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Everything posted by Psoque

  1. I’m just curious why you requested the certificates from two separate Swiss cantons. I thought one certificate would work not just all of Switzerland, but all of EU/EFTA.
  2. We received our Swiss digital COVID certificate, loaded onto the Swiss COVID Certificate app, basically overnight after e-maling the Canton of Basel-Stadt requested information. It appears, according to the official Dutch website, any EU digital certificate with a EU QR code would be accepted in place of the Dutch "Coronavirus Entry Pass." So I guess we are all good for our trip.
  3. Obtaining the French digital vaccine certificate is not going well for many of us, including us. We have no idea if we will receive it, ever, despite the fact that we submitted our first application in August, and was told we need to do this using the "new" system in September. We are counting on not receiving this on time for our cruise in November. The Swiss situation is not that simple either, since every Canton is handling this differently. The Basel-Stadt Canton is requesting us to e-mail them copies of the vaccine certificate and the passport ID page, and the "transfer code" from their digital vaccine certificate app. We were not asked to submit any hotel information.
  4. I am sure you might know the answer much better than I do, since you are in Germany. However, my understanding is the following: -The Swiss certificate is supposed to be recognized by all EU/EFTA countries, so as soon as we obtain the Swiss certificate, we should be good to go. What we don’t know is the duration of the validity of the Swiss certificate, and if we are actually receiving the “full version” of the certificate or not. -In regard to transiting through other countries during the cruise, I am not sure if we need the EU/EFTA recognized certificates to visit shops/museums, etc. My understanding is that it depends on individual business what form of vaccination/immunity certifications it requires. -My emphasis on the Swiss and Dutch certificates is based on the fact that we are spending some time in Basel and Amsterdam, before and after the cruise, and we would like to visit these cities as freely as we can. Another reason is that it is very obvious that the (current) rules in Netherlands appear to be much stricter than those in other EU/EFTA/Schengen countries. -I don’t want to make this post too long, but we were advised by our cruise line to submit various forms to all of the countries we are visiting. The Swiss entry form was easy to obtain. The Dutch forms were also easy, though as I said before, they won’t issue vaccine certificates to people from some countries, including US and UK (and probably others). The French forms were a bit hard to fill out and when we submitted the information, we received an automated e-mail response saying it is taking a very long time for them to process it…not a good sign. I think this was for us to receive the French vaccination certificate??? The information on the form was very unclear. The German form is only available for us to submit 2 (or 3? I can’t remember) before arrival into Germany, so we haven’t done anything yet.
  5. That is correct. The original intent of my post was to describe the process for those US (and possibly UK and other) tourists arriving in Switzerland for a Rhine River cruise. The complicated part of this whole ordeal is that most tourists from US do not have EU-approved digital vaccination certificates, and getting them for the first time somehow is the biggest challeng. I think we are lucky that our cruise starts in Switzerland (more on that on next paragraph), since it appears the Netherlands is not allowing US-vaccinated tourists to get their version of the vaccination certificate. Now that I know how we can get the “Swiss COVID Certificate” even before we fly to Basel (please see my most recent post before this one), this might do the trick for the rest of the cruise and our post-cruise stay in Amsterdam. So for us, this might work out OK. I have no idea what is the best strategy for those starting their Rhine River cruise from Amsterdam, however. That might be, unfortunately, more problematic, as long as the current rules stand.
  6. Thanks for this link. I also received a reply from Basel-Stadt public health official. I was informed that we (US tourists) can receive a digital COVID vaccination certificate (“Swiss COVID Certificate”) by e-mailing the office with our passport scan, CDC vaccination scan, and the “transfer code” from the Swiss coronavirus app.
