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Travel Tips

Omicron Variant

How to Fly Safely During COVID & Omicron

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We have not recovered from the Delta variant yet, only to enter a new phase with the onset of the Omicron variant. While we don’t yet know whether the new variant is more severe (the initial evidence is that it is not) or whether it can more easily get around the vaccines, we do know it is much more infectious.

Many of you are likely considering a flight for the upcoming holidays or for a winter vacation. After all, news outlets (and we at Taste Vacations) have been talking about living with the pandemic and moving on with our lives. So how do you fly safely during COVID, especially with the more contagious Omicron variant?

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COVID Vaccine Card

Changes to Europe Travel Restrictions

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Today, August 30, the EU made a non-binding recommendation to its member countries to ban non-essential travel from a handful of countries, including the United States.

The EU had added the US to its “safe travel” list in June but, because of increasing COVID cases, the US was really outside the parameters of that list for the past month or so. This move had been expected.

Because the EU decision today is non-binding, it will be up to each country to determine its own rules and there are excellent indications vaccinated travelers will continue to be allowed.

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What Travel Looks Like Right Now

What Travel Looks Like Right Now

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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

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EU to Discuss Reinstating Travel Restrictions on US Citizens

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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!

Make It Easier To Travel After Covid 19 Pandemic

7 Things To Do Now To Make It Easier To Travel After COVID-19 Pandemic

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We’ve been cooped up inside for months just itching to travel as soon as it is safe. Though some destinations have begun to open up to tourism, it will be some time until we can travel as freely as we once did. But don’t fret, even though you may feel like you are in traveler limbo, research has shown that just planning and anticipating a future trip can significantly boost your happiness levels.

To help you be as ready to set sail as soon as the coast is clear, we’ve compiled a list of to-do’s that you can complete now to make it easier for you to travel after the COVID-19 pandemic:

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