Categories: News

When will Europe open its borders?

by Maria Elena Price - Tuesday, April 20, 2021

When can I travel to Europe? It’s the question many of us have been asking ourselves for months! There are promising signs as Croatia, Greece, and Iceland have announced opening dates, and France has recently started spreading rumors that they too will open “soon” to vaccinated travelers.

As places open it requires further investigation as to what it actually means? What will the experience be like on the ground? What restrictions exist? And for ExperiencePlus! how will restrictions impact our itineraries and your tour experience – will it be safe and, just as importantly, fun?

Here is a summary of what we are seeing now and what we are looking for as we look towards making decisions about running trips.

Arrival testing and quarantine requirements:

  • Most countries are waiving testing requirements and don’t have any quarantine requirements if you can show proof of vaccine or proof of a Covid infection in the last 3 months before entering. This is a change from just a month ago when almost all countries required a negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.
  • All three countries (Croatia, Iceland and Greece) that currently allow tourists require you to register on a government travel portal, providing your contact information, and confirmation of good health.
  • As of now there isn’t a global vaccine certificate/passport so a government issued paper certification is deemed appropriate for proof of vaccination.

What are local restrictions or closures like? 

  • This varies depending on in-country case rates. ExperiencePlus! feels that this is a key variable. Just because a country is open, we don’t want local restrictions to compromise the quality of your tour.
  • Fortunately, the way our cycling tours are designed we can easily adhere to general safety requirements (including social distancing and staying outside as much as possible!). The joy of traveling for all of us is being able to enjoy local restaurants, cultural sites, and local experiences that make the journey special.
  • One of the best resources we have found to learn about local restrictions is the US Embassy’s website from that country. For example you can read details about current restrictions in Croatia and Greece at their respective embassy sites and you will notice they are very different. In Croatia most thing are open, including outdoor dining at restaurants. In Greece most movement is highly discouraged.  We are encouraged by what we see in Croatia and in fact we are planning a trip there for June!

What can we expect on tour?

  • The great news is that the sights and sounds of the open road are always open – and even less crowded now! You’ll need to wear a mask if you go inside a store or restaurant to use the restroom. But sitting on a patio trying local delicacies while enjoying the scenery makes wearing a mask occasionally seem a small sacrifice!

Re-Entry requirements:

  • Then there is what needs to be done to get home.  For now the US does require a negative PCR test within 3 calendar days of departure, or proof of Covid-19 recovery from the last 3 months. Airlines will check this before letting passengers board. ExperiencePlus! plans to help facilitate testing at the end of a tour to make it simple for you to have what you need to get home.

Ready to go now? We have 4 spots available on our June Bike and Boat tour in Croatia!

Maria Elena Price - Maria Elena Malpezzi-Price: 'M.E.' started her bicycle tour leading experiences as a 5 year old, translating ice cream flavors on our first Venice to Pisa tours. Since then, she's led tours in more than 10 countries (specializing in Spain, where she lived for more than a year). With a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and International Affairs and an MBA From the Leeds School of Business at University of Colorado, Boulder she manages the business and its development at the Fort Collins office in Colorado (and of course traveling to Europe in the summers). She loves going out on tour and hopes to manage to travel a bit even though now she is "in charge" of the Fort Collins office! You can e-mail her at MariaElena {at} ExperiencePlus.com.

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