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COVID protocols traveling Egypt/Jordan/Israel March 2022

Our tour to Egypt/Jordan/Israel has been rescheduled 3 times due to COVID, but looks like it is finally on for March 2022.
With all the breakthrough cases of Omicron in fully vaccinated and boosted folks, I am a bit nervous about all the entries into different countries and the possibility of testing positive and being required to quarantine overseas for 14 days. We are touring with Blue Sky, it looks like a group of 60. Has anyone recently traveled, and what was your experience with the PCR testing between countries?

I'm debating whether to cancel or forge ahead. I would lose my cost of this trip since travel insurance only covers major medical.

Posted by
5648 posts

I haven’t traveled since October, and we’re still waiting to see whether our postponed African safari trip happens this April. That’d be a small group, just 13 or 14 customers, plus guides, drivers, boat crew, etc. While I can’t offer direct, recent experience with multiple-country travel, i wonder whether there are things in place to lessen your nervousness. Are you vaccinated/boosted? That’s the single biggest thing you can do in your favor, to enjoy and successfully do your tour. And, even with a group of 60, what steps has the tour company arranged to ensure everyone’s health and safety, as well as maintaining their business? Will all your fellow tour companions definitely be vaccinated? Extra procedures being taken, and enforced, to help ensure that no one gets an unanticipated positive test, with a quarantine to boot?

If your money has already been spent, regardless of whether you do or don’t go, then that shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Go, unless it’s clear that going is too big a risk. But make sure it’s clear the risk is great. Be happy with your decision, either way, and travel when it’s feasible.

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you, I appreciate your insight. We are vaccinated and boosted, but about 1/3 of my vaccinated friends have had breakthrough cases with Omicron. I am waiting to hear on the final iteniary , since Israel requires a quarantine while waiting for PCR test results I want to be sure our schedule isn’t impacted too much. Your Africa trip sounds great, good luck!

Posted by
20 posts

Hi,

We are leaving on a 17 day tour with Gate 1 travel on March 22 to Egypt and Jordan. We are vaxed and boosted and excited to go. I ordered a supply of t he N95 masks to take. I ordered mummy tummy meds (my biggest fear). As of right now we do not need to test before we go. I ordered the Bionaxnow at home covid tests with telemed for when we come home.

We will not be the first to do the tour with gate

Posted by
20 posts

oops, must have hit send. We are not the first of this tour this year with gate1. I feel Egypt will be a challenge anyway in non covid times, so we are just going to go with it. you should too!

Cathy

Posted by
5630 posts

Recommendations for touring in Egypt.

1) Never drink anything, water, beer, etc. unless you open the bottle.

2) Only dine at 4 star hotel or equivalent restaurants. Absolutely no street food.

Posted by
9 posts

We decided to go ahead, and got a second COVID booster for good measure and peace of mind. Egypt wAs a wonderful experience, our tour group ended up being with only one other couple since many canceled. We had an Egyptologist with us the whole time, the educational experience was amazing. The Egyptian people are so kind and helpful, traffic in Cairo was the only scary thing! Then we went to Jordan and met up with four others to tour Petra and Wadi Rum. The crowds were very small, now is a good time to go! Again, Jordanian people were very good to us. We took a PCR test in Jordan, this came back negative. Then to Israel. Israelis are far less friendly and helpful, we encountered problems with the declaration forms( it turns out the confirmation goes to junk mail and is in Hebrew). It took us a couple of hours to figure this out! Our guide met us after our 3rd COVID test on this trip, a Palestinian Christian who took us on the way to Jerusalem past the Jordan river, Jericho and Bethlehem. His explanation of the biblical history in the area brought tears to our eyes. Then my husband received his result (in Hebrew under junk mail). Positive! After 4 shots of pfizer and wearing masks on planes, museums and shops, he still got Omicron. We are in quarantine, I believe our mistake was not wearing masks on our travel van in Jordan. Be careful, get travel insurance. My husband has no symptoms which is good but unless you’ve already had Omicron, I don’t recommend the hassle of coming to Israel.

Posted by
455 posts

Visiting multiple countries certainly complicates things.