  7. I'm hoping this topic is allowed here, but I thought I should start this thread because I think this is very important information. We are taking a Basel-to-Amsterdam river cruise next month. We are planning to have a few days stay in Basel pre-cruise, and a few days stay in Amsterdam post-cruise. This is what I know about how Switzerland and Netherlands are (currently) asking tourists from high-risk/very high-risk, non-EU countries to do in regard to indoor activities. In Switzerland, "Swiss COVID Certificate" is technically required for indoor activities (museums, restaurants, shops, etc.). The Dutch counterpart is called "COVID Certificate" or "Coronavirus Entry Pass" depending on which part of their website we look at. Switzerland: It appears that the Swiss government started issuing what they call "Swiss COVID Certificate" to those who received the approved vaccines in Switzerland. It appears that the central Swiss government is asking each Canton to figure out a way to issue these certificates to foreign tourists vaccinated with European Medicine Agency approved vaccines, but this has not been worked out. As a contingency plan, vaccine certificates from foreign countries will be accepted for this purpose until October 24, 2021. Of note, this contingency date was initially set at October 10, 2021, and it was quietly moved down by 2 weeks recently. Who knows if this will be changed again? So eventually, US tourists (and perhaps others) would have to apply for the Swiss COVID Certificate somehow. Earlier today, I emailed the Basel-Stadt Canton office that is working on this issue, inquiring about this. I will let you know if/when I hear back from this office regarding the procedure/timeline there. https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/covid-zertifikat.html Netherlands: The Dutch government, as soon as the mandatory quarantine order was lifted, began requiring "COVID Certificate" or "Coronavirus Entry Pass" for all indoor activities. It appears this is also very easy to obtain for Dutch citizens, but there appears to be no mechanism for foreign tourists to obtain one. As far as I can gather from various sources (the Dutch website, as well as information forwarded to me by Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam) non-EU tourists,, including those from US and UK (and probably others) are required to undergo coronavirus testing every 24 hours while visiting Netherlands to obtain some sort of a temporary certificate. I was informed that testing is free for this purpose. I do not know what type of test is being done. I will update this information when I find out more. https://www.government.nl/topics/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-certificate I am assuming that this information will become obsolete as rules change. But this is what I know so far.
  8. I see that the organization of the various websites are not idea and can be very confusing for some. From what I can gather, the rules for Hungary are not presented well in their website, at least in English. Perhaps the official government website (in Hungarian only) presents this information clearly in Hungarian. The Dutch website is much better organized (still not perfect though) and is in English also. For entry into the Netherlands(for those coming from "very high risk" countries including US): "You need: a negative NAAT (PCR) test result based on a sample collected no more than 48 hours before departure in the foreign country, or a negative antigen test result based on a sample collected no more than 24 hours before departure." So, if you choose to use the antigen test, it needs to be collected no more than 24 hours BEFORE DEPARTURE, not before arrival into the Netherlands.
  9. I encourage you to look at the Dutch website closely now and even later (since the rules could change), but the current version of the rules on the website does not really define it that precisely, but it just says 24 hours/48 hours before departure from foreign country. So I would use the departure of the first segment of your full itinerary as the “time of departure.”
  10. Is this the case that the airlines, the Dutch government, and the cruise line are asking you to do something impossible to do? Or is it the case that you have having trouble obtaining clear guidance from some/all of them? From what I can see, the guidance from the Dutch government is fairly clear: Either a PCR test (no earlier than 48 hours before your departure from your home country) or an antigen test (no earlier than 24 hours before your departure from your home country).
  11. It all depends on several factors including mobility issue (or lack thereof) as well as just personal preference, but when we visited Budapest for our river cruise a couple of years ago, we enjoyed a spectacular view of the Pest side of the city, including that of the Hungarian Parliament Buldiing, when we had a dinner at the Halászbástya Étterem restaurant on the Buda side of the city. I believe there are many great vantage points from the Buda side. If we knew this beforehand, we would have stayed on the Buda side on on one of the hillside hotels. Also, I think a leisurely walk along the river bank on the Pest side of the building was totally worth our time. We walked from the Sheraton to the Parliament area multiple times during our brief stay. I guess we could have done a short evening cruise of the Danube while we were in Budapest before the cruise, but we did not think we needed to do that to enjoy the scenery on our own. Also, I am not sure about all itineraries, but our cruise departed from/arrived at Budapest in the evening, allowing us to enjoy an evening cruise of the city twice.
