Barcelona Allows Vaccinated Travelers Easy Entry

Spain, including the Catalonia region, recently updated its Covid regulations in order to be more open and welcoming to U.S. tourists who are vaccinated. The only requirements that still exist are the following:

  1. Must show valid passport with a name matching the completed CDC Vaccination card
  2. Must have a scannable Spain QR Code which can be obtained by submitting the info at this official link. (There you can choose from their individual or family FCS form, and then complete the process with the QR Code request button located on the site.)
  3. That’s it!

Of course, you’ll still need proof of a negative rapid antigen Covid test result in order to fly home to the U.S. This can be obtained very easily in all of Spain’s major cities. Arm yourself with the fall edition of our Clued In Barcelona and you’ll be on your way to a truly great trip! Safe and happy travels, Dean and Andie

Yes, go to Europe now!

We definitely speak from experience when we say, “Don’t hesitate to plan a trip to Europe.” The Clued In travel team just returned from a month-long visit to Paris, Rome, Florence, and London (in that order.) In all four cities, things were… well, rockin‘. There was a joyous feeling in the air from the manageable-sized crowds everywhere we went. We had not expected that at all; we assumed the vibe in these cities was going to be somber, overly-cautious, and minimized. We could not have been more wrong in that assumption. What a fantastic surprise to see just how much they had bounced back from the year and a half of pandemic panic and regulation. In Paris’ Saint-Germain neighborhood people were literally partying in the streets, seemingly more concerned about France’s soccer standing than about threats from Covid.

The biggest difference on this trip (pre-covid compared to post-covid) was in London. The British capital has gone almost entirely cash-free in order to boast contactless purchasing and will probably stay that way forever. We couldn’t give away our British Pound notes! From pharmacies to cafes to movie theatres, no one would take cash. We were finally able to find some Black Cab drivers that accepted it, along with the famous Rules restaurant in Covent Garden.

Happy and safe travels, Dean and Andie

A change to our Rome dining recommendations

We just got home from Italy and will be making an immediate change to our “Clued In Rome” book which will be republished immediately on Amazon to reflect it:

Unfortunately, one of our recommended restaurants, I Clementini, has been sold and is under new ownership with the same name, same google info, same pics, etc. We can no longer endorse this restaurant due to the recent changes to their food.  As usual, we are the guinea pigs so you don’t have to be! It will not be included in our upcoming new edition of “Clued In Rome” for 2022.   

We just got home from Europe…

Yes, we’re back and we have a lot to share with our readers. (All of it will be presented in our soon-to-be-released 2022 editions on Amazon.com) As usual, it was one of those wild Clued In trips that leave us completely exhausted -in a good way. We hit Paris, Rome, Tivoli, Florence, Chianti, London, and Oxford. Whew! And five Covid tests later, we’re still “negative.” We ate countless meals in countless restaurants through three countries and can honestly tell you that there was one standout, hands down, no contest. Our best meal in the month spent traveling was Babette in Rome. If you are in Rome this evening or will be going there soon, make a reservation right now. There is something for everyone on their menu and it is seemingly all exquisite. As an added bonus it happens to be located at the end of our favorite street in the Eternal City: via Margutta. Run don’t walk!

Important info regarding Covid testing in Paris:

We just got home from France… If you need the health “Pass Sanitaire” and necessary QR Code but don’t know where to go, there is only one place we found that will help American tourists… and it’s quick and easy. Visit Pharmacie Bader at 10 Boulevard Saint-Michel, which is open every day. In less than 30 minutes you will have your code and be on your way for under €25.We

The official Covid testing centers that have been set up in tents all around Paris will not give out the code unless you have a French cell phone. Who has that? Most pharmacies don’t even offer the testing! It’s very frustrating, so just go to this location instead and you’ll be very happy.

All of this could have been avoided of course if our French QR codes for being vaccinated had come through the official website but alas we waited 30 days to no avail. We flew here with nothing and went looking for the Covid testing right away and were lucky enough to stumble upon the pharmacy mentioned above.

Happy and safe travels, Dean and Andie.

UK REMOVES COVID TEST TO ENTER COUNTRY 

To those who are fully vaccinated: you no longer have to take and prove a negative Covid test in order to enter the United Kingdom. They do ask visitors to take a test once there (within two days of arriving) to make sure that Covid is not being brought in. Their “passenger locater form” is still required as well.

Baby steps, but things are getting better for travelers. Safe and happy travels, Dean & Andie

Considering Barcelona? (UPDATE)

Spain has just changed its entry policy for visitors from the US. New Covid-19 restrictions now require travelers be fully vaccinated if they are coming for tourism. The vaccines they recognize are the usual: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Covishield. Full doses required, of course.

Visitors to Spain must now register their personal details through the Spain Travel Health portal. Once that’s successfully completed, their website will generate a QR code which must be shown upon arrival on your mobile phone (or printed.) The Spain Travel Health portal can be downloaded from the App Store.

Unvaccinated children under age twelve who are traveling with vaccinated adults are allowed to enter Spain without any additional requirements. Be aware that young people between age twelve and eighteen do have to be vaccinated.

Spain is not alone in making changes to their Covid polices: US citizens traveling to Italy must now present a negative PCR or antigen test taken in the 48 hours prior to their flight, even if they can provide proof of vaccination.

This applies to U.S. citizens traveling to Spain from the United States, including if they transit through a third country.

French Vax Pass IMPORTANT UPDATE

The new digital health pass with QR Code is now available to American citizens traveling to France but the method of application has changed. This has just been announced on September 3, 2021. Read on for more information.

