Testing at ports paid off
In two months, almost 5,000 people took the opportunity to test at port terminals before the trip by ship, according to DFDS data. Since the end of February, ferry passengers have been able to take a coronavirus test in the ports of Klaipeda, Paldiski (Estonia) and Karlsham (Sweden).
"In February, all states to which DFDS ferries sail introduced a requirement for arrivals to be at least 48 hours old. negative coronavirus test, so together with our partners we made it possible for passengers to be tested before the trip. Currently, this requirement only applies to those sailing to Sweden and whether they return to Lithuania from Germany or Sweden - they are admitted to the ferry only after submitting a document proving a negative test result. The first months show that this service is very popular and necessary, ”says Vaidas Klumbys, DFDS Communications Manager for the Baltic States.
The need for service is growing
According to DFDS data, during the first two months, the opportunity to take the test at the Klaipėda Central Terminal, where the testing point has been operating since February 26, was used by over 1,500 passengers sailing to Sweden or via Germany to other countries. More than 1,100 people have been tested at a testing point in the port of Karlshamn (Sweden), which has been in operation since 9 March. From February 16. 2250 coronavirus tests were performed at a test point in Paldiski port.
According to V. Klumbis, since the beginning of the testing, several positive cases have been confirmed at all test points: “After receiving a positive answer, the passenger cannot continue the trip, but for a certain fee he can move it to a later date convenient for him. Strictly following this rule, we protect the passenger from even greater losses, because, for example, he would be returned from Sweden to Lithuania and would have to pay for the tickets back. ”
Passengers appreciate it
The possibility of a coronavirus test before boarding the ferry is also welcomed by passengers. "People's reaction to the service is good, passengers are satisfied that we make it easier for them to plan their trip, giving them the opportunity to take the test at the terminal. Many of them do not manage to do it before the trip, others do not know, third parties have problems with registration in state systems, ”says V. Klumbys.
A DFDS spokesman notes that much attention still needs to be paid to explaining why such tests are needed: “Some people think a test is a requirement of a ferry company, but that is not true. The requirement to have a negative test has been introduced by the states, and we in turn help passengers meet those requirements so that they can get on the ferry and reach their destination safely. ”
According to V. Klumbis, taking into account the wishes of passengers, the scope of testing at the Central Klaipėda Terminal has been further expanded in recent weeks.