Last updated on September 15, 2020
The current pandemic has undoubtedly altered the way we live, both short- and long-term. It’s no surprise that we have watched the travel and tourism industry take a massive hit as borders closed and social distancing regulations were put into place. At Tenon Tours, we have been working non-stop with our partners, relaxing our cancelation policies and keeping our travelers informed. As countries work to reopen their borders to international travelers, we’re considering what traveling after COVID-19 will look like.
Longer wait times.
Many countries are requiring international travelers to self-isolate for up to 14 days upon arrival. Others are requiring proof that you tested negative for COVID-19. We anticipate more flexibility will be needed at major airports to allow adequate time for testing, and waiting, for results. Depending on where you’re traveling and the airport being utilized, this may also mean that you’ll need new travel documents that you didn’t before, such as a clean bill of health.
Longer wait times are also to be expected when dining out. Restaurants may have limited seating available in order to comply with social distancing guidelines, and you may be required to wait outside before being seated. We recommend making dining reservations in advance to guarantee a table. Please keep in mind that some establishments may have time limits for diners.
More outdoor experiences.
It’s difficult to avoid crowds when visiting popular tourist attractions, but in a post-coronavirus world this will likely be the new normal. Most outdoor activities, like hiking or kayaking, adhere to social distancing regulations but still provide an authentic experience.
New travel essentials.
If you didn’t pack hand sanitizer before, you will probably want to start. We even updated our international packing guide to include it, as it is an easy and convenient way to keep your hands clean while on the go. We may even see flight restrictions ease up on the carry-on size of liquids.
Masks are another new essential that you’ll likely want to pack in your suitcase. Airlines, hotel common areas, and some tours and attractions are requiring customers to wear masks, so it is a smart move to add this one to your list.
More flexibility and understanding.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are still many attractions, hotels and restaurants that are closed. They will also have limited capacity while they follow the social distancing guidelines of that particular country. This means that live music in many bars and restaurants may be postponed, or that you have to wait outside or have your temperature taken before being allowed to enter a building. Hand sanitizing stations will likely be available in most public places as you will be encouraged to wash your hands often.
While these measures are only temporary and many countries are well underway in their reopening phases, setting realistic expectations for your vacation is crucial. Understanding this new reality and preparing for it will allow you to have a safe and fun trip.
How can I be assured that a property I book abides by cleanliness/safety guidelines?
The various tourism boards throughout Europe have assessed risks in tourism-related environments and have issued initiatives subsequent to this. For example, Ireland properties that have completed training on the safety charter display the logo on their website and all around their property and the same in the U.K. where they display their “Good to Go” symbol. Similar charters exist all over Europe.
What do these safety charters mean?
Safety charters are an important part of reassuring visitors of the following:
- All staff on the property have a clear understanding of COVID-19.
- Staff is aware of their role in helping to prevent the spread and making the client feel both safe and comfortable.
- Staff is aware of the standard precautions and measures in place such as face coverings and hand hygiene.
What physical changes will I experience?
During your travels, you may experience the following:
- Increased safety signage and hand wash stations.
- Possible mandatory face coverings required in public areas.
- Controlled check-in times.
- Controlled breakfast sittings to ensure physical distancing. Self-service breakfast buffets will not be allowed for the time being.
- Booking times required for all meals and some tourist attractions.
- Time restrictions during meal bookings.
- Compulsory passenger information forms may be required upon or before arrival at your destination.
When you plan a trip with Tenon Tours, we help you from the early stages of planning until you return home. If you’re thinking about traveling after COVID-19 to Europe, contact us to be put in touch with a personal travel specialist.