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Viking cruise line is stopping pre cruise Covid tests


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46 minutes ago, Ampurp85 said:

This is not for US or Caribbean based cruises, only European so far.

So hopefully in about 3-6 moths we should see it here in North America. That seems to be the trend so far.....as Europe goes, North America follow months later. 

Although I can pretty much gaurantee it wont change here in Canada for this Alaskan season.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/19/2022 at 7:39 PM, danv3 said:

No, that ended as well.  They went from most restrictive testing regime to least restrictive overnight.  

I think the everyday testing really hurt them. I’ve gotten sooooooooooo many emails from Viking with incredible deals. 

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On 6/16/2022 at 2:08 AM, TheRick said:

I heard Viking Cruise Line is stopping pre cruise Covid testing except where their destinations require it. I wonder if Royal Caribbean will follow suit.

The EU's equivalent to the CDC, the ECDCs relaxed health protocols in as step wise fashion beginning in March of this year. At present very few EU countries have any requirements for proof of vaccination or pre-entry COVID testing to enter them. 

Cruise ships sailing from EU member state's ports follow ECDC's guidelines promulgated through Healthy Gateways, an arm of the ECDC (link below if interested). For all intent and purpose these guidelines for cruise ship operations are identical to those of the CDC's. If you've been watching, the Omicron variants BA-4 and 5 are currently predominating in the EU and in the US and are responsible for increased numbers of infections. To be clear, by other measures such as ED visits, hospitalizations and deaths, most health agencies are not recommending re-instituting prophylactic measures to slow the spread of SARS2. Health agencies have moved from pandemic readiness to emergency readiness to sustainable readiness in the last 9 months. Most prophylactic measures to prevent the spread of SARS2  are now recommendations.

https://www.healthygateways.eu/Portals/0/plcdocs/EUHG_Operational_guidelines_CoV_June2022.pdf?ver=2022-06-10-140149-413

I suspect Viking Cruises in this discussion that no longer require pre-cruise testing are doing so based on "attack rate" (sometimes measured by % positive of R values - rate of increase in new cases) for the ports they are visiting. When they are low there are portions of the Healthy Gateways Guidelines that allow some flexibility in imposing or eliminating mitigation measures for boarding. I suspect Viking and Princess are relying on that flexibility to do away with pre-boarding testing. That could change in a moments notice if attack rates in those ports rise.

I've talked about this before. Cruise ships are unique in their capacity to harbor a COVID outbreak. We've gotten to where we are in the cruising industry by insuring guests and crew members are fully vaccinated and implementing well tested protocols to deal with the unfortunates who do come down with COVID while sailing.  For the most part, few are catching COVID on board and outbreaks (as defined by the CDC) are rare. The reason for that are the steps taken by the CDC and ECDC to reduce spread. You can like them or dislike them but there is some proof in the pudding that is incontrovertible. 

There are cohorts of cruisers that from a risk standpoint shouldn't be hurrying up to eliminate pre-cruise testing or vaccination requirements to board in US or European ports. It is what it is and we seem to be managing returning to normal in the cruise industry pretty well. In the absence of proven screening and surveillance measures we dislike but nonetheless reduce the risk of COVID outbreaks on cruise ships, I'd hate to see public health agencies see rising COVID infections aboard cruise ships, using the detailed reporting that the lines are using, and believe they have to return to more demanding COVID mitigation procedures and policies and convince decision makers that its time to limit cruising again.   

     

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8 hours ago, JeffB said:

.  For the most part, few are catching COVID on board and outbreaks (as defined by the CDC) are rare. The reason for that are the steps taken by the CDC and ECDC to reduce spread. You can like them or dislike them but there is some proof in the pudding that is incontrovertible. 

There are cohorts of cruisers that from a risk standpoint shouldn't be hurrying up to eliminate pre-cruise testing or vaccination requirements to board in US or European ports. It is what it is and we seem to be managing returning to normal in the cruise industry pretty well. In the absence of proven screening and surveillance measures we dislike but nonetheless reduce the risk of COVID outbreaks on cruise ships, I'd hate to see public health agencies see rising COVID infections aboard cruise ships, using the detailed reporting that the lines are using, and believe they have to return to more demanding COVID mitigation procedures and policies and convince decision makers that its time to limit cruising again.   

     

Not sure where you get the info re: few are catching Covid onboard.  Join any Facebook group and you will see the large number of people reporting Covid positive, either onboard or post cruise.  There is no data collected post cruise.  In my opinion Numbers reported in regards to cruise lines/ships are not accurate if they  don’t count those who test positive after disembarkation.  

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Looks like NCL has now dropped pre-cruise testing where no longer required:

 

EU Healthy Gateways Ends Pre-Cruise Testing Requirements

For sailings beginning August 1, 2022, vaccinated guests sailing on a cruise originating from any port EXCEPT a U.S. port; Canadian port; or Piraeus, Greece are exempt from all pre-cruise COVID-19 testing requirements.

 

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16 minutes ago, karl_nj said:

Looks like NCL has now dropped pre-cruise testing where no longer required:

 

EU Healthy Gateways Ends Pre-Cruise Testing Requirements

For sailings beginning August 1, 2022, vaccinated guests sailing on a cruise originating from any port EXCEPT a U.S. port; Canadian port; or Piraeus, Greece are exempt from all pre-cruise COVID-19 testing requirements.

 

YIPPEE  for them !!!!!

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8 hours ago, Pattycruise said:

 In my opinion Numbers reported in regards to cruise lines/ships are not accurate if they  don’t count those who test positive after disembarkation.  

