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Ouiji Boards and Crystal Balls

There are many posts that are basically like this: The Covid rules changed today. My trip is in 6, 8 10 months. Will I have to cancel?"

I understand that people get nervous when they hear of Covid travel rules changing. But think about it, what covid related travel rules have ever lasted more than a month or two?? Rules are constantly changing.

I'll give you an example. I flew into the UK in mid October and I had to book a PCR test for my Day 2 test. After a week, I went to France. Three weeks later, I returned to the UK. Only now, an antigen test was accepted as a Day 2 test. Then Omicron hit a couple of weeks later. Now, to enter the UK, you not only needed a PCR test but had to isolate until you had the results. A few weeks later, it was back to Antigen test and no isolation.

So, before you panic, realize a few things. Countries make rules not putting Rick Steves forum members up front. They are trying to protect their own people and get them vaccinanted. Countries also don't want to go into full lockdown if they can help it because it will devistate their hospitality industry even further.

To travel during times of Covid you really must be patient and flexible. It's a gamble as no one knows what the rules will be in the future.

I have another trip planned starting in April. Besides planning the trip, I'm also making contingency plans. Almost everything is refundable. And I'm not concerned about what the rules are today because I know they will change, numerous times, by April. I monitor them, but I don't get anxious

If the concern and worry about every change is eating you up inside, this may not be the time to travel internationally.

No one can predict what the future holds. Of course, Ouiji boards and crystal balls at least give it some credibility. (LOL)

Posted by
1081 posts

Frank II, Thanks for posting this, I needed to hear some common sense. We have the Scandinavia tour planned for July and Italy in September. All the constant changing of requirements has elevated my anxiety level to the point we were considering maybe changing plans. But I need to to sit tight and realize that thigs will be very different in 2-3 mo.

We went to Spain last September and had a great trip, followed the rules and wanted to stay longer. I just need to take a deep breath and think "Hakuna Matata"!

Posted by
426 posts

Well I consulted the online magic 8 ball about April travel to Europe and it said “definitely no”, “signs point to no”, “can not predict now”, and “concentrate and ask again”. So based on that extensive research, I’d say that having a contingency plan is a good idea. June is looking good though according to my source (still the magic 8 ball). 🙂. Working on the backup plan in case my source can’t be trusted.

Posted by
18775 posts

KC, I am with you. I wouldnt risk a trip to FrankII's destination in April either without being so flexible I could tie myself in a knot. This year, last year, probably better to stick to destinations with good and stable entrance track records.

Posted by
7452 posts

Yep, plan the trips, make everything significant refundable, study the language and hope for the best.

Since I’m retired, I’m planning a couple of itineraries in two different countries. So if my favorite won’t work, I can quickly cancel it and make some quick reservations for the second choice or switch dates for the first one. My 8-ball says “Signs are favorable.”

Posted by
2853 posts

One source of confusion and stress for many is the fact that the EU adopted a rule to make the covid certificate valid for nine months after the completion of the primary vaccination schedule. This rule applies to the original shots and not the booster. The EU has said there is not enough information about the duration of protection from boosters.

Vaccination certificates will be accepted by Member States for a
period of nine months since the administration of the last dose of the
primary vaccination.

As of yet, no standard acceptance period will apply to certificates
issued following the administration of booster doses, given that
sufficient data regarding the period of protection is not yet

Posted by
4338 posts

Well, both my magic eight ball and ouiji board say go for it…. so I am. Lol! Almost everything refundable and with insurance in hand. But not next week. Ha!

Posted by
7638 posts

this may not be the time to travel internationally

At times over the past 2 years, and perhaps in the future, governments have made that decision for us. Sometimes, the timing has been very unfortunate.

Posted by
2765 posts

Going the first week in March

Plan to start figuring out if I really can do this mid-February. I figured it’s too early now to know “who’s on first”

Posted by
486 posts

Just cancelled Viking Panama Canal and Central American ocean cruise for March. We signed up early Nov after a wonderful France, German and ending Prague river cruise in Oct. Did Normandy independently. We hit the sweet spot in the fall for travel! Omicron off our radar concern yet in S. Africa. Felt good about March…then ….not now. Not wanting to quarantine with a positive…taken off ship. No thanks.
Well…..we just now bravely or stupidly put our voucher toward a different itinerary totally for a mid May ocean cruise. Italy, Adriatic and Greece. We hope that in another 2 mnths later Omicron has by then lessened along with our concerns about positve tests to land us quarantined. We don’t mind wearing our kn95s, the testing, vaccine cards, etc. etc. Of course we’re vaxed and boosted. Retired so more flexible time wise and have good insurance etc. Not holding our breath but not yet wanting to give up on 2022 travel! We also have a family Alaska cruise 2x cancelled for this July! My best to all my travel hopeful friends! Keep on posting!