Newcastle, UK-based occupational health and wellbeing company, NPH Group, has won a contract to supply onsite and offsite COVID-19 testing services to Virgin Voyages.
This contract comes ahead of the launch of two new vessels, ‘Valiant Lady’ and ‘Resilient Lady, in the UK and Mediterranean, respectively.
The partnership will see NPH Group elevate the safety of cruises from UK ports of Portsmouth, Tilbury, and Liverpool between March and May, 2022, including the final departure for Barcelona and Athens, from where the new vessels will operate.
There will be around 22,000 seafarers on board the vessels and they will all be able to utilise NPH Group’s postal and supervised self-testing kits and mobile technology to reduce the risk of contracting COVID and becoming unwell while on board or bringing the virus home upon their return.
NPH Group CEO, Mark Philpott (pictured), said: “It’s fantastic to see Virgin Voyages truly put health and wellbeing first. It’s what we strive to work toward with all of our partners.
“Despite the end of COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, the virus is still present, and I don’t think anyone wants to see another surge in cases. The onus to keep people safe is now in the hands of businesses and individuals.
“Our goal remains to be a partner that assists in keeping everyone safe. It will hopefully help ease passenger worries knowing that all aboard have been tested so they are safe and able to enjoy an amazing holiday,” he said.
This is the second occasion that Virgin Voyages has selected NPH Group to provide its testing services. In 2021, the Group was contracted to supply rapid lateral flow tests to a location near Portsmouth International Port, which allowed passengers boarding Virgin Voyages’ ‘Scarlet Lady’ to be tested beforehand.
Michelle Bentubo, Virgin Voyages’ Senior Vice President of people, culture and travel operations, added: “NPH has been a trusted partner of ours since going into operation and we’re thankful for the team’s expertise and diligence.
“The health and wellbeing of our sailors and crew will always be our top priority and working with NPH is an important element,” she said.
NPH Group was established in 2013 as an occupational health business, delivering services, such as health screening and surveillance to a range of businesses to maintain and monitor employee wellbeing.
Recognising the increased need for COVID-19 testing during the pandemic, NPH Group joined forces with MDNA Life Sciences and BHA Medical to supply an end-to-end testing model, which was quickly adopted by major UK airports, including Newcastle International and Leeds Bradford.