Virgin Voyages drops COVID-vaccination mandate for passengers

   September 15, 2022 ,   Cruise Industry

In line with other major cruise shipping companies, Virgin Voyages will also drop its COVID-vaccination requirement fleetwide.

The company's Voyage Well health & safety website (virginvoyages.com/voyage-well) said that in accordance with the industry's standards and with the USA CDC's consideration and guidance, Virgin is adjusting the health & safety protocols.

From September 18, unvaccinated passengers will be able to sail on Valiant Lady. The ship is currently deployed in Europe but will be relocated to Florida USA (PortMiami) in mid-October (RepositionCruises.com).

From September 21, the same will apply to passengers boarding the fleetmate Scarlet Lady (also homeported in Miami).

In order to sail, unvaccinated tourists must still show a negative COVID test result. It must be taken within 72 hours of the cruise date, or they can take a test at the cruise ship terminal for US$30.

Currently, Virgin sails with 90% of its passengers vaccinated, which leaves 10% of each voyage's capacity open to unvaccinated guests. However, as it is percentage controlled, unvaccinated passengers were not guaranteed a booking and had to call the company to book.

Opening up all travel to unvaccinated travelers with no percentage to meet makes it easier for unvaccinated vacationers to book and know immediately they have a guaranteed reservation.

Valiant Lady cruise ship

Back in July, Virgin was the first USA-based cruise company to waive the COVID testing requirement. However, it reinstated that requirement for unvaccinated passengers now that it has opened up all its voyages to them without restrictions.

 The vaccination mandate is still in place for the crew.

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