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Germany moves to Level 4 for US citizens - very high risk


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Actually it´s currenty the VIVA Inspire sailing for the VIVA Tiara which is still in the shipyard for maintenance. As soon as the VIVA Tiara is out the VIVA Inspire will be withdrawn (and then renamed back to Inspire). The second ship starting is the VIVA Moments (former Robert Burns).

 

steamboats

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On 1/25/2022 at 4:48 PM, steamboats said:

Actually it´s currenty the VIVA Inspire sailing for the VIVA Tiara which is still in the shipyard for maintenance. As soon as the VIVA Tiara is out the VIVA Inspire will be withdrawn (and then renamed back to Inspire). The second ship starting is the VIVA Moments (former Robert Burns).

 

steamboats

Thanks for the info. New to me. Cannot find it on the website.

 

Fellow citizen, party politics aside, I am reaching my wits end about the people in Berlin operating without wit or logic... Anecdotally I have read that people in foreign countries are shaking their heads about us. I hope it is not true.

 

To say it with Shakespeare "If I had my mouth I would bite, if I had my liberty I would do my liking". I have to endure framing in the media, slander of my fellow citizens, a dividing president. I will need to leave it at that and just hope, hope, hope, that river cruise fans will not be deterred from coming to my beautiful country because the news gives wrong impressions. Should I be able to calm down again enough I will post a few lines about restrictions. For now, I think not enough of note has changed (apart from the sudden change to the recovery status) for travellers from abroad. These are eventful times.

 

Just one thing: The event "Rhine in Flames" in Bonn will not take place this year (would have been in May), the one in Koblenz will take place (in August, i.e. the usual date).

 

notamermaid

 

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We postponed our Viking Waltz river cruise for the 3rd time. The first two times they canceled and rebooked us. But this time I was shocked that they ask for a $500 deposit to hold the reservation. They say because it will take a few weeks to issue the cruise credit. It doesnt seem right to me that I have to pay more because it takes weeks to move MY money from one Viking acct to another. Also they said I lost my included air. They have held my $8000, + money for 2 years 7 months, and we still have not left house. I expected more from Viking!

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On 1/26/2022 at 11:18 AM, jimdalva said:

We postponed our Viking Waltz river cruise for the 3rd time. The first two times they canceled and rebooked us. But this time I was shocked that they ask for a $500 deposit to hold the reservation. They say because it will take a few weeks to issue the cruise credit. It doesnt seem right to me that I have to pay more because it takes weeks to move MY money from one Viking acct to another. Also they said I lost my included air. They have held my $8000, + money for 2 years 7 months, and we still have not left house. I expected more from Viking!

This is shocking, indeed! Very seriously!

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On 1/26/2022 at 6:18 PM, jimdalva said:

Also they said I lost my included air.

Why should that happen?? If it is free, it is free. Are you sure they are not bound to this in your contract? Just wondering. All in all, Viking has not been at the top of the list for good reactions towards the pandemic in their customer service, at least with the people here on the board. Sorry to read about the problems with them. Perhaps you could make this a bit more public, i.e. bring it to attention locally where you are. Newspaper, county politician (those that see to problems with consumer rights), for example.

 

notamermaid

 

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Another country, this time Switzerland, is looking ahead towards an end to the pandemic. After the Omicron wave which is likely to peak in February they can see an end to restrictions coming into view, perhaps completely by June. Germany is still trying to keep Omicron low, which may or may not be a good idea. It statistically prolongs the time frame for immunity to give us more ease - and ultimately let us return to normal. So, in contrast to Switzerland changing its mindset and other countries, especially the UK, ending or at least reducing restrictions, our health minister ((I shall refrain from further comments about his qualifications for the job)) prefers draconian measures.

 

So, all in all, I can see no end to restrictions here any time soon. This is news about Germany and other countries: https://www.euronews.com/2022/01/24/covid-19-in-europe-germany-maintains-restrictions-as-omicron-infections-rise

 

notamermaid

 

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Congratulations to Denmark! As of today, all restrictions on public life are lifted. The country is moving on. In an interview a chief advisor to the government said, that the high vaccination rate, the mild Omicron and its subvariant that is circulating in Denmark, mean that although the infection rate is very high, this does not translate into high hospitalisations. The lady, Dr. Camilla Holten-Møller, stated that the country will continue to monitor the situation and vigilance and protection of vulnerable people stays high.

 

What bliss that must be!

