Virgin Voyages will remove the requirement for pre-embarkation COVID-19 testing but will keep the vaccine requirement in place for the time being.
The move comes as the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention ended its voluntary COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships. Virgin Voyages said it "will continue to consider recommendations set forth by the organization, while also adhering to the industry policies outlined by the Cruise Lines International Association."
Virgin said it will "mirror the rest of the travel industry in removing pre-embarkation testing for sailings from July 24 on European Union sailings, and from July 27 on U.S. sailings."
Vaccine requirements will remain for both Scarlet Lady, operating out of the U.S., and Valiant Lady in the E.U. Virgin Voyages is currently evaluating this policy and will announce further updates in the near future.
For U.S. sailings, passenger vaccination requirements will now be marked at 90 percent. This means passengers who are not vaccinated can contact Virgin Voyages' Sailor Services to book a cruise if these thresholds are met.
Ship crew on all U.S. and E.U. sailings will continue to be fully vaccinated.
Other well-being measures implemented during the pandemic will be maintained, including enhanced air purification systems and deep cleaning/sanitization.
"Along with the rest of the cruise industry, the brand welcomes the update and autonomy that has been afforded the rest of the travel sector over the past several years," Virgin Voyages said in a statement. "The news comes as the cruise industry continues to regain post-pandemic momentum.
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