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US State Department to designate most countries with "Do Not Travel" advisory do to the pandemic


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2 hours ago, Shadow9612 said:

Couldn't various countries' quarantine rules also be big trouble for trying to 'meet your ship at the next port' if you do arrive late and miss the boat??   

A lot of things could go wrong if you're cutting it within 24 hours.  We once had baggage misrouted when we arrived in India but they were able to get it to our next hotel...that is not going to work on a transatlantic journey!  But as other people noted above, Spain could potentially institute an arrival quarantine or what if one of you has a cough in the customs line or a false positive and it takes a day or two to sort out?

 

What I'm most perplexed about is that you mentioned you were vaccinated-- so your risk of getting COVID seems near zero (assuming its an MRNA vax) and your risk of trip interruption is materially higher.  Also, even if you spend no time in Spain, the majority of the people boarding the ship have (to say nothing of being packed together with people from around the world in airport terminals, planes, and immigration queues), so I don't see how spending an extra 48-72 hours in Spain materially moves the risk needle.   

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17 minutes ago, JennAngel9 said:

A lot of things could go wrong if you're cutting it within 24 hours.  We once had baggage misrouted when we arrived in India but they were able to get it to our next hotel...that is not going to work on a transatlantic journey!  But as other people noted above, Spain could potentially institute an arrival quarantine or what if one of you has a cough in the customs line or a false positive and it takes a day or two to sort out?

 

What I'm most perplexed about is that you mentioned you were vaccinated-- so your risk of getting COVID seems near zero (assuming its an MRNA vax) and your risk of trip interruption is materially higher.  Also, even if you spend no time in Spain, the majority of the people boarding the ship have (to say nothing of being packed together with people from around the world in airport terminals, planes, and immigration queues), so I don't see how spending an extra 48-72 hours in Spain materially moves the risk needle.   

Do you think having the vaccine puts someone at a near zero chance of getting it?

 

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21 hours ago, K.T.B. said:

IMO, this is the US's rebuttal to the cruise industry wanting to start up again.

 

The advisories apply to all modes of travel, including the very significant number of Americans who travel by air.  

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18 hours ago, nocl said:

No, it is not, it is preparing for the next stage where the pandemic is largely under control in the US, but not so outside of the US.

 

It is a reminder about the state of the pandemic else where.

I think some fully vaccinated people in the US at least perhaps don't look at the big (world) picture.  They might feel the pandemic is over (for them).  And variants are not a danger to them. These are some (not all) of the same people signing up for cruises in destinations that are currently off limits for travel for Americans.  Hedging bets.  The State Dept. updated warnings might be a reminder, but probably not for many folks who will choose to ignore.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, nocl said:

The cruise industry is the tip of the tail, not the main part of the dog.

 

A couple of reasons

 

1. Prior to this point the outbreak inside of the US was pretty much out of control and the concern with travelers from the US was more on US taking infection out, than people bringing it in.  Though we did put the testing requirements on international flights.

 

2. With the vaccine being widely available and if uptake continues then we have a good chance of getting the outbreak inside of the US under good control.  Thus as with several other countries the focus for the next stage of the fight is changing from the inside the country control, to keeping new variants than might have more vaccine resistance out.  Thus the increased focus on international travel.

 

3. With the current rate of vaccination in the rest of the world there will continue to be high rates of infection in large portions of the world.  High rates mean continued mutations and high risk of a vaccine resistant strain. We do not want to end up back at pre-vaccine state.

Thank you for that reasoned explanation nocl.  The conspiratorial line being drawn because of the State Department advisories is nonsense. You are more well versed than I, but it is all about the variants. 

Edited by harkinmr
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13 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Ok, I’m just curious. So we are both vaccinated and our next foreign cruise, if it goes, is a TA from Barcelona back to Ft Lauderdale arriving Nov 4th. If we fly from the US into Barcelona and then get directly on the Celebrity chartered bus headed straight to the ship, how in the heck are we going to catch COVID from folks with the virus living in Spain?

 

BTW we will always being wearing masks and social distancing while in public areas and will only go on X sanctioned excursions. 

OK, so here’s the optional “rest of the story”. We also have a 14 day R/T Island Princess cruise booked out of Southampton which, if it goes, is scheduled to return on Oct 19. We will spend the night at a Heathrow AP hotel and then take a short flight to Barcelona where we have a Celebrity pre-night hotel booked before we are taken to the ship for departure on the Apex Oct 21. 
 

