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vaccination against Covid-19 required when river cruising - news, policies, companies


notamermaid
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On 2/7/2021 at 3:09 AM, Canal archive said:

We have though several vociferous conspiracy groups in the U.K. causing some trouble so yet another challenge.

Yes, unfortunately we also have a sizeable assortment of these wacky conspiracy groups.

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On 2/6/2021 at 4:16 PM, gnome12 said:

That will be fine when they get to vaccines that don't require special storage. The Pfizer vaccine in particular require extreme cold, and the Moderna is also a frozen vaccine although not as extreme. I believe that the Astrazeneca vaccine can be stored in a refrigerator. I'm not sure about the other ones still in the pipeline.

 

Also, when quantities are still very limited it is important not to waste doses, which come in multi-dose vials.

While doctors' offices don't have the ultra-cold storage, any office who gives routine vaccines has a freezer capable of storing the Moderna. Primary care practices have been BEGGING to be sent vaccine. We are the medical homes, we know how to manage vaccines. But, our pleas are falling on deaf ears.

Robin

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10 hours ago, acwmom said:

While doctors' offices don't have the ultra-cold storage, any office who gives routine vaccines has a freezer capable of storing the Moderna. Primary care practices have been BEGGING to be sent vaccine. We are the medical homes, we know how to manage vaccines. But, our pleas are falling on deaf ears.

Robin

So my city is doing these mass vaccinations one day a week. They are using a huge arena where large concerts are in our downtown area. Last week on Friday - those 80 and over were allowed (if they had registered and were called). These seniors are afraid to drive in this area and really are not familiar with it (it is a younger, college age hang out area). It is incredibly cold right now - we probably have close to 30" of snow on our ground and our temps are in single digits. They did around 5000 vaccinations last Friday. Reports from my friends said their parents thought it was pure chaos. They are going to try again this Friday and Saturday (so 2 days) where the high is going to be in negative numbers.

 

I am thinking going to their GP doctors would make far more sense. Heck, even a church makes more sense than this.

Edited by Coral
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Here in Munich they were finally able to open up the vaccination center last Wednesday... they were able to give out 450 appointments til last Friday. Not that they couldn´t handle more... we don´t get enough vaccine.

 

Phase 1 was all the nursing home plus staff and medical staff in hospitals. Now they started with those still living on their own but 80+ years old.

 

Phase 2 will be 70+ years and then also people with certain medical conditions.

 

Phase 3 will be the rest of those with medical conditions plus certain professions (like teachers, kindergarden teachers, police forces...).

 

And then all the rest...

 

But we´re still in phase 1... The Astra Zenca vaccine is now availble over here but still in limited numbers. It´s only for people 18 to 65 y. So this will be now preferably given to younger people with medical conditions and other medical staff.

 

steamboats

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In Rhineland-Palatinate roll out has been a bit better statistically than in Bavaria, but we have older people who just cannot get through on the telephone lines to make an appointment. Then there is the shortage and the medical centres being in the countryside, too few of them as well. Then we have bad weather. Not looking good for many people getting vaccinated to fill a river cruise ship in March. I doubt it will be written into any river cruise passenger contracts for a while.

 

@steamboats Thank you for the info on nickocruises. A logical step I would say, seeing that surgical or N95 masks are required while shopping, etc.

 

notamermaid

 

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N95 masks here in Canada are still reserved for front line health staff. They also have to be fitted properly. I'm surprised that they are required in Germany for the general population.

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10 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

N95 masks here in Canada are still reserved for front line health staff. They also have to be fitted properly. I'm surprised that they are required in Germany for the general population.

It is either those or the standard medical masks, the ones one throws away after using them once. And not in all settings. They just do not want you to wear flimsy thin cloth masks where you are likely to meet many people.

 

notamermaid

 

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Here in Bavaria we have to wear N95 masks for shopping (only grocery stores, pharmacies, bakeries, drugstores are open), in all public transportation and currently I am advised to wear them in my office too.

 

steamboats

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22 hours ago, gnome12 said:

N95 masks here in Canada are still reserved for front line health staff. They also have to be fitted properly. I'm surprised that they are required in Germany for the general population.

 

That's what we were told in the US.  If we buy an N95 mask we're depriving a health care worker of one.  That's why I'm surprised at all these postings on CC about requirements for N95 masks.  What if you can't get one?

