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Is travel in July 2021 realistic?

Our trip to Athens, Greece and Rome/Florence Italy was cancelled last May 2020 and we were hoping to reschedule July 2021. My daughter is a teacher and can only travel in the summer. Do you think travel to Italy or Greece, if not both are possible July 2021 or will we have to wait the following summer in 2022?
Thank you for you thoughts and advice. I know this is all a guess at this point but was wondering in anyone knows any additional information.
I miss traveling and the planning of travel so much.

Posted by
18349 posts

I think the answer may depend partly on your willingness to take risks. We now know that the current vaccines [correction: I was thinking about reports on the J&J and Novavax vaccines; I don't think we have comprehensive data from Pfizer or Moderna] don't handle the South African variant as well as the versions of COVID-19 on which they were originally based. The vaccines will be updated [I think both Pfizer and Moderna are working on this, which I assume means they need to do so], but I doubt that many people will have received those updates by July.

The US is ahead of Italy and Greece in getting people vaccinated, and the EU seems to be facing delivery delays on its vaccine allotments from Pfizer and, especially, AstraZeneca (though they may be able to wrest some AZ away from the UK). It seems pretty clear that there will be no herd immunity in the EU in July (and likely not in the US, either).

So: How do you feel about traveling somewhere if you aren't very well protected against mild to moderate disease from one of the new variants?

Edited to add: We're still waiting on definitive information about whether someone who has been vaccinated can harbor the virus (even one of the original strains against which the vaccine is very protective) and spread it to others not so fortunate.

Whether any individual EU country will be allowing non-essential visits in July is another question.

Posted by
600 posts

"I know this is all a guess at this point but was wondering in anyone knows any additional information."

Amy, I am also a teacher and only get to travel in the Summer. I just canceled my June 2021 trip to visit family in the UK yesterday. IMO Europe will not be ready for tourists, especially those from the US. The news media here does not do a good job of informing the average American on what is really going on in Europe right now and It is not good news for travelers. Vaccination roll out is slow and restrictions are likely to stay in place for a long time. There is also the possibility of unrest. I don't think a vacation is worth all the potential risks. The UK has quarantine hotels in place for 30 plus countries. I would push your vacation planning to 2022. I high doubt US passport holders will get into Europe this summer anyway.

Margaret

Posted by
4548 posts

No one knows any additional information. Summer is too far away to be certain, but based on current information and vaccination rates, I doubt intercontinental travel will be possible. That’s only my best guess.

Infection numbers dropped last summer, but with restrictions having lasted so long, I think countries will be doing their best to try to eliminate Covid by vaccines and herd immunity rather than risking opening up their borders to all.

The U.K. is way ahead of Europe in vaccinating the population and we are told that adults won’t have had their second vaccination until December. Greece has vaccinated 90% less of its population than the U.K. Infection rates in Greece have been lower than Italy.

Posted by
842 posts

For what it's worth: I have been in touch with an apartment hunting agency in Italy for a long term rental. My target is December 2021 for a couple of months. The agent said they are not recommending doing any planning for that time until late summer as conditions and regulations are changing almost daily. Like Amy, I miss the planning of travel and hoped that this would get me through the sense of loss. Guess not. I'll just have to wait, wear my masks, keep social distancing, and watch videos of Italy on television. Sigh

Posted by
1682 posts

This is the $64,000 question. The Toykyo Olympics and RS tours are still on for July and August, respectively, but of course that can change.

A huge variable is the specific country you want to travel to, like Italy and Greece, and if you have a vaccine passport that a certain country may require. Getting a test should be no big deal if you plan for it. Mandated quarantine would be an obvious no-go.

I went ahead and booked our July trip to Iceland as I got a package that I can push to July 2022. You may want to look into that. Again, late summer or fall could be a real sweet spot for travel in that the tourist hordes will likely be greatly diminished.

Posted by
699 posts

FYI you can do a quick monitor at the link below. The link was actually referenced in a Lufthansa AD I received this week, with a disclaimer as to current Country accuracy. If travel is opened outside the EU, my guess is regardless of whether you received a Covid-19 vaccination, you will require a coronavirus test for entry as a minimum. Many Countries are now requiring registration, electronic or paper for contact tracing. As to hotels and restaurants opening, no telling. But masks and social distancing are the new normal.
https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php

Posted by
1682 posts

Let me add a lot will change by July, and that change will invariably be positive. Discussing current rules and protocols is irrelevant.

Also, get a quote for travel insurance if you can't get a voucher to push the trip to 2022.

Posted by
1567 posts

I‘m cancelling my summer trip this week. Next fall I hope to schedule for 2022, but the panic over new mutations makes me wonder if even that will be possible.