First, there is some good news today. The new French ‘digital health pass’ is now recognized and accepted for scanning in all of the European Union countries!

A new online application for non-European citizens must now be accessed and submitted through their new website, even if you already sent in a request by email. It seems they were so overwhelmed by emails that they had no choice but to create a website to manage it all. Below is the official letter to travelers inviting them to create a profile on the new site which is indicated there through the link below. Once that’s done, you then begin the official submission of your proof of airline tickets, passport, and CDC vax card:

Dear Sir or Madam,

We are sorry to inform you that we are currently receiving a very large number of requests and will not be able to process them all. We remind you that a negative result of an antigen test taken at a pharmacy, available all over France, grants the user a health pass that is valid for three days (72 hours).

We inform you that a new application is available online for foreign citizens here: https://www.demarches-simplifiees.fr/commencer/passe-sanitaire-etrangers

Have your three pics ready before your start: Passport / CDC Card / screenshot of your airline tickets

Safe and happy travels, Dean & Andie

France wants you back.

Info for U.S. citizens going to England (from any ‘amber’ country)

Not all American citizens go directly from the US to England… we’re going there after a few weeks in France and Italy. If you were vaccinated in the US and are going to London anytime soon (from home or abroad) take note of this current info from the UK government. It includes any necessary links. We hope it’s helpful. This will all be behind us soon!

UK info for arriving travelers:

Before you travel to England you must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test (“pre-departure test.”) You must do this even if you’ve been fully vaccinated. You could be fined £500 if you arrive in England without proof of a negative COVID-19 “pre-departure test.” 

Rules if you’re fully vaccinated:

If you’re coming to England from an amber list country and have been fully vaccinated, you must take a COVID-19 pre-departure test AS WELL AS a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England. Your arrival day is counted as day “0.” You do not have to quarantine.

Proving you’ve been fully vaccinated: You’ll need to show your travel operator and border control proof you’ve been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine. You’ll also need to confirm that you’ve been fully vaccinated on your passenger locator form. US Citizens must show their CDC card proving the full course of an FDA-approved vaccination along with proof of residency, such as a US passport. 

Booking your Day 2 test: You must book and pay for a day 2 test before you travel. Make sure you leave enough time for it to be delivered to your address in England. (You could be fined if you do not take the required test.)  It does not matter how long you’re visiting England, you must still book and pay for the Day 2 test.  You must then put the booking reference number into your passenger locator form.

If your Day 2 test is positive, you must quarantine. Even if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you must quarantine for 10 days.  You must travel directly to the place you’re staying. And not leave until 10 more days have passed. If you’re traveling to England for less than 10 days, you will need to quarantine for the whole of your stay. In this event, you must still book your day 2 and day 8 travel tests, even if you will no longer be in England on the dates of the tests!

[Test to Release clause: You can end your quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme – you’ll find details below in the ‘Ending quarantine’ section.]

     -You must quarantine at the address you provided on the passenger locator form. This can include a hotel or other temporary accommodation. Amber list arrivals (like Italy, France, & US) cannot quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel – these are for red list arrivals only. You must quarantine in one place for the full quarantine period, where you can have food and other necessities delivered.

    -Unless you’re at risk of harm, you cannot leave the premises where you’re in quarantine. You must not go shopping. If you need help buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, you should ask for help from NHS Volunteer Responders.

Getting or posting your UK tests: You can leave to go and take your Day 2 and Day 8 tests.  (or to post them for delivery in a Royal Priority street mailbox. (This is for self-administered tests that you may have purchased here or brought with you.)

What to do if you get COVID-19 symptoms: You should order a test if you develop at least one of these 3 COVID-19 symptoms: high temperature, continuous cough, loss of smell or taste.  (The people you’re staying with do not need to quarantine, unless they traveled with you.

Ending quarantine: If you’ve quarantined for 10 full days and received a negative result to both your day 2 and day 8 tests, you may leave the place where you’re quarantining.

Make sure you’re following quarantine rules: While you quarantine, NHS Test and Trace will contact you daily to confirm you’re following quarantine rules. You may also be visited by staff carrying out in-person checks on behalf of Test and Trace to make sure you’re complying with your legal duty to quarantine. Read more about the checks carried out to make sure you’re following quarantine rules. If you break the quarantine rules, you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.

Changing the place where you’re quarantining: You are not allowed to change the place where you’re quarantining except in very limited circumstances, including where it’s necessary and permissible for you to stay overnight at accommodation before traveling to the place where you will be quarantining for the remaining period. If this happens, you must provide full details of each address where you will quarantine on the passenger locator form. If, in exceptional circumstances, you cannot remain where you’re staying, you can move to a new place to quarantine and you must complete a new passenger locator form as soon as possible.

Ending quarantine early using ‘Test to Release’ Under the Test to Release scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test on day 5. If the result is negative (and the result of your day 2 test was negative or inconclusive), you can end your quarantine!  You must still book and take your mandatory day 2 and day 8 travel tests, even if your ‘Test to Release’ result is negative. (The Day 8 testing can be skipped if you have left the UK.) Find out more about “Test to Release”  ßincluding providers offering this special test.

Quarantining can be difficult… NHS Volunteer Responders are available if you need help with shopping or medication, or if you’d just like a friendly chat.  Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to arrange support. You can arrange one-off support, or schedule more regular help while you’re quarantining.

Circumstances not covered by this guidance: If you’re intending to travel to the UK in the next week and are facing a set of circumstances that are not covered by this guidance, email your enquiry to:

dhsctesttrace.customerfeedbackteam@nhs.net.  (Be sure to include your date of travel.)