boarding.

END QUOTE.

I take this to mean that the vaccination card as above is sufficient proof.

If unsure, ask Saga directly. You'll still be tested prior to embarkation, anyway.

 

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42 minutes ago, nosapphire said:

 

The FAQ questions on the travel updates section for cruises state:

QUOTE:

How will you check that I have received the vaccine?

You will be required to bring the vaccination document and/or evidence with you as proof at the time of boarding.

END QUOTE.

I take this to mean that the vaccination card as above is sufficient proof.

If unsure, ask Saga directly. You'll still be tested prior to embarkation, anyway.

 

Yes, I've seen their advice, but as I said it is easy to replicate.

I would hope that there will be a better way of authenticating a persons vaccination status.

Unfortunately not everyone is honest.

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2 hours ago, Glenndale said:

Yes, I've seen their advice, but as I said it is easy to replicate.

I would hope that there will be a better way of authenticating a persons vaccination status.

Unfortunately not everyone is honest.

 

I think Saga demographics is not a group if chancers , an honest bunch

 

Clearly Saga would know the age of everyone.  A bit of a filter. They would at end May threfore look carefully at under 70s. They will soon get to know what a real card looks like,  yes they're easy to forge. 

 

But as I said before, who would risk loosing thousands of pounds turning up with a dodgy forgery 

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I read in paper , telegraph,  that it will be legal for employers to have a no jab no job policy under their obligations to have as safe a work place as possible  ,except for the medically exempt. Of course this cant happen until everyone has been offered vaccination. 

 

Don't know if parallels can be made to Saga 

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12 hours ago, picsa said:


I can certainly see some 50ish customers not being happy that they are not allowed to travel on the ‘safe’ cruise they have booked and were looking forward to, and who have been told through no fault of their own that they are not wanted on the trip. As for just giving a refund, anything equivalent which is to be booked at short notice is going to be very hard and more expensive to get something equivalent, so unlikely a court would consider it adequate compensation.

 

Roll up the ‘no win, no fee’ lawyers who sniff a poorly thought out discriminatory marketing stunt and an opportunity for them to make money.

Well, Saga have said that this vaccination requirement is in response to a customer survey of 2,000 customers and 95% wanted this - so they will point out they are simply doing what their customers asked them to do.

I do agree with you that this is more of a marketing ploy than anything useful, but to be fair I think that they will probably offer one of three things, which will be a full refund, an equivalent cruise with no extra payment, or an FCC to be used on a different cruise later on, which will possibly be more expensive.

(This is what they were doing with cancelled cruises - take the money, immediately switch to another offered cruise, or have a credit to be  used later).

 

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4 hours ago, Glenndale said:

Yes, I've seen their advice, but as I said it is easy to replicate.

I would hope that there will be a better way of authenticating a persons vaccination status.

Unfortunately not everyone is honest.

Once I have the vaccination, I would not be too bothered about others being vaccinated. I'm protected, they're not - simple.

IF the May/June/July cruises go ahead, why would anyone worry about passengers having forged vaccination certificates when there are already 500plus un-vaccinated staff and crew on board?

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I see that 95% of 75 to 80s have been vaccinated.  Up take rate much higher than so called experts expected, but not unexpected by real people as i know no one who didnt want to be vaccinated.  This must equate to nearly all fit enough to be vaccinated , and hence to travel. If as I expect this continues with all people of Saga's demographics who tend to be sensible  and  think of both their own health and others ,then what are we worrying about forgeries for.

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The latest moves by the UK government surely means that Saga and all other cruises lines won't be leaving port this year with UK passengers aboard.  

Edited by Fletcher
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