UK MANDATORY QUARANTINE FINALLY LIFTED FOR AMERICAN VISITORS

For those planning to enter the United Kingdom from August 2021 onwards, the five day quarantine and the “eighth-day” negative Covid test in Great Britain will no longer required for fully vaccinated citizens of the United States.

This comes as pressure from the travel industry reached an all time high in that country and is great news for the hospitality industry. And even though Scotland has been left to make its own decisions regarding the pandemic, it too will be lifting the requirements. The UK will now accept the infamous CDC paper card as viable proof of your full vaccination including at its many restaurants and venues.

Even so, the US still warns against travel to and from the UK. We have been awaiting a change to this status but none so far.

Happy and safe travels, Dean and Andie

Pathetic info from the US Embassy in Paris regarding the mandatory French Health Pass

The American Embassy in Paris has posted new information for visitors from the US who are currently in France: If they were vaccinated in the US and have the CDC Card then they “might be able to obtain the French Pass Sanitaire.” This is a digital pass that comes with a scannable QR code through the French-created #TousAntiCovid app. This vaccination pass is now law in France and you can’t get into museums, cultural venues, bars, restaurants, or on local trains without it. The French citizens are up in arms about this and took to the streets to protest.

Americans in France are actually being told (by the embassy) that if they can find a French doctor or pharmacy willing to enter their info into the French system then there is a chance it will work. They don’t say where to find these particular doctors.

Some people have evidently had recent success with this, but some people haven’t.

The other option is to pay for and produce a negative Covid test while you are there because that will get you authorization with the Pass. There are two problems with this: First, it will only be good for 72 hours at which point you will have to do the testing all over again -and pay for the test and the doctor again because none of this is free. Second, if you should happen to have a positive test (whether real or a machine malfunction) you will have to quarantine for a week or more in your current accommodation. This could get very expensive indeed.

If you’re thinking that it’s no big deal -that you’ll just fly home if it’s a positive test- then think again. All Americans, vaccinated or not, coming home from abroad, cannot board any flight without a negative Covid test that is within two days of the travel.

Note: We are not posting this to upset anyone or to be alarmists… we want to travel to Europe more than anyone! But we’re finding that a shocking number of vaccinated people are flying to Europe without any knowledge that they won’t even be able to enter a restaurant in France (and soon in Italy) without the digital Pass Sanitaire. An even larger number of Americans have no idea that they must be tested before coming home as per CDC guidelines.

Please share and help us spread the word! There’s no point in being “welcome” to fly to Europe if, when you get there, you can’t do anything. If they want our US dollars, they must get their act together now and find a way to have our CDC Vax Cards be able to function with the French system.

Dean and Andie

Planning to go abroad soon?

If you are a Covid-19 vaccinated or antibodied American citizen and you go overseas, please know that you must still prove you are “virus free” in order to be allowed back into the United States. This can be done by showing proof of a negative Covid test that was taken within three days of your departure flight home. If your test turns out to be positive for any reason (including test malfunction etc.) be prepared to quarantine in the country you were trying to leave until you test negative. (For some folks this might mean bringing a larger quantity of prescription medication, just in case!)

We are mentioning this because it is in effect now (July 2021) and few travelers seem to know about it. More information can be found on the government’s CDC website here. Look for the paragraph, “Before You Arrive in the United States”

Luckily, the Covid test is now quite easy to find at most pharmacies in Europe (not sure about elsewhere) but is not given for free to foreign travelers. You will have to pay for the test which currently ranges from around 29 euros to 47 euros.

We hope this changes soon because it is clearly an overreach. American citizens should always be allowed to return home.

Hoping to bring better news soon, Dean and Andie

IMPORTANT: New French Health Pass required- July/ August 2021

This month will now see a major expansion of France’s health pass, the “Pass Sanitaire,” needed to access a wide rage of sites including bars cafés, museums, tourist sites and coach or train travel. But how can people who are not residents of France access this pass?

This French “health pass” has been in use since June 9th, but was only being used to access large events like concerts, sports matches and nightclubs. However President Macron has just announced that over the summer it will be greatly expanded to include activities such as going to cafés and restaurants, visiting museums and tourist sites, and traveling on long-distance train or bus coach journeys. In short, if you’re in France you’re going to need it.

The Pass Sanitaire shows one of three things: your vaccination status, a recent negative Covid test, or recent recovery from Covid. You must prove one of these three things to access venues listed as “requiring a health passport.” This will include museums (even large ones like the Louvre and small ones like the Bourse de Commerce) beginning July 21, 2021.

It is part of the (French citizens-only) Covid tracker app TousAntiCovid. For people who were vaccinated in France this is pretty simple – they scan the QR code on their vaccination certificate into the app which then generates a code which they can use to access any location. It is not looped into results/cards from the U.S.

So what about tourists and visitors?  The TousAntiCovid app is available in the app store and works on non-French smart phones. If your phone settings are to English, the app will largely appear in English on your phone. Since it won’t show American test results or vaccines info, it will really just be to track your movements and alert you if you have been exposed to the disease while in France.

Last Tuesday, a French government spokesman said there would be a ‘relaxation’ of the rules for people vaccinated outside the EU who cannot easily use the French health pass. The foreign ministry promised a country-by-country breakdown of how this will work but as of today there is nothing new to report.

This French pass (which has a QR code that can be scanned) will be required to enter any cultural or leisure space that hosts more than fifty people… like movie houses, theatres, art galleries, museums and any large tourist sight.

At the beginning of August 2021, the pass will expand to be required at bars, cafés, restaurants, hospitals and shopping centers. People will also need the pass if traveling on a long-distance trip by rail or bus coach.  

In regard to children: by August 31st, kids over age twelve will be required to show the health pass also, so families traveling from countries that are not yet vaccinating children will need to bear in mind.

The best advice when you’re in Paris? Go only to the organized and reliable Pharmacie de la Place de la République located at 5 Place de la République. Go early in the day if possible.  The only glitch is that you’ll have to provide a French phone number. (Their form goes nuts if you try to put in an American phone number.) The nurses performing the tests in the outdoor tent there have confirmed that only a French phone number works. Since it doesn’t matter whose number you use, feel free to use your hotel’s phone number.  What matters more is a reliable email address, to which results will be sent. Do not rely on SMS messaging for this!

Fill out the form, get the test, and then go inside to pay for the 29 Euro test. Hand the receipt to the testing person and before you have walked a few blocks you might already have your results in PDF form by email.  (Make sure you have already “confirmed” your email with a verification code that was sent to your inbox as part of the set-up process.)

If flying from France, no one at the airport will probably utter a word about COVID tests until the very last step of being checked at the gate right before boarding. At that time, present the PDF in the email so they can verify your name, birth date, and date of the test.

Passengers showing only their paper CDC card showing full vaccination will be turned away. Remember, you will need that negative test within 72 hours of your flight, either PCR or antigen. The latter is faster.

Three million French citizens made vaccination appointments when this new QR code pass was announced! So keep in mind that as things improve there, all of the above can change almost overnight and then everything will be open and accessible again.

Summer Happenings, all over the place!

We have just loaded our “City Extras” with great summer happenings in each Clued In city. From an amazing new Mexican Seafood restaurant in Miami Beach to new performances at London’s Royal Opera House, the world is coming back to life. Check out these special content pages now at cluedintravelbooks.com.

Happy travels, Dean and Andie