 

My country on the other hand... I am still looking with disbelief to the so-called experts in Berlin, am ashamed of some fellow people and have a hard time understanding the restrictions and regulations both in logic and wording as they slightly differ from state to state. I will need to have a look at the latest document coming from my state government in Mainz for work. Not much has changed, that I know. February still means much restricted life, especially for the "unvaccinated". Why the quotation marks? Unvaccinated in Germany now comprises those that recovered from Covid too long ago, those that have had one vaccine and those that were fully vaccinated but whose certificate has run out. By the way, a government-funded institute (PEI) here actually confirmed as a sub-result, i.e. not the aim of the actual study, that there is a basic natural immunity still detectable in recovered COVID-19 patients after 430 days.

 

You cannot blame more than 100,000 people protesting every Monday in the streets. So many ordinary citizens are so fed up that they even ignore local authority orders not to gather in groups. If you were to come on river cruise to Germany now you would most certainly encounter such a stroll/protest. But the idea remains peaceful.

 

As Omicron has been dominant in Germany for a considerable amount of days now we like Denmark no more see that correlation between infection rate and hospitalisation, despite lower vaccination rate than Denmark.

 

So will we see an ease of restrictions in March? Difficult to say. It will also depend a bit on how much more the general public is willing to accept...

 

River cruise lines have to adhere to government restrictions but once the hospitality industry is allowed to scrap all regulations, a tour operator may want to keep a tried and tested safety protocol. It will be interesting to see how that develops.

 

notamermaid

 

 

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I, for one, will do whatever it takes to be able to travel to Switzerland, cruise down the Rhine, and spend a few days in Amsterdam.  I am triple vaxed, will fill out whatever forms, and wear my mask diligently.  Hope to see Switzerland, Germany, France and Netherlands in March.

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20 hours ago, Heartfelttraveler said:

Hope to see Switzerland, Germany, France and Netherlands in March.

I am sure you will have a great time. The strength of that Rhine itinerary, I find, is how varied the landscape is, and although all Western Europe, the cultures you encounter do differ, in some aspects considerably. March can be an interesting month to travel in, depending on the weather you can see snow in Switzerland and the Black Forest and arrive in the Netherlands with a feeling of spring in the air and trees budding.

 

Enjoy.

 

notamermaid

 

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On 2/2/2022 at 10:35 AM, notamermaid said:

I am sure you will have a great time. The strength of that Rhine itinerary, I find, is how varied the landscape is, and although all Western Europe, the cultures you encounter do differ, in some aspects considerably. March can be an interesting month to travel in, depending on the weather you can see snow in Switzerland and the Black Forest and arrive in the Netherlands with a feeling of spring in the air and trees budding.

 

Enjoy.

 

notamermaid

 

 

The diverse weather is something we are hoping for.  We have planned a week in Switzerland prior to boarding a Viking River Cruise.   I realize we will be a little too early to see the Tulips while in Amsterdam, but there should be lots of earlier blooms to see.  We are looking forward to the beautiful country of Germany both from the boat and while touring.  Now I just need to figure out what forms I need to get done to fly to and travel in Switzerland.  And if any other forms need to be done for Germany and the Netherlands.

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On 2/1/2022 at 6:44 AM, notamermaid said:

Congratulations to Denmark! As of today, all restrictions on public life are lifted. The country is moving on. In an interview a chief advisor to the government said, that the high vaccination rate, the mild Omicron and its subvariant that is circulating in Denmark, mean that although the infection rate is very high, this does not translate into high hospitalisations. The lady, Dr. Camilla Holten-Møller, stated that the country will continue to monitor the situation and vigilance and protection of vulnerable people stays high.

 

What bliss that must be!

 

My country on the other hand... I am still looking with disbelief to the so-called experts in Berlin, am ashamed of some fellow people and have a hard time understanding the restrictions and regulations both in logic and wording as they slightly differ from state to state. I will need to have a look at the latest document coming from my state government in Mainz for work. Not much has changed, that I know. February still means much restricted life, especially for the "unvaccinated". Why the quotation marks? Unvaccinated in Germany now comprises those that recovered from Covid too long ago, those that have had one vaccine and those that were fully vaccinated but whose certificate has run out. By the way, a government-funded institute (PEI) here actually confirmed as a sub-result, i.e. not the aim of the actual study, that there is a basic natural immunity still detectable in recovered COVID-19 patients after 430 days.

 

You cannot blame more than 100,000 people protesting every Monday in the streets. So many ordinary citizens are so fed up that they even ignore local authority orders not to gather in groups. If you were to come on river cruise to Germany now you would most certainly encounter such a stroll/protest. But the idea remains peaceful.