  12. Now that the "new" mandatory quarantine order in the Netherlands has expired as of September 22, I suggest that we close this particular thread to new comments. I suggest that people start a new thread with their own topics. I think keeping this thread open with the current title would only invite confusion.
  13. I'm not exactly sure how I ask the moderators to do this, but I wonder if it would be a good idea to close this thread for more comments when the short-lived quarantine mandate in the Netherlands ends on September 22? Having this thread open beyond that date would make it confusing.
  14. I also did some reading about the proctored do-it-yourself antigen test that is available for purchase. My understanding that it can be used to re-enter US, so that might be a convenient option for that purpose, for your final test before flying home.
  15. Yes, it would be a bummer, and I am assuming that by November, things would be different, either for better or worse. I am just saying that the paper vaccination certificate I have is not as robust and verifiable as what citizens of most industrialized nations are currently receiving. However, if a quick and simple testing alone could potentially overcome this unchangeable limitation, I am all for that.
  16. The Dutch website is being updated every now and then, and there is a mixture of updated and old information at any given moment, but last time I looked (just now), I think people entering the Netherlands (on and after September 22) from "very high risk" countries such as the US would need both a proof of COVID-19 vaccination (paper certificate would suffice for those coming from outside EU/Schengen countries, according to the same website) and a negative PCR test within 48 hours or departure OR a negative antigen test within 24 hours of departure from your home country. I am surprised there is no place to get tested in Nashville, but perhaps our current surge in the disease and travel is outstripping the testing availability?? I will not take a river cruise in Europe until later this year, so I am not sure how it works, but I think the testing for boarding, depending on the line, is arranged by the line. I would ask Tauck about how that happens. I also read a section about the CoronaCheck app, which is an app for people who were vaccinated in the Netherlands. I read that some private businesses in Netherlands are only accepting that as the proof of vaccination, since that's a very secure and verifiable proof compared to what is available to those from other countries, especially outside EU, and especially from most US states where an essentially unverifiable paper certificate is the only proof available. I believe this sort of thing (only accepting the French/EU digital certificate in France, etc.) in other EU countries for the same reason. I am already assuming that, if and when we take our Rhine cruise in November, it is very likely that we may not be able to access some museums, etc. because our proof of vaccination (paper certificate) is not robust enough for some establishments. We also have the Clear Health Pass, but I doubt most places would accept it as a robust digital certificate because that's still a digital representation of a non-robust paper certificate. That's just the price many US citizens (from most states) would have to pay for rolling out our vaccination program without a plan for a robust and verifiable proof of proper vaccination. In regard to getting your negative test before flying home, if the flight is soon after the end of the cruise, I have read that the the final test result while you are on the ship could suffice, but if you are doing a post-cruise stay, you may need to get tested again. I would go to the airlines website to confirm the locations of acceptable testing sites and the exact required timing of acceptable test result. My understanding that some of the large European airports are offering the tests, though I guess you may have to make a separate trip to the airport to obtain a negative result, instead of doing this while checking in to your flight home. I guess it takes a lot of reading from various sources to put it all together, and since both the actual outbreak as well as the responses of various organizations are constantly changing, we just have to keep re-checking the information. It is a pain, but I'm personally not finding this that big of a problem, since we are (planning to) taking this cruise because we want to. Also, I stopped looking at the details of all of the requirements all that closely for now, since I am convinced that the requirements will change, most likely multiple times, before late November when we take our cruise.
