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    Fishers, Indiana
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    New Zealand

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Unless these products were actually compared in a phase III randomized study on the same population, it is just not possible to say that one is more efficacious than the other, despite what people might want to say for various reasons. My understanding about the new GalaxoSmithkline-Vir Biotechnology product is that it is designed to neutralize both the current coronavirus as well as the old SARS virus, making it bi-functional.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Does this mean you can only “look” at Amsterdam from your ship? Sorry about that.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Oops. Correction, the surprising statements from Crystal Cruises were never mentioned in the Cruise Critic article. But other trade news websites have included these statements from Crystal that came out last night.
  15. You may not have noticed this, but this information on Cruise Critic has been edited overnight. Initially, it contained a few specific information about how individual cruise lines are complying with the Dutch regulations, including a statement from Crystal saying that US passengers entering Netherlands from Germany do not need to quarantine. Now, some of the statements, including those from Crystal have been removed entirely. I think more changes and announcements are pending.
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