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Testing for triple vaccinated travelers

I think it’s questionable at this point, mostly because the antigen tests Rick Steve’s tours requires are often an unreliable indicator of infection. I’m going on The Best of Istanbul in March and while Turkey does not require tests for fully vaccinated travelers from the U.K. or US, Rick Steves does. Any thoughts out there? And please know I’m a totally pro-vac progressive, so no scolding. I’m just a fully vaxed frequent traveler who’s pushing back against the stress and expense of excessive testing.

Posted by
3091 posts

I think the more he does to attempt to make sure his groups start out healthy, the better. We all have different medical histories and underlying conditions or family members to protect, so these tests are as much for others as ourselves. The extra expense and inconvenience (a lot less inconvenient than getting sick from your neighbor) is just a price one has to pay to travel at this time. Regardless, it is still a lot easier than traveling in the not too distant past. We've just gotten use to and spoiled with the ease of the last few decades. IMO

Posted by
9735 posts

I was triple vaxxed and still got a breakthrough case of delta variant before flying to the US. Stuff happens. Double, triple, whatever.

Posted by
7564 posts

I don’t find a great deal of value in this sort of thread. There will be some who agree with you and some that do not. The only thing that matters is if you are willing to follow trip protocols or not.

Posted by
4322 posts

Personally, I don't care what your opinion is regarding testing. In a pandemic, ethical and responsible companies should be willing to take all steps necessary to reduce the spread of the disease, as should those people who use their services. A pre tour test to weed out those who are already positive is simply one of those measures.

Posted by
2207 posts

SMH... Like Carol & CJean, I just don't understand threads like this. My wife is a teacher and where we live, she tests twice a week; I test at least once a week. She tests to protect her students, the people she works with... and me. She also tests to protect those persons who would interact with her and have people in their circle who might be immune-compromised. In our world, there's a sense of community and care for people you don't know. Maybe I've been living here too long and don't understand why it's different in Oregon?

The stress and expense of excessive testing?

Really - Living in Oregon, I doubt you've been subjected to excessive testing - or multiple full-lockdowns where NOTHING is open except a grocery store - or consoling your friends, neighbors, and work associates when their businesses fail because the government restrictions prevent them from operating. In light of current world events, I am surprised that you're complaining about having to take a test just because Turkey doesn't require it.

You may be correct. Perhaps an antigen test only works 50% of the time. But that's at least 50% better than not testing. And why would you not want to take every step you could to protect the people you're going to interact with - be they fellow RS travelers or Turkish citizens just trying to make a living? I'm sorry - it's a selfish position not to protect others. Maybe that's why this pandemic is still going on?

I am sure the restrictions will continue to evolve. I hope there's a day soon where RS, Turkey, and the USA have NO restrictions. But, we're not there yet. And whereas no one has a clear answer on what works best, I'll defer to people a lot smarter than I am - scientists and researchers - who have far more knowledge and experience in this challenging endeavor.

If you're concerned about the effectiveness of the Anigen test, why not start a movement that all RS travelers should take the "more reliable" PCR test? Now, that's a thread I could get behind.

Posted by
459 posts

I question testing fully vaccinated people that don't have symptoms. What is going to stop someone from picking up the virus once the tour begins and being asymptomatic during the next 14 days we are traveling together? I hope the guide enforces any and all policies that are in place, though.

Posted by
2207 posts

What is going to stop someone from picking up the virus once the tour
begins and being asymptomatic during the next 14 days we are traveling
together?

mnannie, by your own argument... couldn't a person become ill 4-5 days BEFORE they got on the plane from the USA, be asymptomatic and not know they are ill - and because no test was "required" or performed - then bring the virus with them, exposing everyone on the trip, the airport, the plane?

If I am a tour operator like RS, I want to make sure I've done everything possible to know I've protected my clients as best I can. All the more reason to test everyone.

Posted by
6097 posts

I think it's a reasonable requirement, though I didn't think so initially when RS was requiring PCR tests on a timeframe too short to reasonably expect results to be available. But they added the antigen test alternative, which is much more doable in the timeframe. Hopefully they will have advice about test options in Istanbul for early arrivers. For what it's worth, my understanding is that the antigen test is very accurate, though not quite so much as PCR. I've had both. Turnaround time for PCR is often too long to make sense for travel purposes.

Posted by
1933 posts

I'm all for testing before and during the tours because there are those who just won’t follow mask protection during free time.

Posted by
10 posts

Ok, just to be clear. I will be coming from London where MONITORED antigen tests are very expensive and where time slots are very, very overbooked.

And as for Oregon, we have among the strictest masking, lockdown and test requirements in the US. Do you know anything about our governor?

I carefully asked not to scold. Mission not accomplished:(

Posted by
4322 posts

I will be coming from London where MONITORED antigen tests are very
expensive and where time slots are very, very overbooked.

So your quarrel is with the expense? If you are originating in the US, and just visiting London first, then bring a couple of the proctored antigen test kits with you. All you will need is WiFi. If that's too difficult for you, just get it done on arrival at the Istanbul airport. Results in less than half an hour, and it's cheap.

Posted by
10 posts

Hmm, I’m pretty sure I just mentioned that I’ll be traveling from London to Turkey. And I’m pretty sure my original post wasn’t about a state restrictions contest between Brown and Inslee🤓

I travel a lot for business and I’ve been tested a lot, sometimes at great expense and often at great inconvenience in remote areas in emerging countries. Please stop lecturing. Or at least know that I’ll no longer be checking so you’ll only be throwing shade at each other.

Posted by
1933 posts

Stella,
I think your best bet is to take the proctored antigen tests with you. Be sure to download the app before leaving the US.
The RS Turkey tour is a great one. It was our first tour with him.

Posted by
6182 posts

For 2022, I’m willing to do whatever Covid tests are needed to be able to travel.

There’s a vacation for each person’s level of comfort of vaccination & testing. Some may be camping locally, traveling domestic, or going overseas. I felt like the RS tours were fair since they were very clear with their expectations & requirements when I signed up for their tours.

Posted by
1979 posts

I am triple vaxxed, healthy and late 40’s and had a breakthrough case last month that laid me out for a week. I was sicker than I’ve been in years. Almost 3 weeks later I’m still not close to 100%. I would absolutely want everyone on the bus tested before I have to sit in there for hours at a time.

Posted by
890 posts

I think points have been made. I'm locking it here to avoid having to remove this per our current Covid addendum to the Community Guidelines.

Thanks, everyone.