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We have no specific requirements for masks so I’ve been making ours, at Christmas we had festive ones last year I made reversible ones this year it’s more shaped and actually quite spiffy I think. I do have a lot of fabric for quilting so just had to get elastic and toggles. If we make them, I always use pure cotton, we are advised to wash them often. CA

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The EU standard is FFP2 which I have been told is equal to the standard N95 in the US. Where to buy them? Easy! I have just returned from the shops where I can buy one for less than 2 euros each now. If I want I can go buy a ten pack, no problem.

 

The over 65's can get a free pack of three with a voucher issued a couple of weeks ago by the health insurance. Not sure if they will have another "voucher round" in Spring or if this was the last one.

 

On the subject of vaccines: I think it will only be a matter of time till all the river cruise companies will see the value in having an environment of only vaccinated passengers. A private company is allowed to have that policy for their product, so peer pressure even among the German companies could happen. Not in Spring but after that, at least with the companies that have the highest percentage of their customers in the over-60's. It will be interesting to watch what CLIA will say about it.

 

notamermaid

 

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KN95/N95 is the same as FFP2 here in Europe.

 

Until Jan 6th senior citizens and people with medical conditions got 3 free masks. Then they got two vouchers for 3 masks for 2 Euro. The major problem was, that the letters were sent out by mid January until the end of February. For the free masks you didn´t get any letter. The letter sent out later now stated that you were eligable to get the free ones... Problem... I did receive a letter and didn´t know that I was eligable to get the free ones. But now the pharmacies are not able to give you the free ones anymore. Media basically said 65+ years for the free ones.

 

Anyway, you can get them online in big packs via Ama... And in the meantime all supermarkets and drugstores sell them too. You get them for 99 cents/mask.

 

In the beginning of the pandemic there was a shortage. And we were also advised to wear "community masks" (fabric - I sew quite a few for my family). Now those community masks are not allowed anymore.

 

steamboats

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Interesting our authorities have been so hot on many aspects concerning the virus but apart from masks having to be worn there are no specific requirements, maybe because early on there was a huge challenge with PPI.

I hope you like this I found it this morning.

'We'll let you know': Stars in NHS Covid vaccine ad https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56018107’

It doesn’t seem to want to link properly but give it a try. CA

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First off I want to thank all of you for the best board ever! My husband and I are planning a river cruise somewhere along the Main, Rhine and/or Danube for 2023 and you have given us so much to think about it.

Second, we are pro vaccine for this vius and are anxiously awaiting our chance to receive the shot or shots--we live in So Florida, USA and are 62 yoa, not eligible yet. I'm one of those travelers that enjoys visiting the local food market/store and picking up a food sack/bag as a souvenier. No matter where we're from, we all have to eat and it really does give one an idea of the culture. Thanks to all!

 

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19 hours ago, TravelNLesa said:

First off I want to thank all of you for the best board ever! My husband and I are planning a river cruise somewhere along the Main, Rhine and/or Danube for 2023 and you have given us so much to think about it.

Second, we are pro vaccine for this vius and are anxiously awaiting our chance to receive the shot or shots--we live in So Florida, USA and are 62 yoa, not eligible yet. I'm one of those travelers that enjoys visiting the local food market/store and picking up a food sack/bag as a souvenier. No matter where we're from, we all have to eat and it really does give one an idea of the culture. Thanks to all!

 

We like food on this board - so you fit right in!

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A couple of people mentioned yesterday - Thank you - that Crystal will also be requiring vaccination, so I have looked it up: https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5894/ 

 

Avalon Waterways announced it a few days prior: https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/5871/

 

Who's next?

 

And when will a European continent company follow? Will they dare? 

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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Viking have issued a health and safety concept without vaccination (see https://www.vikingrivercruises.co.uk/my-trip/health-and-safety/health-and-safety-program.html ).

They go for daily testing with PCR, masks and distance. But they wont be sailing until June anyway....

 

I think, it is premature to debate mandatory vaccinations now. Few percent of the population are vaccinated or going to be in the next weeks. From what I have read, all countries have a priority list, mainly elderly and medical personnel first, and, since the state administrations do have the vaccines, there is no chance to jump the queue. So it is not difficult to forecast, that company who will require vaccinations, wont be sailing until the end of summer.

 

Passengers are one side of the medal, crew and land support (tour guides, bus drivers...) are the other. Being younger people, they usually are on the far end of the priority list. They come from all over the world with different vaccinations used, eg. Viking do have plenty of Hungarian buses and drivers. Hungary now uses the Russian vaccine, which is not approved by the EU. Others might come with the Chinese stuff,  Yes, there is plenty of movement (and confusion as well), also we do not know, which administrative regulation, which crossborder rules will apply, when it comes to real sailing. Companies, who declare vaccination mandatory now might rethink that position further down the year.