But, if both cruises actually go and vaccines continue to flow in the EU, I’m not seeing any real issues. As I said, we have no issues with wearing masks and social distancing. 
 

And, yes, we will probably fly in a day early to Barcelona if the Princess cruise doesn’t go for the various reasons mentioned by others above. 

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We have three cruises booked for 2022, two trans-Atlantics and one Med.  So we are definitely "betting" on European travel approaching pre-pandemic conditions.  That said, Europe (Schengen) remains closed to tourist related travel.  The current uptick in infection rates doesn't offer hope that e ngryinto Schengen will be relaxed anytime soon.  Additionally, designating essentially all of Schengen as "Do Not Travel" is likely to have a similar response towards Americans.  State's "Do Not Travel" is based on more than pandemic expansion and includes the ability of US embassies and consulates to assist Americans in need overseas.  Of course the pandemic trend in the US is also not welcoming Europeans to travel here.  About half of Americans have received one stick of the vaccine and about 40 percent have received both.  Not good enough to welcome foreign tourism.  April 30 is the date through with the Schengen restrictions on non-member citizens end.  If extended, which is likely because of rising infection rates, any travel, including cruising, will be at serious risk for the remainder of 2021.

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

OK, so here’s the optional “rest of the story”. We also have a 14 day R/T Island Princess cruise booked out of Southampton which, if it goes, is scheduled to return on Oct 19. We will spend the night at a Heathrow AP hotel and then take a short flight to Barcelona where we have a Celebrity pre-night hotel booked before we are taken to the ship for departure on the Apex Oct 21. 
 

But, if both cruises actually go and vaccines continue to flow in the EU, I’m not seeing any real issues. As I said, we have no issues with wearing masks and social distancing. 
 

And, yes, we will probably fly in a day early to Barcelona if the Princess cruise doesn’t go for the various reasons mentioned by others above. 

Ken,

If these cruises sail, I am sure you will take all precautions.  I hope they work out for you!

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Just to add to the confusion: Most of Europe--including Greece and, provisionally, Croatia, which has ,to date welcomed Americans independently--is under the Schengen protocols. But not the UK. Hmm. Would there be a problem with travel between the UK and Spain (for say, those 2 cruises), without quarantining along the way?

AND: if we do travel to red* countries where (whether Europe or the Caribbean or Asia), will they make us quarantine before re-entry, in spite of being vaccinated?

*Since the CDC and the State Dept now seem to have aligned their international safety rankings, albeit other factors than covid may be driving a lot of the State Dept ones. 

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The list of Level 4 is now almost the entire world outside of USA.  Canada, Italy, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Russia, etc....   The places that are not level 4 (like Australia) don't want outside tourists.   They should just say Do Not Travel (period) instead of listing all the countries LOL.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, TeeRick said:

Ken,

If these cruises sail, I am sure you will take all precautions.  I hope they work out for you!

Thanks Rick! But you know me, I’m the eternal optimist. 🙃

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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On 4/20/2021 at 11:30 AM, PTC DAWG said:

I'd travel out of the country in a heartbeat...not sure if my leaders will let me back in.  

I wouldn't panic. As others have pointed out, these are only *advisories* from the State Department, and there's no indication that US citizens are going to be blocked from reentering the country. Remember, throughout the pandemic, US citizens in China were still allowed to return to the US without issue, even after the borders had been "closed" (to Chinese nationals only). 
 

These warnings are entirely the government saying "it's probably a bad idea to go there, because that global pandemic thing is not going well in this specific place." As long as you're a US citizen and can produce a negative covid test as required by the government, you should be fine to return. 

 

It's also important to remember that the State Dept. issues advisories on all sorts of things: terrorism, diseases, social unrest, etc, and issues panic-inducing RED warnings regularly. In 2019, we were scheduled to visit Southeast Asia on a cruise. Based on State Dept. advisories, we got immunized for typhoid, and got a Hep-A booster. 

Since we've done a great job making with vaccinations in the US, many Americans think of the pandemic as something of the past. This is a good way to flag to a lot of people that things outside of the US are still really bad lots of places.

 

Just look at the number of Cruise Critic members who are still planning their summer 2021 Mediterranean cruises in Italy and Spain... each time to try to flag that they probably need to look at other vacation options, I'm just shouted down by people trying to be "optimistic." 

