Updates on Travel to Europe
Latest Travel Updates & Requirements for Europe
(Updated August 09, 2022)
Is it possible to travel to Europe? Yes, definitely. It's important to be fully vaccinated and boosted, and prepared to follow local masking and other public-health guidelines. At all times, the well-being of my guests and team members on tour continues to be my highest priority. To that end, I take significant steps to maintain a healthy environment for travel, establishing protocols for all facets of our exclusive small group tours and private tours, as outlined below.
At Travels with Audrey, we are a family. A family company of dedicated employees, guides, hoteliers, partners, and most importantly you, our guests. When you travel with us, you can rest assured that you are in good hands, as we actively monitor the state of travel throughout Europe, while taking all necessary precautions and adaptive measures. As I personally host every vacation and private tour, you will have my guidance and the highest level of care in real time during your trip.
All guests traveling with Travels with Audrey will need to sign two important agreements for their land tour:
- For small group tours, by signing the Travel Well Pledge, you assume personal responsibility for your own health, to help protect the well-being of fellow travelers, the Travels with Audrey staff, our supplier partners and the places we visit. A hard copy will be provided for your signature on the first day of your tour.
- By signing the Waiver of Liability, you assume all risks in the unlikely event you are exposed to, or infected by, COVID-19 and this document needs to be signed at time of booking.
All guests traveling to Europe with Travels with Audrey must be fully vaccinated, carry proof of vaccination and have received booster shots
- Effective April 15, 2022, all Tour guests age 12 and older must bring proof of COVID-19 vaccination, such as the CDC Vaccination Record Card, at all times. If more than 270 days have passed since your final required dose of the initial vaccination series, you must show proof of having received a booster shot or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within 180 days of the start of your Tour.
Here are the countries in Europe, we offer travel to, where you can travel without a pre-trip Covid test showing a negative result. These countries also no longer have any specific Covid entry requirements at this time: Italy, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Switzerland and Slovenia.
- France requires proof of full Covid vaccination. Use the same proof as described above. Vaccination must be with an EU-approved vaccine (2 weeks after receiving the final dose of Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca, or 4 weeks after the single dose of Johnson & Johnson). For all travelers ages 18 and over, if the last required dose of the initial vaccination sequence was administered over 9 months ago, you must show proof of a booster dose for entry into France.
- Please note that although an entry or passenger locator form is not technically required by the French government for entry from a "green country" (including the United States), certain airlines may ask you to fill out this form. Please follow the instructions of your airline in this case.
- All travelers are required to submit a Health Control Form within 48 hours prior to arrival to Spain.This form can be filled out online. After completing the form, an individualized QR code will be generated, which the traveler must present to the airline before boarding, as well as at the health controls upon entry to Spain.
- All travelers over the age of 12 must bring one of the following forms of proof: 1) Proof, such as the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, indicating full COVID 19 vaccination (14 days since receiving the final dose). If more than 270 days have passed since the final required dose of the initial vaccination, travelers must show proof of having received a booster shot at least 14 days prior to arrival.
Travel in the "new normal" - Our Safety Protocols
We are committed to following the guidelines of the State Department, CDC, WHO, and authorities of respective countries regarding travel to a particular destination.
Note on Insurance
What insurance do I get to protect myself? Will it cover health care costs overseas, the hotel for quarantine, and getting me back home? Each travel insurance provider is handling COVID differently. Many policies will cover COVID-related medical bills, for instance, but few will cover the costs of a 10 to 14 day quarantine at your destination because you’re sick but not hospitalized.
Websites such as travelinsurance.com, insuremytrip.com, and squaremouth.com allow you to input your details and compare multiple policies at once, narrowing in on which one is right for you. But it’s important to get on the phone with any potential insurer and ask how their policies would work, if the hypothetical reasons why you’re considering travel insurance (e.g., you end up hospitalized with COVID in your destination) were to actually occur.
The State Department also recommends people purchase international travel insurance that includes COVID-19-related trip cancellation and medical coverage, warning that Medicare and Medicaid do not generally cover overseas medical costs.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and most airlines are implementing their own health and safety precautions, including conducting physical distancing plans, health screenings and temperature checks prior to boarding, and mandatory face coverings. You can learn more about individual airlines’ details on their websites.
Upon Arrival at Your Destination
As Audrey personally hosts every small group tour, cultural vacation and private tour, you will have her guidance and the highest level of care in real time during your trip. The first person you’ll meet to start your trip is Audrey, your expert local leader (in some cases you will be met by an associate's of Audrey's). She makes sure everyone feels welcomed, cared for and safe. Audrey has always been responsible for keeping her guests safe and providing maximum peace of mind. Audrey will also facilitate with local testing requirements, if needed, and testing for your flight home (testing at guest's own expense).
During your Tour: Compliance with local guidelines
In order to provide a safe travel experience for our guests, we need your help, as well. Hand hygiene, physical distancing, the wearing of FFP2 face masks where required, and monitoring your own health symptoms will go a long way toward creating a healthy environment on tour. While local conditions may vary based on the destination, the timing, and nature of the tour, the protocols below will be followed:
- All guests must wear FFP2 masks on tour wherever mandated by local / governmental regulations or supplier protocols; this includes transportation used on tours. Guests should bring such personal items as face coverings, and hand sanitizer and are expected to regularly wash their hands.
- Every evening, so that each day you start your morning in a fresh clean environment, your vehicle is cleaned thoroughly using products and disinfectants.
- Like you, we love hotels that are small boutique properties that are locally owned and operated. Countries around the world are requiring a new set of strict guidelines for hotels to follow. Our hoteliers follow the local requirements of their state and country.
- For dining, small intimate tables have always been our preference during meals and that will continue.
- Guests who develop cold or flu symptoms while on tour will be required to immediately seek professional medical care. Whether it is a pharmacy, a doctor visit, or a hospital stay. We are there to translate, to help, to communicate with family back home, and help our guest get whatever care they need. We believe to leave a guest to figure out how to deal with that kind of thing in a foreign country is unconscionable.
Small, local, well-connected mean more than ever
Many of the companies in the tour business are stating that they will limit the size of their groups and visit less crowded destinations as a reaction to COVID-19. Our company, however, has always conducted small group tours, and private tours, for groups of 4 to 12 guests, so we are already smaller than those new “smaller groups”.
In a time period when you are probably looking for a genuine, authentic, experience, our private guided tours and small group tours, are truly the most boutique in the industry. Many companies tell you that they are well-connected and then they hand off the operations of your trip to another company they pay to operate your vacation. That’s one way to operate a tour company, certainly, but it’s not the way we like to travel. Audrey, your local host and private tour guide, is a LOCAL. The hotels we book, the local guides we use, the drivers we hire – and more – are all people and organizations we have had relationships with for years.