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Europe Covid situation July 12

Left US for London June 29, traveled to Paris July 3 to join Best of Paris tour July 10, my wife tested positive July 7, I tested positive July 11. Tour plans obviously cancelled. As for last 2 ½ years, we are quite diligent - vaccinations, masks, distancing, disinfecting - and had escaped Covid prior to trip. There is simply too much Covid over here, too many people using transportation and visiting sites, and way too much complacence. We really wanted to resume traveling again but this was a mistake. Ignoring for a moment the health risks of Covid, the anxiety of being sick in a foreign country, the disruption to travel plans, and the resultant increase in expenses definitely outweigh any pleasures of travel. Read Cameron's blog for more detail. We have cancelled remaining Europe trip later this year and will just have to see how this all plays out.

Posted by
6113 posts

Sorry about your trip. Hopefully your Covid symptoms are not severe - I know of several people who have been quite unwell over the past few months.

“Too many people using transport and visiting sites”? That’s exactly what you were doing! Tourism levels are up significantly in most parts of Europe as people want to restart their lives.

I and most of my friends have managed to avoid Covid for the past 2.5 years, so it is possible to travel and not get infected. I have just returned from a 7 week trip to France, where Covid levels are rising rapidly and there is even less mask wearing and hand sanitising than in the U.K.. I didn’t catch Covid, but I had my own car not public transport (other than planes, I haven’t used trains or buses since before the pandemic started), I had my own self contained accommodation (I wouldn’t currently stay in hotels), I only ate outdoors and the focus was on seeing the countryside and coast, so few museums and no cities. It just means a different kind of trip.

Posted by
945 posts

I am so sorry that you and your wife have covid and have had to discontinue your tour. I must say this: masking worked for us. We returned over two weeks ago from two weeks in England and masked everywhere even while walking outside--people going past us breathed our way. It was never a burden. Traveling in the summer months and early fall are the best times because of eating outdoors.

We are going to France and Spain for three weeks starting early October. I believe that we will still be able to eat outdoors. I'm wishing you the best.

Posted by
8651 posts

I am so sorry that you both came down with Covid and it disrupted your travel plans so significantly. It is hard to wait so long to travel and then have your expectations and reality fall so far apart. I wish you both a speedy recovery. If there is any way people on the forum can help by finding information for you, please don't hesitate to ask.

What were your expectations prior to the trip? The reason I ask is that if you were expecting people to be taking Covid precautions in the UK, it must have been quite a shock when it didn't happen. They have chosen to treat this as an endemic vs. pandemic and that is the type of information that a visitor needs to be aware of prior to going to a country. I am not criticizing their approach, only acknowledging that it is different and when you visit a place that is following a different viewpoint you must simply accept it and do the best you can. What you considered "complacence" was simply a different approach to the Covid situation than we are familiar with or often comfortable with.

I don't think you are alone in finding that the risks were more than you expected. It is heartbreaking every time we hear of people becoming positive and having their dream vacations disrupted. I head out for a month in September and I am trying to have a realistic view of the challenges. Your kindness in sharing helps temper my expectations.

Posted by
122 posts

I have to say that the rising levels of infection in Europe have caused me a lot of concern and we are not planning a trip right now. While we could afford to lose the money if plans had to be cancelled, the stress of worry the entire time is what sealed the decision to delay for us.
I have never been to Italy and want to go, so thought a tour would “ take care of the logistics easier”. But kicked off a tour sounds like chaos to me. So alternatively, if you plan your own trip and are alone and sick….

Posted by
3034 posts

The Tour de France has been hit with COVID. It seems these new variants keep spreading easier. Monkeypox may be a concern down the road, if not already. I don't know, but maybe we just need to accept COVID as a part of our lives going forward, as with the flu and other viruses. I say that not to be cavalier about it, but what else can we do?

For people on a budget the though of catching COVID and having to stay in Europe several more days may a real financial strain, or if they have to burn vacation time. My employer would not be happy.

Posted by
932 posts

About a month ago we discussed "maybe" putting our toe back in the water and we started thinking about a trip to Paris for later this year. But in the last few days, reading news reports here and abroad, we have cooled our jets on that thought, and any trips for us will happen next year at the earliest.

Covid is ramping up again, and while it may seesaw and actually be down later in the year, there will still be risks and it would impact the very reason we want to visit Paris, to go to our favorite restaurants and haunts and not be worried about catching Covid which seems here to stay, at least for the remainder of this year.

Good luck to anyone who goes. I understand the desire, but we will wait.

Posted by
855 posts

I’m so sorry that your plans have been disrupted and that you were not able to take your tour. What a disappointment. Hope that you recover quickly and completely.

Posted by
200 posts

Thanks for your post, and so sorry that your plans were derailed. I agree that mask-wearing can really help, but it seems there is also an element of luck involved. You can do all the right things, but if you are near a Covid super spreader, you may still get Covid. Recent air travel felt especially fraught to me. Hope you and your wife are both recovering well and have safe travels home.

Posted by
602 posts

So sorry to hear your travels have been impacted by getting Covid; wishing you a mild version and a speedy recovery.

When anyone is commenting about getting Covid while in Europe, it would be helpful to be specific about the protective measures taken. In particular were you using N95 masks all the time and were you maskless and eating inside? We safely managed 3.5 weeks in France, 2+ weeks of it in Paris, in May. We did stay in a hotel but kept the windows open all the time for ventilation and did not have housekeeping come into our room except once (we asked for towels etc as needed and carted out our own small amounts of garbage from take out etc.). We always masked inside with N95s ( in our hotel lobby, elevator, corridors; in all shops/museums; at crowded outdoor markets) and avoided crowded inside sites. We only ate outside or in our hotel room. We used the medical grade, tight fitting double loop N95 masks on the plane, trains and in the airports. We flew Business Class to have more space from others (which I realize is not an option for everyone).

We are hoping to travel to northern Italy in October and will follow the exact same precautions.

My advice: you either go all in with 100% precautions (which I appreciate isn’t easily done on a tour) or you accept a higher degree of risk of getting it while travelling. It is a shame that too many jurisdictions have dropped the requirement for masks.

Posted by
932 posts

I agree that mask-wearing can really help, but it seems there is also an element of luck involved.

This is the truth - there is an element of luck or chance involved - and here is the reality: no matter how careful you are today, at home or traveling abroad, while masking up helps, it is not a guaranteed protection against catching Covid. Having had all the shots and boosters is not any guaranteed protection against catching it, either. With Covid, there are no guarantees...

At least if you catch Covid at home, it doesn't ruin a trip, you don't have to drop out of a tour in progress, it isn't going to cost you a lot of extra money to extend your stay, and you have access to doctors and treatments here at home more readily than abroad.

Posted by
1103 posts

I hope you and your wife have a successful recovery.

When I read posts like this, I am glad we cancelled two RS tours that we had planned. We are waiting until COVID reaches a level of endemicity, at which point case levels are low and predictable.

Instead of going to Europe we are taking road trips. For example, we visited friends on Block Island, and it was interesting to learn about living on an island. In September, we are going to Quebec City, which will be a sort of substitute Europe trip.

Posted by
122 posts

We have been wavering about a tour or even independent travel. After several routine doctor appointments the last few weeks and having to wear masks for a few hours in each, I decided that now needing to wear a mask to try and stay healthy is really helping make my decision. I don’t think that I can really enjoy a trip with a mask for hours at a time, though I would WANT to wear one on planes, trains and buses.