International cruises will be permitted to resume departing and arriving in England.

As part of a swathe of announcements regarding travel, transport secretary Grant Shapps announced the latest rules last night.

England is also to allow US and EU travellers who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter without the need to quarantine.

The new rules will be in place from 4am on Monday August 2.

The Cabinet minister said: “We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK.”

Ships operating in England are currently restricted to domestic sailings.

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P&O Cruises and Cunard has welcomed the UK Government’s announcement as the new ship Iona gets ready to sail its maiden voyage next Saturday August 7.

See inside P&O's Iona, based at Southampton Port

The company’s international cruise holidays are set to start from September 25.

Cunard’s first UK cruise will sail on August 13 with international cruises beginning in October.

Both companies have a framework of enhanced protocols which go beyond any other travel sector to protect the health and wellbeing of all on board.

Carnival UK president Simon Palethorpe said: “We are delighted that the work done by the cruise industry over the past 18 months has been recognised and we are now able to resume international cruising. 

“Whilst our guests are so pleased to be back on board for the current series of UK coastal cruises there is certainly demand to travel abroad with us, knowing they have the reassurance of our health protocols.

“It has been an exceptionally difficult and challenging time for the global cruise industry but this news marks the beginning of a new start and one which will be welcomed by our crew, our guests and the UK economy.”