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13 hours ago, Ashland said:

Do you think having the vaccine puts someone at a near zero chance of getting it?

 

With mRNA vaccines, the odds of getting a symptomatic case, let alone a severe case are near zero.  I wouldn't say that for any of the other ones currently available-- but despite getting Pfizer myself, I am not confident that new vaccine-resistant strains won't emerge over the next 3-6 months in the parts of the world where the pandemic continues to rage (or the pockets of America full of people who won't vaccinate)-- however, if a major escape variant emerges that is as/more dangerous than COVID-19 classic, I doubt any of us will need to worry about intercontinental travel or cruising logistics.

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3 hours ago, TeeRick said:

It is hard to imagine safe travel internationally any time in 2021.

Going to be interesting when those Celebrity Greece cruises begin sailing...

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2 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

Probably sailing only with citizens from Greece.

Probably, but as of right now, I can book a Greece cruise on Apex for July 17, 7 days.  Apparently they need more cash flow before they drop the hammer and cancel for US citizens.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, TeeRick said:

As they say.  "Come Hell or High Water".

No, more like “keep hope afloat”. We have cruises booked in July (2), August (1), October (2), November (1), December (1) and February (1). We just want to be ready when the flag drops and we can actually start cruising again. Also, we’ve had most of those cruises booked long before COVID. But we also know they’re not going to allow longer cruises again until it’s reasonably safe to do so. 
 

Personally, I don’t think we’ll be able to do the Celebrity/Princess B2B I described above if Spain requires a PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival in country. BUT, if by July all that is required by Spain is to show proof of being vaccinated and both cruises have been declared a go, then we’ll probably go on both.
 

But, we’ll see what’s shaking when our FPs start becoming due and payable in early July because we really don’t want to give the cruise lines any more money until we are pretty sure we’re going on the cruise. Actually, our Antarctica cruise in December with Seabourn is the one we’re really hoping goes and that’s why we’re thankful @Ride-The-Wavesstarted this thread so we can keep an eye on the status of Argentina and Chile as well as, of course, Spain and the UK. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, lostchild said:

The list of Level 4 is now almost the entire world outside of USA.  Canada, Italy, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Russia, etc....   The places that are not level 4 (like Australia) don't want outside tourists.   They should just say Do Not Travel (period) instead of listing all the countries LOL.

Ya, last I saw, a month or two ago AU had a two week quarantine in an assigned, guarded, hotel room.  But you could go if you really, really wanted to.

Edited by rmalbers
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7 minutes ago, rmalbers said:

Ya, last I saw, a month or two ago AU had a two week quarantine in an assigned, guarded, hotel room.  But you could go if you really, really wanted to.

guarded???  May you please explain.

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Posted (edited)

Decrease in "shots in the arm" of 11 percent (running average) reported in the US today with "red" states like Florida and Texas leading the decline.  The US is just at 50 percent of eligible (16+) and 40 percent of total population having received one shot.  Not enough to even begin to think about "herd" immunity.  This is definitely a detraction from the potential of returning to cruising if any kind especially from cruise pots in Florida and Texas.  Forget about crews and ship being fully vaccinated.  With less than half the communities around cruise ports being vaccinated and centering their place as potential "super spreader" areas neither the cruise lines nor the CDC will be eager to open up and accept cruise ship passengers.  For sure, this vaccinated passenger will not be staying overnight in the center of an unvaccinated port pre-cruise.

Edited by Ride-The-Waves
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23 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Decrease in "shots in the arm" of 11 percent (running average) reported in the US today with "red" states like Florida and Texas leading the decline.  The US is just at 50 percent of eligible (16+) and 40 percent of total population having received one shot.  Not enough to even begin to think about "herd" immunity.  This is definitely a detraction from the potential of returning to cruising if any kind especially from cruise pots in Florida and Texas.  Forget about crews and ship being fully vaccinated.  With less than half the communities around cruise ports being vaccinated and centering their place as potential "super spreader" areas neither the cruise lines nor the CDC will be eager to open up and accept cruise ship passengers.  For sure, this vaccinated passenger will not be staying overnight in the center of an unvaccinated port pre-cruise.

Us neither. One would think that DeSantis and Abbott would be all about making their ports safe for cruisers to return with confidence. Just makes no sense.

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