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Returning to normal in the post-COVID age

Beaches of Normandy Tours
Anniversary in Normandy (Photo: author's own)

In today’s article, we are going to provide you with an update about the current COVID-19-related travel conditions in the countries visited on our tours. After a long period of lockdowns and restrictions, the COVID-19 pandemic is withdrawing, and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are excited about the recent positive developments such as the lifting of restrictions and the decreasing number of new coronavirus cases reported globally. There are more and more countries where it is not compulsory anymore to wear a mask. Peoples’ life is returning to normal again in the post-COVID age.
 
France, the world’s top tourist destination, is a pioneer in lifting the restrictions among European countries. You will have to comply with a minimal number of restrictions here. Considering the improving health situation, France has recently announced the lifting of most of the COVID-19 restrictions as of March 14, 2022. Face masks are compulsory only on public transport and hospitals. French vaccine health passes are not necessary anymore to enter most venues. On March 13, France reclassified the United States as a green nation, and so unvaccinated and not fully vaccinated travelers departing from the United States no longer need to show a compelling reason for travel but must have a negative COVID test performed within 72 hours before departure (if a PCR test) or 48 hours before departure (if an antigen test). Travelers who recovered from COVID more than 11 days but less than six months before boarding may be able to enter without a negative test by showing the original positive test result.  As of February 1, French authorities require a traveler age 18 and over to have received a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine no later than 9 months after the second dose (the single dose for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) to be considered “fully vaccinated” for entry into France.  People who received their booster more than nine months after their second dose may still enter, so long as one week has passed after they received their booster shot.

Beaches of Normandy Tours
Schoolchildren meet veterans in Normandy (Photo: author's own)

If you want to enter and leave Europe only through France, then book one of our signature 6-day Beaches of Normandy Tours which takes you to sites on French soil only. On our other 2022 tours, you will enter Europe in France, drive through Belgium, Luxembourg and fly out from Germany eventually. Note that in these countries the COVID-related rules may be different or stricter than those in place in France. To leave Europe, regardless of the country of departure, you will need to do a mandatory COVID test before returning to the U.S., which is required for all air passengers two years of age or older boarding a flight from a foreign country to the United States one day prior their departure. To help you with this process, we will organize an optional private testing session for you the day before your departure. These tests can be up to €150 per person, depending on the size of the group, and are at your own expense. You can organize the test on your own, too, but you must consider that there must be a substantial amount of time between the test and the departure of your plane to allow the test to produce a result. In addition, it is important to also know that on our tour vehicles we will provide you with masks and hand sanitizers for free, so you do not have to worry about purchasing them on the tour if you want to wear them.

Beaches of Normandy Tours
Visiting Mulberry Harbor (Photo: author's own)

In our opinion, with the summer coming and most countries experiencing a constantly improving health situation, the above-mentioned and other European countries will follow suit and will open to tourists similarly to France. We are confident that the second half of the season will be a successful period for the travel industry which will greatly contribute to its gradual recovery from the shock caused by the pandemic.
 
Despite the positive news, in line with the advice in our terms and conditions, we still strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance to protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Please note that travel insurance is not included in the tour price. Since the international and domestic COVID rules can change very quickly, we advise you to also check the country-specific Travel Advisories and U.S. Embassy COVID pages for the most current information. Lastly, don’t forget to carefully check the boarding-related provisions of your airline, too. If you have any further questions about the tour-related rules, feel free to contact our Travel Consultants.

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Beaches of Normandy Tours review
"This tour was so moving, I was brought to tears"Band of Brothers Tour, 2022
Review score: 10/10
Beaches of Normandy Tours review
"I would recommend this tour to anyone without hesitation"Band of Brothers Tour, 2022
Review score: 10/10
Beaches of Normandy Tours review
"I would definitely recommend this tour to everybody who enjoys history."Band of Brothers Tour, 2022
Review score: 10/10