 

As Omicron has been dominant in Germany for a considerable amount of days now we like Denmark no more see that correlation between infection rate and hospitalisation, despite lower vaccination rate than Denmark.

 

So will we see an ease of restrictions in March? Difficult to say. It will also depend a bit on how much more the general public is willing to accept...

 

River cruise lines have to adhere to government restrictions but once the hospitality industry is allowed to scrap all regulations, a tour operator may want to keep a tried and tested safety protocol. It will be interesting to see how that develops.

 

notamermaid

 

 

notamermaid, I'm so sorry to read what your country is going through.  The State of Texas has been completely  open with no mask mandate since March 2021 and was mostly open before that since June 2020 with no appreciable downside.  Omicron has turned out to be no worse than the typical flu that goes around here every year. In fact, my husband and I were exposed on Christmas Day and did not come down with anything, although we took the precaution of quarantining for 10 days per CDC recommendation and my husband took a Covid test just to be sure although he had no symptoms 5 days after exposure.  Neither of us developed any symptoms. Our vaccinations and booster obviously worked.  Moreover, a new study from Johns Hopkins shows that the lockdowns only saved .2% of people from dying of Covid (that's a little over 1,300 people), but the lockdowns caused hundreds of thousands of other types of unnecessary, non covid-related deaths, led to economic disaster including homelessness for lower income Americans, destroyed small businesses and increased domestic violence.  Here is the Johns Hopkins study:  https://sites.krieger.jhu.edu/iae/files/2022/01/A-Literature-Review-and-Meta-Analysis-of-the-Effects-of-Lockdowns-on-COVID-19-Mortality.pdf

 

I am relieved that Covid, while mutating seems to be becoming less and less lethal with each variant. I believe we are nearly out of this situation.  

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On 2/7/2022 at 6:52 PM, SuiteTraveler said:

Omicron has turned out to be no worse than the typical flu that goes around here every year.

That is the conclusion European countries are coming to. And, some citizens have already seen it for a few weeks, i.e. the ones that know about how things have developed since that thing coming from South Africa, here in Germany. But our government preferred to stay a bit longer in panic mode. Now, to my utter surprise - although I had hope (see post above) - there are promising signs coming from Berlin. As a side note: I have spoken to some people in the street, the so-called strollers, and it made me thoughtful how much info is lost because of the language barrier. One man asked me "Fauci E-Mails, what is that about?". Now I understand things better. German media just does not seem to pick up some stuff as much or as well that I almost instinctively know about. I think I need to watch more German stuff again. In the other direction, it humbles me to be able to help with what may not come across to you in English so directly. Fortunately, there are enough websites we can turn to without me constantly going into details. So here is one with a short bit of good news from German government as regards restrictions: https://www.euronews.com/2022/02/05/covid-in-europe-austrian-vaccination-law-comes-into-effect-while-danes-enjoy-eased-measure

 

So, we may be past the peak:

image.thumb.png.ef2f6017c449ccd2a9ff8666ab766e13.png

 

And I was about to rant on about restrictions not easing in time for the river cruising season to start, government annoying, etc. :classic_wink: Won't do that - for the time being. March now looking a bit more promising for pleasant times on the river.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Canal archive said:

It looks like our covid isolation requirements could be ending by the end of the month 😀

Sounds good.

 

Forgot to mention that the rule for contact tracing in Rhineland-Palatinate has changed. Restaurants and many other places do not need to register customer addresses anymore. And from 18 February also the "unvaccinated" can go shopping in any shop. Other states are already doing that or will do so in the next few days. Public life will remain much restricted, i.e. you can only lead a "normal" life with all the culture and feasting and sports, if you have had a booster jab or have very recently recovered. If you are fully vaccinated you can do a lot, taking an additional test will "upgrade" you to temporary booster status, or in other words you are 2G and are with a test allowed into an establishment that requires 2Gplus.

 

The state ministers will meet on 16 February and discuss further easing of restrictions.

 

notamermaid

 

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A quick look across the border at my neighbouring country - Luxembourg: https://today.rtl.lu/news/luxembourg/a/1861166.html

 

I had forgotten Luxembourg had similarly strict rules as us.

 

This now makes a quick dash for cheap petrol and shopping more fun. :classic_smile:

For travellers whose vaccine certificate may run out soon, Luxembourg is a good place to go to. Just to remind people, Remich in Luxembourg is a Moselle river cruise port.

 

And back to Germany, well, we still have to put up with 16 slightly differing sets of regulations. What I hope to see gone for your sake for river cruising and myself as a travelling citizen and my job in tourism is this info sheet: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/corona-bundeslaender-1745198

Makes you want to ban the letter G from the alphabet :classic_wink:. I have stored screen shots on my computer for posterity. Anyway, date for meeting is still the 16 February.