How do you know they got it from the ship if they test positive when they get home? They could have gotten it in the airport, airplane, McDonalds, etc.

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13 minutes ago, Matt said:

How do you know they got it from the ship if they test positive when they get home? They could have gotten it in the airport, airplane, McDonalds, etc.

I keep hearing about people at work that are catching COVID from, uh, I guess somewhere that doesn't involve a vacation.  However, they don't post about it on Facebook, since there isn't a specific Facebook group for people who shopped at Publix some time during the week of June 26th.

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55 minutes ago, Matt said:

How do you know they got it from the ship if they test positive when they get home? They could have gotten it in the airport, airplane, McDonalds, etc.

My wife definitely got Covid on our last cruise, developing symptons on night 8 and testing positive when we arrived home Day 9.  She initially thought she just had a sinus infection.  It really wasn't practical to contact Royal's medical department given the timing.   I previously reported that we wore masks inside the ship and on tour buses except for about 4-5 hours per day eating or having a drink/dancing at Boleros.  We were fully boosted.  To me, this just shows that Covid 19 is very contagious and one doesn't know how susceptible one will be when exposed to it.  I tested negative, but I wasn't sleep-deprived like my wife.

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6 hours ago, Matt said:

How do you know they got it from the ship if they test positive when they get home? They could have gotten it in the airport, airplane, McDonalds, etc.

I questioned the statement  by the poster. “Few are catching Covid onboard”   There is no real way to know those numbers and never  will be. 


In response to your question:  They are testing the day they get home, the next day etc.  not all fly and I don’t think the incubation period is such that testing positive the day they fly home, or the next day lends to it being an airport or McDonalds.  . It’s  amazing how many said they woke up on the last day of the cruise with a headache, or cough, or runny nose etc and tested positive when they got home later that day. 

plenty also reporting they were onboard and thought it was  a  cold  and decided to test when they got home, only to find out they were positive. 

of course they could have contracted it prior to the cruise and then tested positive onboard or upon their return home.   I’ve always said a negative test just means negative at the moment (or the test isn’t picking it up ).  

 

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16 hours ago, Pattycruise said:

Not sure where you get the info re: few are catching Covid onboard.  Join any Facebook group and you will see the large number of people reporting Covid positive, either onboard or post cruise.  There is no data collected post cruise.  In my opinion Numbers reported in regards to cruise lines/ships are not accurate if they  don’t count those who test positive after disembarkation.  

There is also no data collected pre-cruise.  Just because an individual tests negative 2 days prior to boarding does not mean they don't have Covid when they board the ship. If a person develops Covid like symptoms or test positive (remember asymptomatic's)  while onboard or after a cruise it is irresponsible to jump to the conclusion that the only place they could have gotten Covid is onboard the cruise ship.  On our flight down to Miami from Chicago this past week for our weekend cruise 3 night cruise on Freedom I could count on 1 hand how many passengers onboard my 100% full flight were wearing masks and I don't even need all my fingers to count them. According to the CDC the incubation period where a person my have no symptoms at all is now up to 14 days and there is the possibility that an individual could still test negative during that up to 14 day incubation period. With an incubation that now can go up to 14 day it is nearly impossible to say 100% where an individual contracted Covid.

The idea that every person who boards a cruise ship is negative for Covid is a fallacy.  Look at Singapore when Royal was offering cruises to nowhere and all passengers had to present a negative Covid test.  Yet Royal still had to contend with positive cases on multiple cruises (some cruises were cut short other canceled) even though none of those cruises at the time stopped at any ports of call and all passengers were presumed negative pre-cruise based on their negative test.  

Testing people after a cruise unfairly targets the cruise industry and would once again set the cruise industry up to take the brunt of blame for continued spread of Covid.  I understand the need for requiring adults to be 100% vaccinated but pre-cruise Covid testing needs to go away and there is no reason whatsoever to test people post-cruise. 

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After all is said and done, I do feel safer on a cruise ship then at Walmart or a local restaurant.  I do believe most experienced cruisers will continue to cruise.   To offer perspective, imagine those seafarers years ago who discovered the islands to which we now sail.  I don't think they had vaccines, good water, or decent food, but that didn't stop exploration.  Like the Viking commercials on PBS, we remain curious and will take some risk to travel again.  Bon voyage!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I cannot imagine that RC will be far behind NCL in an announcement.  What possible reason do RC have to maintain an additional, unpopular, barrier, that we know doesn't actually stop Covid from getting on the ship, while their competitor gets the upper hand? 

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3 hours ago, Squid said:

I cannot imagine that RC will be far behind NCL in an announcement.  What possible reason do RC have to maintain an additional, unpopular, barrier, that we know doesn't actually stop Covid from getting on the ship, while their competitor gets the upper hand? 

Well, they haven't made an announcement yet.  In fact, I just got an email from them the other day reminding me about the testing requirements before my cruise out of Europe in August.

Perhaps they get a commission from emed and want me to order my tests before they decide to cancel the requirement 🙂

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31 minutes ago, karl_nj said:

Well, they haven't made an announcement yet.  In fact, I just got an email from them the other day reminding me about the testing requirements before my cruise out of Europe in August.

Perhaps they get a commission from emed and want me to order my tests before they decide to cancel the requirement 🙂

"For the fiscal year 2021, Abbott Laboratories reported earnings of US$7.071 billion, with an annual revenue of US$43.075 billion, which grew 24.5% on an organic basis versus the year prior."

 

Exactly!  Follow the money.

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