After so much bad news and so many border closures throughout the pandemic, we’ll take good news wherever we can get it. And we’ve been getting great information lately. Every American adult is now eligible for vaccination. French Polynesia just reopened on May 1. The same day, fully vaccinated Americans could enter the Bahamas without a negative COVID test. Now is a great time to start thinking about traveling in late 2021 or 2022. We have seen summer travel in the U.S. surge, and most hotels and resorts are sold out for June, July, and August. Travelers should be mindful of new cancelation policies for hotels as the CDC updates restrictions. Dining and activity reservations are just as essential when booking travel as restaurants still have limited seating capacity and limited staff. Hotels in New York City do not all have dining options available to guests due to staffing restraints. The best way to avoid a disappointing first trip back is to use a trusted travel advisor.
Some of the best news we have heard came from European Commission president Ursula van der Leyen stating the E.U. “would accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that the European Medicines Agency approves. Those include Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, the three vaccines available in the U.S. “This will enable free movement and the travel to the European Union,” she said. She was scant on details as to a time frame, but it appears we might be able to enjoy a favorite pastime, a summer vacation to Europe.
Non-E.U. member Iceland has already begun welcoming fully vaccinated travelers or those with a negative PCR test from the U.S. Greece, an E.U. member, will start doing so May 14. Fully vaccinated travelers are also welcome in Croatia, Montenegro, and Cyprus without quarantine or testing. On Friday, France announced a start date of June 9 for the same conditions. No official announcement has been made yet, but fully vaccinated Americans could be welcome in the U.K. as soon as May 17. Spain is piloting a digital health certificate system at all its airports in preparation for reopening.
“Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travelers worldwide that you can visit us,” Fernando Valdes Verelst, Spain’s secretary of state for tourism, said at the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Global Summit in Cancun last week. The E.U. Parliament has approved creating a union-wide pass that would allow fully vaccinated travelers to traverse the 27-country bloc freely. However, individual member states will likely be allowed to impose their own restrictions. The number of days after your final shot that qualifies for “fully vaccinated” varies by country, so be sure to check with your travel advisor before making plans. There’s more work to be done before all of Europe is accessible, but strides are being made every day, and the good news keeps rolling in.
Some of the major cruise lines sold cruise vacations to passengers willing to travel to a Caribbean island for embarking and disembarking. Most of the cruise lines are requiring all passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated. Your travel advisor can help you pick the right cruise line and ensure that you know the safety precautions in place at all the ports of call. If you had to postpone a cruise from 2020, now is a great time to rebook as some cruise lines offer additional amenities.
Don’t wait too long before you book your post-COVID vacation. Contact Brianna Korb at Sculpted Escapes to get you back out exploring the world, [email protected]