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Will Rick's tours continue to require masking?

The freedom of mask-off is spreading, so requirements for facial covering are being abandoned left and right, even tho the virus is still rampant around the world. Personally, I plan to continue using a mask when I am inside with other people. But if I'm gonna be in a tour bus, I sure want those around me to be similarly cautious.

Will Rick's tours continue to require masking even if host localities might be abandoning it? I want to sign up for a tour in July and it's anybody's guess what the host country rules will be by then.

Posted by
11354 posts

According to the message Rick posted today, his tours will be requiring mask wearing at the present time.

Posted by
11391 posts

If you are in an area where its "masks optional"( i.e., not required) I doubt there would be any prohibition on wearing a mask if that is what you want to do.

Certainly the kind of question to direct to the RS office, whether they will be more strict than the local authorities about masking.

Posted by
4543 posts

You're asking about July? Ha, these days you might as well be asking about 2025! How good is your crystal ball?

Posted by
6788 posts

FWIW, here in Washington state, USA -- home of Rick Steves and RSE HQ -- just yesterday it was announced that the statewide mask requirement would be lifted on March 21 for most -- but not all -- indoor spaces. Masks will still be required (here) after 3/21 on all public transportation.

Now, that doesn't mean the same rules will apply to a RSE tour bus in Europe. But it is a reminder that while the reduction in masking requirements is welcomed, it's not absolute (at least not everywhere). The pandemic is not over. It's becoming less of an emergency, but it's going to be with us for some time, and we all may (probably will) have to continue to adjust some of our behaviors going forward. Exactly what that means will be a moving target, and will depend on many factors (including location, local regs, and how things are going there). There are some places in the world where the pandemic is worse now than it ever has been (in Hong Kong, they're lining up beds in the streets outside hospitals).

We all hope things continue to improve, in popular European vacation destinations and elsewhere. But it's not time to throw all the masks in a pile, set that on fire, and kiss the nearest stranger.

Posted by
8525 posts

I totally understand your concern. I am extremely cautious myself. Only Rick Steves Tours can tell you what their policy is, but at this point, I don't know that anyone can tell you what July will be like.

Example: I am going to Disneyland with my daughter and her family next week. Yesterday, they dropped a major mask requirement. For us, this was disappointing. However, we will continue on and just manage what we can manage which is ourselves. You may find that it is impossible to know what policies will be in advance with complete confidence. Masking policies change.

Posted by
4991 posts

Only Rick Steves Tours can tell you what their policy is, but at this point, I don't know that anyone can tell you what July will be like.

Listen to Carol now retired. She is spot on.

Posted by
886 posts

My guess is that eventually RS will make it mask optional on the bus.

Ask them, and report back. All they can tell you for certain is the current rules; as someone else points out, how clear is your crystal ball? Mine gets cloudy more than a month out when it comes to the pandemic.

Posted by
476 posts

Rick’s tours will follow safe guidelines. I sure hope by July things are improved! We have Med/Adriatic cruise trip planned for mid May. I have felt even by May more optimism and hopeful less restrictions! However…If I feel uncomfortable in situations I will have my kn95 always available. (Any bus, train, plane transportation). At some point we can only control what we choose to do to feel safe. I have felt that often when I mask and no one else is. People will respect and understand you….esp in European countries where things were more restricted. Not a bad idea to hang onto mask anyway for future… as our new normal. I am still traveling. Time will tell.