  17. That's because that's the most reasonable and non-draconian requirement for everyone involved to get tested somehow. I don't think the requirements are confusing/contradictory based on my understanding of the words confusing/contradictory. And obviously, exact wording of the requirements might and most likely will change based on how different organizations announce them. Furthermore, there's nothing "confusing" about how the airlines, cruise lines, and governments have slightly different levels of restrictiveness. We just have to comply with all.
  18. Maybe I'm not reading this correctly, but to me, this is not that confusing or contradictory. It appears Viking is asking all passengers on cruise departing Sept 23 thorugh Oct 31 to have had a negative coronavirus PCR test to be performed within 72 hours of departure from their respective home countries.
  19. Does this mean you can only “look” at Amsterdam from your ship? Sorry about that.
  20. Good to hear that the Dutch government has decided to rethink its strategy instead of trying to enforce a quarantine mandate which is very difficult and expensive to maintain. I am not against well thought-out public health measures, but this was, in my humble opinion, was not one of them.
  21. I am just guessing, since I am not been to Switzerland to experience this new set of rules and how they are enforced there yet, but I would think that you might be asked to show proof of vaccination at various indoor venues in Switzerland. From what I can tell (unless things change again) I don't see any additional testing requirement when entering Switzerland from another EU country. I agree that this patchwork of regulations that we have to comply while taking a multi-country river cruise would be very challenging. We are scheduled to take our Base-to-Amsterdam river cruise in November. I'm hoping that, by then, all the relevant EU countries would ironed out the differences in how they enforce their rules so that things will be more predictable. But that's just our wishful thinking at best.
  22. Looking at the entire section of the website, the Swiss government is in the process of thinking about somehow issuing the vaccine certificate to those visiting Switzerland from abroad or those who has received the vaccine abroad and mulling over (calling it "began a consultation") how it can be done. From what I can gather, Switzerland currently cannot issue a vaccine certificate to those who weren't vaccinated there. Basically, they don't know how they are going to do this yet, and they won't make a decision until after September 14 (.The Federal Council's proposal will now go out to consultation until 14 September.") What is not made clear here is how "From Monday, 13 September, a COVID certificate will be required to access indoor areas of restaurants, cultural and leisure facilities, and events held indoors. The certificate may also be used by employers as part of a company’s protection plan." will be enforced to those visiting from non-EU countries starting yesterday until they figure out a way to issue a Swiss vaccine certificate to those vaccinated elsewhere. It appears that the need for additional restriction is outpacing the abilities of many governments (in this case, Switzerland) to have a way to enforce it properly.
  23. Is your cruise arriving in Amsterdam on the last day, or is it arriving the day before disembarkation? I’m interested in knowing how the Dutch authorities are enforcing their new quarantine rules to river cruise passengers from “very high risk” countries. We are schedule to take a 7 night cruise on Crystal Debussy in November (things might be very different, for better or worse, by then) of this year, and Crystal is insisting that no passengers will be required to undergo quarantine or additional testing if the passenger enters the Netherlands from Germany. I am not sure if that’s consistent with the rules I read from the Dutch website, but perhaps there is a loophole in enforcement of the new rules. I would be very curious to know what passengers on your cruise who are/were planning to stay a few days in Amsterdam is doing in light of the new quarantine rules.
  24. I agree with you, and that’s why I’m so puzzled why Crystal is telling their customers that they are not planning to make any changes to their Basel-to-Amsterdam cruises. Crystal is saying that, since the ship enters Netherlands from Germany, all is OK…not sure that’s really the case. I have this terrible feeling that cruise lines are too desperate to think clearly regarding matters like this.
  25. That’s exactly what I was thinking. We also have a Basel to Amsterdam cruise that includes an overnight in Amsterdam. For us to spend 10 full days in a country that is not designated “very high risk” by the Dutch, we would need to stay in Basel for 4 nights before boarding the ship. Our cruise is not until November, so we might adjust our flights to arrive in Basel 4 days before the cruise. But again this might be a moot point for us since I’m assuming that the rules will change again before that.
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