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Negative Covid Test Required


JimmB
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It has always said 1-3 days.  But Viking has taken this CDC recommendation, not mandate, and mandated a two day test.  They are entitled to do so, but I have no idea why they would.  I hope and think Viking will change, amend, the Oct. 28 memo soon.  Hang in there and don’t cancel, if you can bear it.  Viking is a wonderful cruise experience.  

Edited by SantaFe1
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5 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

I had a long productive conversation with Viking customer Service, and a short written conversation with Viking customer service saying antigen test is still accepted for US embarkation.  I hope to see the Oct. 28 memo amended soon.  The telephone conversation was quite apologetic and even annoyed that such a mistake happened.  Said a memo went out this morning, saying either or PCR or antigen.  But he said to keep checking, which I do every day.  And now have a reservation for both tests.  Will do one or the other, but no guarantee of results in two days for the PCR.  

 

I'm not sure of Viking's position on Abbott's ID Now test.  It's labeled as a rapid molecular test and from what I can tell, it falls under the PCR category, is less sensitive than a full-blown PCR test but more sensitive than an antigen test.  Other cruise lines accept it, EVEN HAWAII ACCEPTS IT (and they're picky), it's approved by the FDA and CDC, and the results are 24 hours or less.  Here in Colorado many of the Walgreen's offer it so that's going to be our back-up.  Unfortunately we can't book Walgreen's further out than 4-5 days for any of their tests so we have to wait.  

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The October 28th revised memo is still incorrect regarding the requirement to enter Italy for US citizens. The document says Italy requires a PCR test done 72 hours before arrival in Italy. The Italy Tourism website says: 

  • Present a document certifying that they have performed a molecular or antigenic swab test in the 72 hours prior to arrival in Italy with negative results. The term is reduced to 48 hours for travellers from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This info comes from the link Viking provides in the memo! http://www.italia.it/en/useful-info/covid-19-updates-information-for-tourists.html
 

All Viking has to do is say this is their requirement! Why say the PCR test alone is required by Italy when the source they cite says otherwise?

Edited by rbslos18
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Zelker, I have no real knowledge of this, because I haven’t asked, but Viking has NEVER said they would accept a home test, and I don’t think they will.  Yes, I know how picky Hawaii is.  We canceled a trip in May because of this.  Do you have Aspen urgent care where you are?  They have scheduled us for two days before.

Edited by SantaFe1
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2 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

Zelker, I have no real knowledge of this, because I haven’t asked, but Viking has NEVER said they would accept a home test, and I don’t think they will.  Yes, I know how picky Hawaii is.  We canceled a trip in May because of this.  Do you have Aspen urgent care where you are?  They have scheduled us for two days before.

I asked about doing the BinaxNow Proctored at-home test and got the sense that they have no clue what it is.  But I'm talking about the ID Now test which is done at a location such as Walgreen's under their supervision and turnaround time is less than 24 hours (usually within a couple of hours from what friends told me).  

 

Not aware of Aspen urgent care here but we do have other urgent care companies that offer it.  Are you talking about a regular PCR test and if so, did they guarantee you'd have the results in time?

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12 minutes ago, Squawkman said:

It says 1-3 days, and one of the other links clarified 1 day if not fully vaccinated and 3 days if you are. 

Still can't find that verbiage but no matter. 

 

What I did just read though is this which I find interesting since we're sailing out of Florida and Viking does not have to follow the CSO by "law".  

 

As of July 23, 2021, the CSO and accompanying measures, such as technical instructions, are nonbinding recommendations for cruise ships arriving in, located within, or departing from a port in Florida. CDC is continuing to operate the CSO as a voluntary program for such ships that choose to follow the CSO measures voluntarily.

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No one will guarantee results.  I don’t think a home test is going to be approved, unless you have it in writing fromViking.  But I do think an antigen test is still approved for US embarkation.  I think Aspen is in Colorado too.  Or, see an earlier post with FLL airport rapid PCR tests.  A fallback for us.  No, it just doesn’t need to be this difficult.  
 

just checked.  No Aspen in CO.  Sorry,  maybe drive /fly down to Santa Fe.  Although just gets to be too much trouble, doesn’t it?

Edited by SantaFe1
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5 minutes ago, SantaFe1 said:

No one will guarantee results.  I don’t think a home test is going to be approved, unless you have it in writing fromViking.  But is do think an antigen test is still approved for US embarkation.  I think Aspen is in Colorado too.  Or, see an earlier post with FLL airport rapid PCR tests.  A fallback for us.  No, it just need t be this difficult.  

