Viking Drops Pre-Departure and Daily COVID-19 Tests

Viking Star

Viking is adjusting COVID-19 testing policies on its ocean, river and expedition ships.

On June 11, the luxury cruise line discontinued daily testing for guests onboard and also dropped the requirement of pre-departure tests.

According to a statement published on the company’s website, the decision follows a change in travel requirements published by the U.S. government.

On June 10, 2022, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that a negative test for COVID-19 will no longer be a requirement for air travelers entering the country.

“Therefore, effective immediately, Viking will discontinue all on board COVID testing fleetwide,” the cruise line said in the statement.

Tests will continue to be provided to guests who report symptoms or when deemed necessary by the ships’ medical teams, the company explained, and will also be available upon request.

“Additionally, Viking highly recommends, but no longer requires, a pre-departure COVID-19 test – unless one is required by the destination,” the statement continued, noting that selected voyages on the Viking Orion and on the Viking Octantis in the United States and Canada will continue to require pre-departure testing.

Viking’s vaccine mandate for all guests and crew remains in place, while, for the time being, crew members will keep testing as needed and will wear masks at all times.

“We are proud of the approach we have taken to operate in COVID times. In March 2020, we were the first cruise line to suspend operations until we could get a better understanding of the nature of the virus,” Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said in a video update.

“We were also the first and, as far as I know, the only cruise line to install full scale PCR labs on our ocean ships,” he added.

With the laboratories, Viking had been carrying out daily PCR testing on all guests and all crew since restarting operations in May 2021.

According to Hagen, by isolating positive cases, the brand hasn’t recorded any COVID-19 outbreak aboard is ships ever since.

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