It is my fervent hope and goal that we have nothing to worry about due to Covid by the time of our trip. The severity of the virus is down and the requirements imposed by various governments are getting lower and lower. But at the same time, Covid seems to be a never-ending menace, so we have to plan for it.
In doing so, we start by trying to balance the goals of (a) keeping everyone on the tour safe and healthy with (b) keeping from adding additional requirements that smother the enjoyment of this trip. Therefore, rather than create new rules, we will simply follow the laws of the governments of France and the United States, and the policy of the CDC. Here’s how that will work in practice.
Getting In France; Getting Back to the US
As to travel to and from France, we will simply follow whatever requirements the governments of the U.S. and France enact. The good news is that, as I type this, there are no requirements. You need not show proof of vaccination and you don’t need a negative test result to get into France or back to the United States. You don’t even need to wear masks on planes anymore (but of course you are free to if you wish). So from that standpoint, unless the laws chance, there is nothing to worry about. That might change (hopefully it won’t though) and if it does we will provide as much notice as possible.
You are free to test before going to France though, and it would be nice if we were able to know that we were arriving with a clean slate among us. Since it is not a requirement for travel of either the United States or France, however, it is not a requirement to come on our tour.
Requirements Within France
Within France, there are no requirements for showing proof of vaccination or a negative test result. If you have a vaccination card or a negative test result, I recommend bringing them with you, since you never know who is going to require it. But there are no mandatory requirements of the government.
The only requirement I experienced in my recent trip was that masks were required on trains. So be sure to bring a mask with you as we will be on a train to Versailles at a minimum.
If you Test Positive
As to our group travel and interactions once we are together on the tour, we will simply follow CDC guidance. Right now, CDC guidance is that if you test positive for Covid, you should quarantine for 5 days and then wear a mask for another 5 days.
If you test positive but have no symptoms or only mild symptoms, you are welcome to remain on tour and we will just have to separate you from the group from 5 days from your positive test. If you have severe symptoms, we will get you to a hospital or clinic in Paris.
If you test positive and want to remain on tour (again, with no or mild symptoms), while we will separate you from the group, we are not going to insist that you stay in your hotel room. There is much you can do outdoors in Paris without putting anyone at risk. We will point you in the right directions and help with transportation and logistics. But we cannot have you traveling with or eating with the group during this 5-day period.
If there are additional costs due to Covid, they will be your responsibility. I foresee additional costs arising in two contexts. First, if one spouse tests positive and the other spouse wants to get a separate room. I will facilitate getting you an extra room, but the additional charges will go on your account. Second, if someone tests positive but still wants to go to Mont Saint Michel, we will have to make separate transportation arrangements. Again, I will facilitate it, but the additional charges will go on your account.
Consider Travel Insurance
All this makes a good case for travel insurance, if you do not already have it. It can cover additional expenses you might incur due to Covid. For example, on my recent Ireland tour, one couple tested positive and, while they were able to stay on the tour (isolated from the group), they incurred some extra costs for transportation and lodging. We simply tracked their expenses and they were able to get fully reimbursed by the insurance company. So they were able to stay on tour, still have a good time, and it didn’t cost them anything. Working together, we can manage our way through this situation.
We will make every effort to keep everyone healthy and safe on this tour, mindful that some among us may be immuno-compromised. At the same time this show must go on. Adventures such as this necessarily involve some amount of risk, and the trick is to minimize those risks and carry on. And that is what we will do. Hopefully this all makes sense to you.
If you have questions or want to discuss, just let me know.