 

So till then.

 

notamermaid

 

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The impatient girl that I am, I could not resist a look at what may be decided on Wednesday. It basically works like this: the 16 state ministers walk with their folders with ideas to Berlin, greet the chancellor and say "this is what I suggest". It may actually be a video conference...

 

It looks promising for scrapping regulations in two to three levels spread over February and March, not completely but a lot. But mask wearing is likely to remain beyond that. So no completely normal pre-pandemic Germany by the beginning of the river cruising season. Our "Angstminister" (not my words, they are Berlin politicians' words) who is supposed to be a health minister, would prefer to keep stricter rules. Let us hope the 16 men and women will prevail, for all our sake.

 

Talk to you latest Thursday.

 

notamermaid

 

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Ontario is slowly opening up, by Thursday, although vaccine passports will still be required, restaurants will be able to open up to 50% capacity. They are saying that if numbers go as they have been, and things continue, by March 1, we will be able to open with no passports.  Masks will still be required though.  

 

A bright light hopefully at the end of the tunnel, which with all that has been going on here, we need.

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On 2/1/2022 at 2:04 PM, Heartfelttraveler said:

I, for one, will do whatever it takes to be able to travel to Switzerland, cruise down the Rhine, and spend a few days in Amsterdam.  I am triple vaxed, will fill out whatever forms, and wear my mask diligently.  Hope to see Switzerland, Germany, France and Netherlands in March.


Unless things have changed, be prepared to take a daily Covid test while you are in Netherlands.  If you are able to get an EU Green Pass with your CDC card you wont' need to do this.  We tried to get the EU Green Pass in Italy and Germany before getting to NL with no luck.

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24 minutes ago, ducklite said:


Unless things have changed, be prepared to take a daily Covid test while you are in Netherlands.  If you are able to get an EU Green Pass with your CDC card you wont' need to do this.  We tried to get the EU Green Pass in Italy and Germany before getting to NL with no luck.

Things have changed. The Netherlands is about to open up. See post #27.

 

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We are scheduled to take Emerald’s Danube cruise on May 8 departing from Passau. Their agent told me that a Covid test was not required in order to board. She also said that they would administer a test prior to disembarkation, but we might have to pay for it.

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Decision made. News in brief. Most restrictions will be lifted by 20 March. From Friday my state Rhineland-Palatinate will get rid of 2G in shops, among other things, and this will mean that all 16 states will have restrictions that are more uniform. Basically, not completely. From 4 March 3G in restaurants and hotels. This opens up the hospitality industry to the "unvaccinated". Likely to be applied by all states but not definite. 20 March big day for lifting more restrictions. Not written in stone but very likely. States have been told to proceed with caution with an eye on hospitalizations.

 

Indoor and outdoor gatherings possible in increasing numbers, i.e. thousands of people in one place. Looking promising for Spring events. Again, not written in stone.

 

I advice looking up details on the tourist websites for the individual states. Or phone ahead wherever you want to go to avoid disappointment. Places like volunteer-run museums, and so on, especially.

 

notamermaid

 

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33 minutes ago, notamermaid said:

Decision made. News in brief. Most restrictions will be lifted by 20 March. From Friday my state Rhineland-Palatinate will get rid of 2G in shops, among other things, and this will mean that all 16 states will have restrictions that are more uniform. Basically, not completely. From 4 March 3G in restaurants and hotels. This opens up the hospitality industry to the "unvaccinated". Likely to be applied by all states but not definite. 20 March big day for lifting more restrictions. Not written in stone but very likely. States have been told to proceed with caution with an eye on hospitalizations.

 

Indoor and outdoor gatherings possible in increasing numbers, i.e. thousands of people in one place. Looking promising for Spring events. Again, not written in stone.

 

I advice looking up details on the tourist websites for the individual states. Or phone ahead wherever you want to go to avoid disappointment. Places like volunteer-run museums, and so on, especially.

 

notamermaid

 

 

 

Thanks very much for keeping us updated.     We are scheduled for Viking Basel-Amsterdam on 3/27 so fingers crossed this March 20th date will hold.

 

 

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21 hours ago, sfocruiser said:

 

 

Thanks very much for keeping us updated.     We are scheduled for Viking Basel-Amsterdam on 3/27 so fingers crossed this March 20th date will hold.

 

 

 

Are you flying to Basel from the USA?

Have you started your Switzerland Covid Certificate?

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