I was in Egypt and Turkey for four weeks last fall --- before Omicron. Basically, I had to have a PCR test before every departure. Egypt will not accept CDC vaccination cards. The one gotcha was that Egypt requires a QR code on the PCR test results. My traveling companion almost didn't make it onto the plane for Egypt because her PCR result did not have a QR code printed on it.

The good news was that it was easy to arrange PCR tests in both Egypt and Turkey.

We were on a private tour (just the two of us, our guide and driver) in Egypt and traveling solo in Turkey, and so we didn't have any worries about crowded buses or vans.

Posted by
5630 posts

If Egypt doesn't accept the CDC card, what does it accept for proof of vaccination?

Or does it not require vaccination at all?

Posted by
9 posts

We were vaxxed and boosted but without QR code so we had to present a negative antigen test result taken within 72 hrs that had a QR code. We finally found a small private lab to do this for us, but it is expensive, insurance was not accepted.

Posted by
20 posts

Jarret, can you share your guides info for Israel. I am crossing into 'Eilat in few days.

Posted by
9 posts

We just got home . We crossed from Jordan to Israel via the Allensby bridge. They require you to fill out a paperwork via a very buggy and user unfriendly app. With required fields being in Hebrew. I ended up just randomly selecting something from the drop down field to get through it. Check for your confirmation in Jink mail, it will be in Hebrew. You need this to get past security then a PCR test. Communication and directions were very problematic, when my husband tested positive the military had us seepage and quarantine separately in Tel Aviv. Initially we were told 5 days, then when he was still positive (but asymptomatic) 7 days. They released him at day 8. But then United airlines wouldn’t let him on the flight, they wanted proof of an eleven day quarantine. We rebooked 3 times due to all this changing information,, be sure you have good pandemic coverage on your insurance! Our guide was Raed with Bridge Travel. He was exceptional, we hope someday to try to finish our tour with him.

Posted by
20 posts

sorry to hear all the troubles you had. happy to hear you reached back. would you mind sharing the insurance name that you used and approximate premium you paid

Posted by
9 posts

Allianz, around 1200. I thought that was high, but now so glad we signed up for it. We have used them before, and they were good about refunding a trip 5 yrs ago I needed to cancel when my mother went into hospice care. Hopefully they will be just as good for this trip, I'm still gathering receipts

Posted by
80 posts

@jarrett.cathy

i got a tour for Jordan and i am considering going to Israel afterwards for a week
how did you travel from Jordan to Israel ? pre covid there was a bus i was thinking of taking
from your post i need a pcr test to enter?
i have a day to decide if i am going on the trip so scrambling to figure it out

Posted by
9 posts

After our visit to Petra, our travel agent arranged a PCR test the day before entry to Israel per their requirement (they did a rapid PCR about 30$ pp.). Results came back in several hours as negative. Next morning our Jordan driver took us to the Allensby Bridge crossing where we took a shuttle across. After security check, paying for a pass to enter, another PCR test was required. 2 of the 6 folks in our group tested positive with time. The "good" thing is that Israel will pick up the cost of quarantine, so no charge for the COVID hotel or the brown bag meal deliveries. But the cost of transportation to get to Tel Aviv COVID hotel, and last minute rebooking (several times due to changing requirements) was very high. With this new BA.2 variant surging abroad that hits even vaccinated folks, I would not try going without travel insurance. I would say Jordan is far more relaxed than Israel also, it was a great time to go to the Wadi Rum and Petra - no crowds at all and the people are so happy to have tourists back. Also - be sure to double check exit criteria if you test positive for the airline you are traveling on, when we left they were not requiring a Covid test if you were fully vaccinated , 10 days later they were requiring an 11 day quarantine just to get on the plane.

Posted by
1910 posts

That is good to hear about Jordan, since I will be there next month.:) I have really enjoyed traveling without crowds over the past year and Petra with no crowds sounds amazing.

Posted by
5630 posts

We just received our boosters and asked about the QR code. No one knew what it was. Could it be those scalable boxes that you use your phone to see a document?

What is the connection of a QR code to proof of vaccination?