We are excited to announce the newest addition to the Taste Vacations team! Meet Sarah Wohlner, our new marketing and tour operations lead. But she’s no stranger to the Zephyr United world as Sarah joins us from the other business unit in our company, Zephyr Conferences. We think you’ll love Sarah’s passion for travel, calm energy, and attention to detail. Want to know more? Check out the short interview below:
Hi everyone this is Allan Wright. I’m the President and Founder of Zephyr Adventures, Taste Vacations, and Travel Montana and I’m here again to talk to you about COVID for the first time in four months.
Today’s subject is – is it time to start worrying about the next COVID wave now. We know that things are pretty good here in the United States right now but we also know that in some Asian countries, they’re experiencing a bit of a boom in cases and that cases are increasing in many European countries as well. The reason is two-fold really over in Asia. Many of those countries have done such a great job at keeping COVID at bay that the new omicron variants are infecting people who are vaccinated.
In Europe, it’s a little bit different. They are primarily seeing a surge because of this new BA2 variant of the omicron variant of COVID and so we often follow what happens in Europe, in terms of this pandemic are very likely to see a similar increase in cases in the coming weeks and probably lasting for a couple of months until it goes back down again. The question then is is it time to worry and I think the answer is no.
It’s been a while since we hosted a webinar providing an update on the travel industry and the current COVID pandemic. Allan Wright, our Owner and President, hosted an informative and engaging Travel Well Update webinar last night covering the following topics:
Update on the Delta variant for travelers
Our experiences on recent tours
Potential for the EU to drop the US from its “safe travel” list
Whether vaccinated travelers will be exempted from quarantine
Risks of traveling abroad
Procedures for entering back into the US
The Delta Variant has continued to spread across the country and the globe. The United States’ COVID cases have increased exponentially in the last few weeks, with the majority being those who are unvaccinated.
On the European Union Black List
Yesterday Bloomberg News reported, “The European Union will likely discuss reintroducing travel restrictions on visitors from the U.S. next week amid rising coronavirus case numbers. The U.S. has breached the threshold to be included on the list of non-EU countries that enjoy unrestricted travel into the bloc.”
Though not news we welcome, it is what we expected given our current situation. We certainly believe the EU will make the decision to take the United States off their list of countries that can travel without restrictions to EU countries.
Exception for Those Vaccinated?
Non-vaccinated travelers most likely will not be allowed to enter the EU even with a negative COVID test result. Vaccinated travelers may still be able to enter given they show their proof of vaccination, and perhaps even a negative COVID test result.
However, this decision is still up in the air. The European Union has been urging the US to allow vaccinated travelers into the country, yet the US still bans all non-essential travel. So will the EU allow vaccinated travelers to set a good example – or because their tourism industry desperately needs vaccinated Americans? Or will they reciprocate by banning all Americans. We think it most likely they will allow vaccinated Americans into EU on non-essential travel … but we will know more soon.
COVID Test Required?
I recently traveled to Iceland in June with my husband and a COVID test was required even though we were both vaccinated. It was a very small addition to our entry into the country and did not delay our plans at all. Just after going through customs, we entered another line to get a COVID test. The healthcare workers were quick and efficient. We then rented a car and drove to our hotel to wait for our test results as we ate breakfast in our room and rested from the overnight sleepless flight. We each received a text with our negative COVID results after a few hours and headed out the door to start exploring the beautiful city of Reykjavik. This is one possibility for the EU.
Our best guess at this time is the EU will allow vaccinated Americans into the country for leisure travel, possibly with a COVID test required. Of course, if a ban is reinstated for all US travelers, we would most likely reschedule our planned European tours scheduled for the coming months.
We will be watching this news closely and will provide an update as soon as we can.
Please stay safe out there!
The European Union has announced today (5/19/21) that they have agreed to allow quarantine-free travel for vaccinated tourists and visitors from countries considered safe. Travelers who have received vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson will not have to quarantine before or after arriving in Europe. The approval of this proposal will be finalized this week and plans on how this will be rolled out country-by-country are expected to follow. (You can read the full article here.)