Posted by
4533 posts

For the longest time, as a teacher, I could only go during the summer, as well. My last district, however, allowed me to take a week of leave without pay and tack it onto the Thanksgiving week break, for a 2-week visit to Milan/Florence/Nice in November. Since retiring, I’ve made two more November trips to Italy and/or France - a good time to go. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is there a chance she could extend her regular time off for one of them?

How’s her vaccination outlook? Colorado had moved teachers up in the priority list, then moved them down, but has put them back into the very next group, effective February 8, to get shots and open in-classroom learning again. Of course, the kids won’t have gotten inoculations, nor many of their family. It would seem her getting her shot(s) is critical, but then her destination being clear as well. July - I’m personally doubtful. Christmas break - more likely, and wouldn’t that be a great present?

Posted by
6606 posts

I would hold off, I don't think it's realistic unless you are extremely flexible and are willing to deal with ever-shifting rules and potential disappointment. I would track the global vaccine efforts online for the EU countries - that will give you some proxy of what may happen. This is one site, along with Bloomberg, that I am most familiar with. https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

Posted by
2458 posts

I’m thinking no is most likely, but it’s possible.

I feel reasonably confident that many to most Americans will have had the chance to be vaccinated and things will be better here. US travel is likely to be fine, some restrictions on activities, but reasonably safe.

Europe is having more difficulty securing vaccine doses and things are slower. It will pick up, but summer is iffy. Tourism may or may not be allowed, and if it is ... do you want to be there if there are tight restrictions and closures? I can see countries requiring proof of vaccination, so if you have that you could go but what’s available once you get there?

Posted by
12210 posts

Naturally this will change. I would suspect on the whole, it will change for the better. The big question is will he EU hold together on the border issue or will is splinter? The the link above is great for tracking this, but I think the State Department is a bit more specific. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html And it talks a bit about the curfews restaurant, bar, openings, etc.....

  • Open European destinations. Several of these countries have loosened
    their restrictions over the last few weeks. Albania, no test
    requirement; Armenia, 72 hour test; Belarus, no test requirement;
    Bosnia & Herzegovina, 48 hour test; Kosovo, no test requirement;
    Montenegro, no test requirement; North Macedonia, no test
    requirement; Serbia, test required; Turkey, test required; Ukraine,
    48 hour test.

  • A few I selected outside of Europe Bahamas, test required; Belize,
    test is required; Bermuda, test is required; Cabo Verde, test
    required; Costa Rica, no test requirement; Dominican Republic, no
    test requirement; Dutch Caribbean, 72 hour test; Egypt, 72 hour test;
    Jamaica, test required; Jordan, 72 hour test; Maldives, test
    required; Mexico, no test required; Morocco, test required; Peru, 72
    hour test; Saudi Arabia, test required; Thailand, test required;
    Uzbekistan, 72 hour test required

So, one can assume they are welcoming tourism. Next you have to decide if any of these interest you, and if you were to be there, would those things of interest be open? Still really marginal for me except for an extended fishing trip ........... after I get my vaccine.

Posted by
495 posts

As everyone said nothing is certain. I am near Bologna and as of tomorrow we can have a coffee in a bar and can travel in our region but not out of the region. Museums will also reopen in our area. February 15th maybe we can go outside Emilia. Lazio is still an orange zone so you have to stay in your own town and can't travel even to a neighboring town. There is some optimism for summer (the half marathon I usually run in Verona in February is now on the calendar for late June) the rest of the spring races have been postponed to Sept-Oct. A guessing game for sure and the vaccine process is slow here.

Posted by
1818 posts

Rather than plan something for this year that gets postponed, I am assuming that the overall situation will gradually improve, there won't be any new viruses or variants that will complicate matters moving forward, and I am making rough plans for a trip to Switzerland & Italy in April 2022, 14 months from now.

Won't have to book anything like air until August/September of this year at the earliest, and will take out trip insurance. And I'm already having that old familiar fun planning my possibilities!

Posted by
31250 posts

Amy,

As you've noted, this is pretty much a "guess" at this point as the situation seems to change often these days. Planning to visit two different countries might complicate things a bit, as each one may have different rules. My "best guess" at this point is that travel may not be possible this summer as there have been a few problems with the vaccine rollout in various countries. I've heard a few reports that both France and Italy are having issues getting an adequate vaccine supply, and Italy has decided to take legal action against one of the vaccine producers. Until a sufficient number of people become vaccinated, I suspect that travel is going to remain "restricted".

In the meantime, you can continue to enjoy planning a fantastic holiday but leave the dates "blank" for now. When things improve, plug the dates in and you're all set!

Posted by
154 posts

I don't think so. We aren't expected to have most of us vaccinated until July. I just don't see Europe letting Americans in 5 months time.

Posted by
12210 posts

I just don't see Europe letting Americans in 5 months time.

Possibly not Italy or the EU in general. But parts of Europe, definitely yes.