Agree, I don't think Viking is going to approve the home proctored test which is a shame.  And I hope you're right that they'll accept an antigen test because that is achievable.  Like you, hoping not to wait until we land in FLL to get tested in the late afternoon of the day before we embark.  We have a 10:00 am flight out of Denver so could go to DIA even earlier to get one there I suppose and if it's positive, we get in our car and drive home BUT they charge $250 pp for a rapid PCR test. 😲

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Here is the page from the CDC website which I have been assuming all along is what prompted the requirement for testing 2 days prior to embarkation at US ports.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/covid19-operations-manual-cso.html#testing-of-embarking-and-disembarking-passengers

 

This page indicates "Viral (NAAT or antigen test) no more than 2 days before boarding†" for Fully Vaccinated Passengers at ports impacted by the CDC's Conditional Sail Order.

 

The footnote also outlines how proctored home tests are acceptable as far as the CDC is concerned.

 

And yes, because of lawsuits brought by the state of Florida against the CDC, they say their Conditional Sail Order is now considered voluntary for ports in Florida.

 

Of course whether this agrees with how Viking is looking at all this is another matter altogether.

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Goodness, I do feel for you.  But still, make an appt. for an antigen test, get a rapid result and hope for the best.  You can always get tested in FLL.  I know you will enjoy the cruise.  It’s just all this up front nonsense and conflicting info that is SO annoying.  

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12 minutes ago, bluemarble said:

Here is the page from the CDC website which I have been assuming all along is what prompted the requirement for testing 2 days prior to embarkation at US ports.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/covid19-operations-manual-cso.html#testing-of-embarking-and-disembarking-passengers

 

This page indicates "Viral (NAAT or antigen test) no more than 2 days before boarding†" for Fully Vaccinated Passengers at ports impacted by the CDC's Conditional Sail Order.

 

The footnote also outlines how proctored home tests are acceptable as far as the CDC is concerned.

 

And yes, because of lawsuits brought by the state of Florida against the CDC, they say their Conditional Sail Order is now considered voluntary for ports in Florida.

 

Of course whether this agrees with how Viking is looking at all this is another matter altogether.

Thanks - I knew I had seen that before.  I just noticed that it says "no more than 2 days prior" OR "upon embarkation".  

 

From your link:

 

Screening Testing of All Embarking and Disembarking Passengers for Restricted Voyages
  Not Fully Vaccinated Passengers Fully Vaccinated Passengers
Pre-embarkation Day Testing (including simulated voyages) Viral (NAAT or antigen test)* no more than 3 days before boarding; NAAT is preferred Viral (NAAT or antigen test) no more than 2 days before boarding

OR

Viral test on embarkation day
Embarkation Day Testing Viral (NAAT or antigen test)*; NAAT is preferred

 

Some of the fine print below the table:

 

Cruise ship operators must collect specimens for SARS-CoV-2 viral testing3 as follows, unless passengers are fully vaccinated or have documentation of recovery in the past 90 days:

  • All4 newly embarking passengers on the day of embarkation (testing for fully vaccinated travelers can be performed on day of embarkation in lieu of pre-embarkation day testing).

 

  • Fully vaccinated passengers must present a SARS-CoV-2 negative viral test result at the time of embarkation. The specimen must be taken no more than 2 days before boarding.
    • Fully vaccinated passengers may use a self-test (sometimes referred to as home test)—see specifications in section below.
    • In lieu of testing pre-embarkation day, cruise ship operators may test fully vaccinated passengers on the day of embarkation.

-----------

 

Since Viking is testing us the day we embark, why the need to do both - especially when they legally don't have to do any of this to embark us in Florida?

 

Is it just me or is Viking making this up as they go?

 

Edited by zelker
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30 minutes ago, zelker said:

Thanks - I knew I had seen that before.  I just noticed that it says "no more than 2 days prior" OR "upon embarkation".  

 

From your link:

 

Screening Testing of All Embarking and Disembarking Passengers for Restricted Voyages
  Not Fully Vaccinated Passengers Fully Vaccinated Passengers
Pre-embarkation Day Testing (including simulated voyages) Viral (NAAT or antigen test)* no more than 3 days before boarding; NAAT is preferred Viral (NAAT or antigen test) no more than 2 days before boarding

OR

Viral test on embarkation day
Embarkation Day Testing Viral (NAAT or antigen test)*; NAAT is preferred

 

Some of the fine print below the table:

 

Cruise ship operators must collect specimens for SARS-CoV-2 viral testing3 as follows, unless passengers are fully vaccinated or have documentation of recovery in the past 90 days:

  • All4 newly embarking passengers on the day of embarkation (testing for fully vaccinated travelers can be performed on day of embarkation in lieu of pre-embarkation day testing).

 

  • Fully vaccinated passengers must present a SARS-CoV-2 negative viral test result at the time of embarkation. The specimen must be taken no more than 2 days before boarding.
    • Fully vaccinated passengers may use a self-test (sometimes referred to as home test)—see specifications in section below.
    • In lieu of testing pre-embarkation day, cruise ship operators may test fully vaccinated passengers on the day of embarkation.