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Crew and afiliated personnel is a very tricky point. I agree that when passengers are vaccinated there is no way of making sure all others are or will be, unless you are ruthless in your approach to employees and contractors. Not to speak of the younger population that you will encounter in your river cruising country, there may be ease of mind for the older generation sailing and the companies are unlikely to get into the headlines as a downright outbreak becomes far less likely, but if the crew is not vigilant they could have an outbreak among themselves. Even if everyone is vaccinated on the ship, will a sick passenger then claim he got it from a bus driver? Or could even claim compensation from the river cruise operator?

 

All questions that are not for the near future for any company operating from the EU, I should think.

 

It could work for Saga with their river cruises, as they recruit their passengers from the UK, but again the crew is a problem (for which they do not require vaccination). How will Saga handle the work contracts and outsourced amenities and contractors in the long run, what about delivery drivers and musicians, what about VIP guest speakers? What is the health protocol with them? We must always bear in mind that there is no guarantee that I will not contract Covid even if I have been vaccinated.

 

I would certainly try and find out more before I booked a river cruise, even with Saga. Their ocean cruises will have a challenge on a much higher level and I cannot see them extending it to crew any time soon - if ever.

 

The different vaccines are a good point. Will the companies accept any vaccine certificate for passengers (and crew if that is what they plan to do) or the ones approved in their country where they, as a legal entity with their company set-up, are registered?

 

notamermaid

 

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Which vaccine is interesting because I have had my first jab but I presume (oops should not have used that word) that I would not be allowed into Germany even when I have the second one as the first was Phyzer and I’m over 65 and it’s not passed for use in over 65s there. 
It’s going to be challenging because I suspect there will also be a roaring trade in false certificates which is one of the reasons you cannot get a certificate for total knee replacements or pacemakers. CA

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If countries or cruise lines start specifying which vaccines they'll accept, none of us are going anywhere.  Here in the US, you don't get a choice.  You take what's offered to you when your number comes up.

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@Canal archive Pfizer is the top of the league one, for the EU regulators. Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are for all adults here in Germany, the AstraZeneca is not recommended for the old.

 

But here is the thing: I have not heard anything yet as regards lifting that complete entry ban from the UK to Germany and as we are big on not discriminating or handing out legally doubtful privileges for vaccinated people, I doubt we will see many British tourists soon.

 

Which, if it gets really bad, it may mean that Riviera Travel (what might their thoughts be on the whole vaccination business, anyway? - Not heard) may be allowed to sail on the river in late March - they want to restart 1 April - , will have tons of vaccinated passengers who think they are fine and at ease but is not allowed to get their passengers onto the ship as the people are not let into the country due to the entry ban imposed on UK travellers to Germany. If the UK allows overseas travel for their people...

 

One thing is certain: there will not be a smooth start to the river cruising season in Europe.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As things unfold, I see several challenges for Canadians and Americans wanting to do a European river cruise.  First you have to deal with the requirements of the airlines.  Then the requirements of the country you're entering, and finally your cruise line.  These requirements may not be the same or conflict with one another.   If there are too many obstacles to overseas travel, people will just stay home or do land-based vacations in their own countries.

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6 hours ago, Roz said:

First you have to deal with the requirements of the airlines.  Then the requirements of the country you're entering, and finally your cruise line.

Cruise line is just another challenge, still not the final one. The final challenges are the requirements of your home country regarding returning from abroad.

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I agree with those above who say that vaccinations for the crews will be a challenge.  In many of their home countries there have been zero shots given.  Then their age would be putting them at the bottom of the list.  At this point, I don't think that private companies can buy vaccines, so it's not like the large companies that contract out the ship workers could jump in and take care of the workers.

 

I am glad to see in my state, NY, that our 'essential workers', the folks at grocery stores/gas stations, who are face to face with the public every day, are bumped up in priority.  They have been the ones who try and enforce people wearing a mask when out in the public, and make minimum wage.  When I went to adjacent rural Pennsylvania, and got stared at for wearing a mask indoors, I was glad my local workers more more vigilant and the people were pretty good about wearing masks, I think mostly due to the state government pushing it.   My area is just as rural as Central PA (my county has more cows than people, lots of cheese production).  

 

My wife is also a quilter and made tons of masks, good elastic was the hard thing to find.  An unexpected side benefit was I started wearing them snowshoeing and just going for walks.  At 10f, it really helps with holding off wheezing with my slight asthma.  Took me way too long to learn that one.

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