A MUM has blasted a cruise ship company for “discriminating” against children by demanding youngsters have a coronavirus vaccine prior to traveling.

Lesley Motion has been left angry and “in disbelief” by Cunard Cruises policy which states all passengers must have had both doses of an approved Covid-19 jag at least seven days before boarding the ship.

The rule applies to a series of new UK voyages on the Queen Elizabeth vessel for those seeking a staycation later this summer, as well as similar trips run by P&O Cruises.

Ms Motion, from the West End, planned to travel alongside her husband and three-year-old son, as she has done several times before.

However, the policy - which applies to all passengers, including pregnant women and other adults medically advised not to be vaccinated - will put a halt to her plans.

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The 43-year-old said: “I was told they aren’t saying children can’t go, but they have to be vaccinated - yet there are no vaccines available for children.

“There’s no difference between unvaccinated crew members and children or pregnant women. It’s discrimination.

“We should have been able to go but we’re being penalised because we have an under three who can’t be vaccinated.”

She added: “If they were to do this to another age group, people would be saying something.”

Ms Motion questioned the “hypocritical” rule which allows staff to board the vessel without a vaccine when passengers cannot.

It comes as the question of vaccine passports is becoming increasingly discussed among government officials.

Currently, children have not been advised to take a coronavirus vaccine, however, trials are underway to determine their safety for under 18s.

A spokeswoman said: “We are extremely sorry that Ms Motion is unable to join one of our UK sailings this summer.

“All other Cunard voyages currently on sale, other than our UK voyages this summer, do not require guests to be vaccinated. We are extremely sorry to any guests who are unable to join one of our UK voyages this summer. Our vaccination policy for our summer UK sailings has been implemented following guest feedback and guidance from our global medical and public health experts and scientists.

“We absolutely love having children on board, we have amazing children’s clubs and this policy is just for these initial coastal cruises as we resume sailing this summer.

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“This is just the first phase but as we return to full service with our normal sailings in the future, once international restrictions lift, and once we get new guidance from the Government departments, for all future cruises we cannot wait to welcome back families.

“Crew will undergo a strict testing and quarantine regime as well as regular testing during their time on board. Our protocols are subject to change, as we will continue to work with our experts and with government bodies to ensure all of our practices evolve in line with latest advice, with our primary focus always being to protect the health and wellbeing of our crew and guests and the communities we visit.”