-----------

 

Since Viking is testing us the day we embark, why the need to do both - especially when they legally don't have to do any of this to embark us in Florida?

 

Is it just me or is Viking making this up as they go?

 

Zelker, I wish you well.  You only have a couple of weeks.  We have about 8 weeks.   But this is very stressful and it really doesn’t have to be. If I hadn’t  sailed with Viking so many times, I might just want to give up too.  But we will hang in there awhile.  

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Our upcoming Venus Greece Cruise is 11/08 (Monday).  Our flight is 11/05 and the PCR test is 11/03. It says we need a PCR test no more than 72 hrs prior to boarding our OUTBOUND flight. Got that! However, while in flight our results will expire before we land. Do we need to take another test once we land in Greece (which would be Sat 11/06)? I mean it will be evening before even arriving to our hotel. I'm not even sure we would even get results back in time for the Monday cruise.

 

I'm so lost in what is expected of us before boarding. Our group called Viking and they gave them a different answer than what is posted on MYviking Journey. Told them they didn't need one leaving the U.S. flight, but needed one before embarkation on the cruise.  Everything seems to contradict what's written. Anybody on this cruise willing to offer some advice, please?

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1 minute ago, tneah said:

Our upcoming Venus Greece Cruise is 11/08 (Monday).  Our flight is 11/05 and the PCR test is 11/03. It says we need a PCR test no more than 72 hrs prior to boarding our OUTBOUND flight. Got that! However, while in flight our results will expire before we land. Do we need to take another test once we land in Greece (which would be Sat 11/06)? I mean it will be evening before even arriving to our hotel. I'm not even sure we would even get results back in time for the Monday cruise.

 

I'm so lost in what is expected of us before boarding. Our group called Viking and they gave them a different answer than what is posted on MYviking Journey. Told them they didn't need one leaving the U.S. flight, but needed one before embarkation on the cruise.  Everything seems to contradict what's written. Anybody on this cruise willing to offer some advice, please?

Please note that the requirements discussed here today are for US embarkations.  If you are embarking from other ports you will bound by that country’s requirements, or Vikings, which is 72 hours from first flight, I believe.  Good luck to you. The info Viking is giving is just  unnecessarily complicated . 

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1 hour ago, tneah said:

Our upcoming Venus Greece Cruise is 11/08 (Monday).  Our flight is 11/05 and the PCR test is 11/03. It says we need a PCR test no more than 72 hrs prior to boarding our OUTBOUND flight. Got that! However, while in flight our results will expire before we land. Do we need to take another test once we land in Greece (which would be Sat 11/06)? I mean it will be evening before even arriving to our hotel. I'm not even sure we would even get results back in time for the Monday cruise.

 

I'm so lost in what is expected of us before boarding. Our group called Viking and they gave them a different answer than what is posted on MYviking Journey. Told them they didn't need one leaving the U.S. flight, but needed one before embarkation on the cruise.  Everything seems to contradict what's written. Anybody on this cruise willing to offer some advice, please?

No, we are in Greece now, got in last night.  We took our test Monday afternoon, got the results Tuesday (our testing site says 24-48 hour turn around, but they’ve always gotten back to us 24-30 hours after testing).  Left for Athens on Wednesday afternoon and landed Thursday evening.  
 

We DID have to show the Greek PLF (luckily, I had printed out a hard copy as my phone glitched in Athens) to both board our flight in Seattle and exit the airport in Athens. The Greek PLF can have all travelers in the same file and both names must be visible.  The QR code we received was never scanned.  The Greek PLF did not require we upload the negative test, I had a hard copy but no one asked for it anywhere so far.  We did have to show vaccination cards (didn’t need to upload these in the PLF either) frequently.  As we are here 2 full days before we board, we will need to look for another covid PCR before boarding on Sunday.

Edited by Mich3554
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58 minutes ago, Donaghadee said:

It's not you.


Countries are changing requests at a moment’s notice, so everyone needs to pivot quickly.  
Last night on our Lufthansa flight, I was talking to a German flight attendant and this has been particularly rough on them.  

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On 10/16/2021 at 10:31 PM, LindaS272 said:

Sadly, this does not clear up the requirement for our specific situation for our TA Nov. 29 from Barcelona to San Juan. Folks on our roll call are trying to get clarification, but get different answers, and the documentation is still all over the map.

