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Self-test proof for RS tours


I haven't posted for a long time, though I've been keeping up with the forum periodically. We're scheduled on the Barcelona/Madrid tour starting Oct. 2, our first overseas trip since early 2019. Like so many others, we were thrilled to see the U.S. re-entry testing requirement rescinded Sunday, and very much hope that policy continues during our tour.

I do see that RS is still requiring a test before joining a tour, but it seems to me, anyway, that the language has changed slightly:

Due to increasing Covid cases throughout Europe and on our tours, we require pre-tour testing in our endeavor to help keep our tour groups healthy. Within 24 hours of the tours start, tour members must self-test and present a negative test result to their guide before the welcome meeting. At that time, the guides also verify that everyone in the group is fully vaccinated and boosted. This way we know our tours start with a healthy group.

My question here is for those who've been on RS tours recently, as in the past few weeks.

I'm just wondering what is considered "proof" for a self test? I assume you can't just show the test stick from one of the quick home tests. So does this mean you must do one of the online proctored tests? I further assume that a pharmacy test in-country would be acceptable, too? We'll be in Barcelona several days before the tour starts, and if it's just as handy to go to a test site rather than doing an online proctored test, we might prefer to do that.

Thanks for any and all insight on recent experiences. And, of course, I recognize that everything can change on a dime before October.


Posted by
9 posts

This is directly from an email from RS office for my upcoming trip:

Pre-Tour COVID Test Required: Because we want to ensure the health and safety of your group — and provide a successful tour for you and each group member — we are requiring all tour members to complete a COVID test prior to joining their tour. Please bring a COVID self-test to take on the first day of your tour prior to the start of the welcome meeting. Take a photo of your test when the instructions indicate the results are ready, and show the photo and your CDC vaccine card to your guide prior to entering the meeting. If you do not have a camera please bring the test itself, showing the results, to the meeting. If you’ve had COVID between 14 and 90 days prior to the start of your tour, you’ll also need to bring a COVID recovery letter signed by your doctor, in case you continue to test positive.

Posted by
2166 posts

Yes, just a self-test. On my recent tour, some people brought their actual test, and some, like me brought a photo of the negative test.

Posted by
786 posts

Wow! Thanks for the quick replies. This makes things easier. Now we’ll just have to avoid getting Covid. 😁
Second booster scheduled this week and we’re hoping another version of the vaccine arrives before fall.

Posted by
4050 posts

And remember, you're asking about 4 months from now. Which in COVID time is an eternity.

Posted by
2445 posts

I just returned from the Scandinavia tour and I presented a photo of my negative test result. A self test I brought with me from home.

Posted by
786 posts

Phred: Understood. I acknowledged that in my post. Thanks! Fingers crossed.

Posted by
2255 posts

There is a possibility of someone cheating here. Take the test at some earlier date, take a photo of the negative test and present that to the guide. Just saying.

Posted by
7833 posts

@ Mary. I choose to trust my fellow tour mates. Life seems a little better when you don't expect the worst from people.

Posted by
585 posts

Mary, if you take the photo on your phone the date and time and location are all available when you bring up the photos and press it. I’m having minor surgery tomorrow and was required to do a self test today and bring the photo on my phone. They can see exactly when I took it (date and time) as well as my location when I took it. So there’s some accountability there.

Posted by
786 posts

I also immediately thought of the potential cheating but the time stamp on the photo definitely would prevent that.

Edit: On further reflection, seems like it’s pretty much honor system, and I’d trust RS tour members a lot more than some people.

Posted by
16 posts

We just finished the VFR tour a few days ago. There were four of us. We took selfies in our hotel room with our negative tests labeled with our names, and then one pic of all four tests together. It is the honor system. Some tour members brought their tests to the group meeting, but most showed a pic.

Posted by
33 posts

If helpful, we were on the BOE14 tour recently. The guide checked our photo and time stamp.

Posted by
5 posts

What I now wonder about is false negative results. I got home yesterday from a tour and our group w as hit hard. We started with all negative tests, but still ended the tour with half the group. We thought we were very diligent , but eating in restaurants where you are without your mask on and touring outdoor sites can leave you vulnerable..
It will be interesting how this will evolve for travelers.

Posted by
571 posts

I am on an RS tour now and the guide specifically wanted to see the date/time stamp of our photos proving negative Covid test results.