Rapid testing site for cruise passengers
Our new COVID-19 testing facility has opened to get travellers cruising safely again from Portsmouth.
We have opened the doors to a new testing facility that will provide Rapid Lateral Flow Antigen Tests near Portsmouth International Port. Throughout August, up to 12,000 passengers are set to sail with Virgin Voyages new Scarlet Lady cruise ship. The newly formed test facility at the Port will provide every traveller with quick, reliable and convenient testing prior to their travels.
As part of their holiday package, cruise ship passengers with Virgin Voyages are required to have two COVID vaccines, and also agree to have a negative antigen test before embarkation.
The new facility is located under two fully equipped marquees which are conveniently accessed via a COVID secure shuttle bus from the Port carpark. On arrival, travellers go through a check-in process and are required to show their vaccine status using the NHS App or vaccination card, as well as going into a testing booth. Passengers then get their results via email 20 minutes later, at the same time as a result notification being displayed in our Test Manager application, confirming whether they can proceed to Virgin Check In and embark the new cruise liner.
Mark Philpott, our CEO said: “We are extremely proud to be working with Virgin Voyages to make quality, efficient COVID-19 testing convenient and reliable for travellers. This not only helps people to cruise in British waters again, it also helps to support the cruise industry and open up more possibilities of international cruising, which was hit hard by the pandemic, and it will provide added revenues to one of our English ports.
“Our system ensures that travellers have a quick and smooth experience when going through the testing process near the port. There is only 20 minutes to wait for Lateral Flow Antigen Test results through our technology, so there is no unnecessary waiting around. A number of ‘Virgin Angels”’ also help support passengers every step of the way through the arrivals and embarkation process.
“It’s great to be able to provide this service to Virgin Voyages and help support them in getting people back out to sea safely again.”
Andrew Williamson, Portsmouth International Port’s passenger operations manager, said:
“The safety of passengers and staff remains our priority, and we want journeys through our port to be as comfortable and easy as possible.
“Portsmouth was the first port in the UK to be independently verified by independent assessors DNV, who graded the new COVID-19 protocols against hospital grade standards.
“We’re delighted to be working with NPH Group and Virgin Voyages on this dedicated testing facility which will ensure a smooth start for sailors boarding Scarlet Lady on the forthcoming Summer Soiree series of cruises from Portsmouth”