 

Specifically, we (and others on our roll call) are flying from home on Nov. 26, arriving in Barcelona on Nov. 27 (some arrive Nov. 26). The Oct. 15 documentation for our itinerary only says 72 hours before your first flight from home. Elsewhere on MVJ it says 72 hours before first Viking activity. Viking is not clearing this up for those of us not doing a pre-extension. In fact, one Viking agent has communicated to one of our members that we may have to take TWO tests—before first flight and once arriving in the country. Impossible to sort out so far, and I fail to see how a test before first flight meets their other onerous requirement of 72 hours before joining ship when we may have to get a test in Spain and get results before boarding. We fly on the Thanksgiving holiday, and any testing in Spain would be over a weekend. Why is Viking layering on this stuff and not taking care of their clients? Providing inconsistent information in MVJ—which says THREE conflicting things, isn’t helpful at all. One says we strongly RECOMMEND getting a PCR test; one says REQUIRED within 72-hours of first flight; one says REQUIRED 72-hours before first Viking activity. Nowhere does it address the Thanksgiving holiday or the Spanish weekend. And as I’ve mentioned before, their link for PCR testing in my area is worthless. 🤯😤

Did you see that Viking has updated ( 28 Oct) the Spain information on the Resources page? It now does state about what is needed if you are traveling independently . If you can get a test on the 26th ,day you leave the US ,you will be fine to board on the 29th. If not , you will only need to be tested in Spain.  If you are going to do that, I would contact your hotel and see if they can arrange it or give you a local place ( many time a pharmacy in Europe) that can do the test when you need it. 

I certainly agree that Viking has dropped the ball on being clear on this issue and for those in your situation of not having many convenient testing locations waiting for the 7-14 day final Viking email on requirements can be nerve wracking.  I bet you will find it will be easier to get tested in Barcelona ( where they have very good wine to make things a bit less stressful ) 🍷😉

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11 hours ago, SantaFe1 said:

No one will guarantee results.  I don’t think a home test is going to be approved, unless you have it in writing from Viking.  But I do think an antigen test is still approved for US embarkation.  I think Aspen is in Colorado too.  Or, see an earlier post with FLL airport rapid PCR tests.  A fallback for us.  No, it just doesn’t need to be this difficult.  
 

just checked.  No Aspen in CO.  Sorry,  maybe drive /fly down to Santa Fe.  Although just gets to be too much trouble, doesn’t it?

There are multiple reports on websites of proctored home tests meeting the Antigen requirement of European countries. Viking ab initio will only accept PCR tests. Ex post facto my guess is they will not prevent embarkation if one has a negative Antigen test within 48 hours. Thus my strategy is PCR tests 72 and 48 hours before my first flight and a proctored Antigen test 24 hours before our first flight. Surely this whole process could be cleaner and better explained.

Edited by rbslos18
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2 hours ago, vslparis said:

Did you see that Viking has updated ( 28 Oct) the Spain information on the Resources page? It now does state about what is needed if you are traveling independently . If you can get a test on the 26th ,day you leave the US ,you will be fine to board on the 29th. If not , you will only need to be tested in Spain.  If you are going to do that, I would contact your hotel and see if they can arrange it or give you a local place ( many time a pharmacy in Europe) that can do the test when you need it. 

I certainly agree that Viking has dropped the ball on being clear on this issue and for those in your situation of not having many convenient testing locations waiting for the 7-14 day final Viking email on requirements can be nerve wracking.  I bet you will find it will be easier to get tested in Barcelona ( where they have very good wine to make things a bit less stressful ) 🍷😉

We have discussed this thoroughly on our roll call for the TA Nov. 29 on the Sea out of Barcelona. We have spoken with a Viking agent and received verification in writing that we only need to do ONE test within 72 hours before our first flight on Nov. 26. We are testing Nov. 23 and have confirmation from Viking that that is sufficient.

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I just received this from Patricia Twigg from Viking Guest relations in response to my email to tellus@vikingcruises.com last night:

 

"I apologize for the confusion.  I can confirm as of this very moment that a PCR (either Nasal or Saliva) would need to be taken 48 hours before boarding the ship.  We would need either a printed or electronic copy of the results.  

 

Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns as I would be more than happy to assist.  

 

 

Best Regards,

 

Patricia Twigg

Guest Services Department"

 

 

No antigen, no rapid NAAT, no rapid PCR.  Ful-fledged PCR required!

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16 minutes ago, Australia08 said:

No antigen, no rapid NAAT, no rapid PCR.  Ful-fledged PCR required!

And I had written confirmation last night from another Viking customer relations agent in response to my query to Tellus that for US embarkation an antigen test taken 2days before embarkation.would be accepted.  I also had a conversation yesterday in which another agent told me that even if Viking ended up saying it required a 2day PCR test, he was sure Viking would not turn away anyone with a 2 day antigen test, especially since Viking will test us again as soon as we embark.  Who knows. We have an antigen test scheduled two days before embarkation.  We leave from that facility and go straight to the airport. Not a lot of wiggle room.

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