After Lithuania introduced the obligation for those arriving in the country to have not older than 72 hours. negative coronavirus test, the DFDS initiative allowed Swedish sailors to take the test before boarding the ferry. Opportunities are also being sought to help passengers departing from the German port of Kiel.
"We have responded quickly to the changed requirements and since March 9. DFDS passengers traveling from Sweden to Lithuania have the opportunity to take the test privately just before the trip. This service is especially relevant because some people come across this new requirement unexpectedly, often arriving on the ferry unprepared. It is our duty to ensure that all passengers have a test, so we took the initiative and together with a private laboratory in Karlshamn, close (1.9 km) from the terminal where our ferries moor, we installed a test room, ”says Vaidas Klumbys, DFDS Communications Manager Baltic. countries.
According to a DFDS spokesman, although passenger traffic has now fallen, the flow of people traveling to Sweden and Germany for work remains steady: “Even in the current conditions, travel is taking place, but not all passengers are keeping up with the new requirements. Many passengers had planned their trip even before the introduction of this requirement, perhaps not everyone checks the latest information in the public space or fails to take the test in advance, so this service is very important not only for those arriving in Lithuania and Estonia, but also for those going abroad ”.
At the end of February, the ferry operator DFDS initiated the installation of two test zones in the ports of Klaipeda and Paldiski (Estonia), where passengers were given the opportunity to perform a coronavirus antigen test and obtain a certificate by registering in advance. "We see that the service is really popular both in Lithuania and Estonia, where testing has been going on for a couple of weeks. In response to the need, we and our partners decided to extend the working hours of the testing team, which will work at Klaipeda Central Terminal every day for 2.5 hours. before the journey '.
Viktorija Lapė, Marketing and Sales Manager of the private laboratory providing the service, SYNLAB, summarizing the results of the first weeks of work at Klaipėda Central Terminal, evaluated the experience positively: For many, it is not only the fulfillment of an obligation to enter another country, but also personal reassurance. We provide an answer in less than an hour. Those who remember the test very little before the trip are especially happy - it becomes a salvation for them, because without the test they will not be able to get to the ferry. "
According to Vaidas Klumbis, DFDS ships carry all passengers before the voyage, and those who do not have a qualified certificate and are not on the exempted list are not allowed on the ferry: “Our ferries run between four countries - Lithuania and Sweden, Germany and Estonia and Sweden they have different requirements. However, if we sail where the test is mandatory, we check before the start of the trip whether all passengers have it. "
Qualitative SARS-CoV-2 Antigen tests from a nasopharynx or saliva sample are performed at the central Klaipeda terminal. When performing examinations from saliva, special preparation is required - the patient cannot eat, drink, smoke, take medication for about half an hour before the examination. Nasopharyngeal examinations are not subject to such requirements. COVID-19 qualitative antigen test and certificate in three languages (Lithuanian, English, Russian) The terminal costs 40 EUR. V. Klumbys emphasizes that one of the priorities in organizing the service for DFDS passengers was to ensure that the price of the service was adequate.
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