We are so happy to see in-person racing is starting back up around the U.S. And, now we are starting to get the details on Europe opening back up to U.S. tourists. Here’s what we know, and some tips for you to get ready to join in the fun.
We are already seeing in-person races being rolled out around the U.S. Europe is a little behind the U.S. in this regard, but in-person events have started up there as well.
What changes can we expect in the post-Covid world? Limited number of participants has been the most common change so far. So, make sure you register for your race early — or, join a tour with us and get guaranteed entry!
Other common race features for Covid-19 safety:
- Mask requirements at the start and finish
- Limited pre- and post-race gatherings
- Staggered start times
- Pre-packaged food, or no food offered
- Single-use water bottles, or “bring-your-own water” requirement
While the events may look a little different, we are excited to finally be gathering together and racing again!
The European Union “will accept, unconditionally, all those who are vaccinated with vaccines that are approved by EMA [the European Medicines Agency],” Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, told the New York Times. The three vaccines that have been approved for use in the United States—Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson—have all been approved for use in Europe.
It’s great to hear that all of Europe will be opening soon, but von der Leyen didn’t give much information on when or exactly how that would be happening.
Luckily, France was more concrete with their plans. French President Emmanuel Macron released a detailed road map for how the country plans to emerge from its current lockdown and begin relaxing restrictions. The plan includes allowing foreign tourists with a “health pass” to visit France again starting June 9. Greece is already starting a phased opening, and Italy and Spain are not far behind.
What’s a Vaccine Passport?
The truth is, we don’t yet know. France’s plan seemed to indicate that either proof of a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test would suffice to gain entry. But, there is talk about a more strict requirement of proof of vaccine only.
A digital “vaccine passport” has been speculated by many in the travel and tourism industry, but actual details are not yet known. The E.U. is working on “Digital Green Certificates,” to prove vaccination status, recent negative tests, or recovery from the disease. We U.S. travelers may need to submit a proof of vaccine document to the country we plan to visit. That country would then issue us a digital certificate to meet the E.U. requirements. But, at this point it’s too early to know exactly what the process will entail.
We do know that Europe is eager for tourists, so I wouldn’t expect the process to be a difficult one.
Make Your Reservations
A travel boom is coming, so be ready to make your plans!
A Travel Technology Association survey found that over 80% of Americans plan to travel this year. And, AirBnB CEO Brian Chesky said, “we think there’s going to be a travel rebound coming that’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.” We at Finish Line Travel agree – everyone wants to get out and run a race and TRAVEL!
What can you do to be ready to travel once the borders open?
- Keep an eye on flights – there have been some good deals popping up, so be ready to snatch that flight when the price is right.
- Pay attention to cancelation policies – most airlines are offering free changes and free cancelations. But, don’t expect those terms to last past the New Year.
- Book early to guarantee your spot. Our Finish Line Travel tours are small – so, they will fill up! Book early to guarantee your spot, but also know that your tour can be canceled or changed without hassle.
- Go run, travel & enjoy!