Expectation, vaccine, masks: What you need to know before your summer vacation
Summer vacation starts in less than a month. After more than two years of the pandemic, many Swiss can finally go on vacation “as before”. Beach and sea are of course popular. Blick asked the three major tour operators in the country which destinations will make the Swiss dream this summer.
At the top of the list at Hotelplan, Tui, and Kuoni, we find safe bets: Greece and Spain. Third place goes to Turkey, followed by Italy and the United States. Cyprus, Canada, Egypt, Portugal, and the Maldives are also in high demand. Trips to our neighbors continue to be very popular. Except in Italy, these are rarely booked through a travel agency. For Germany, Austria, and France, the Swiss most often go there by their means, by car.
Even if many are looking forward to the start of the holidays, the Covid is not yet ancient history. While traveling, you will have to continue to pay attention to certain things. To get you ready for summer 2022, Blick answers the top seven questions for top destinations:
Do we still need the Covid certificate?
In most cases, no. In Europe, you can almost move freely this summer, even without having been vaccinated against Covid. In some cases, however, unvaccinated people will need to get tested. This is the case for example in France, Portugal, or Egypt. A vaccination certificate, therefore, continues to facilitate travel.
For holidays in the United States or Canada, it is even still mandatory. Anyone who is not vaccinated cannot enter these countries. The additional testing required for travel to the United States, however, fell on Friday. From Sunday, people wishing to travel to the United States will no longer need to present a negative test. This was announced by health authorities in Washington.
When does the Covid certificate I need to travel expire?
The EU has limited the validity of certificates after two doses of vaccine to 270 days. This is still important in some countries, such as France. A negative Covid test is required there at the end of this period. Also in Switzerland, recall certificates are officially only valid for 270 days. But even after this period, there is no need to worry. Indeed, the booster is valid in the rest of Europe, Egypt, and the United States without a time limit. Those who still want to play it safe can get vaccinated a fourth time before the holidays but at their own expense.
Can unvaccinated people also travel?
Yes, there are no longer any restrictions in Greece, Spain, Turkey, Italy, Austria, Cyprus, and the Maldives. Unvaccinated people who wish to travel to France, Portugal, or Egypt must present a negative Covid test. Travel to the United States or Canada is not possible without a vaccine.
Do I still have to bring sanitary masks?
The obligation to wear a mask on planes was certainly abolished in May. Almost all countries have also removed the requirement to wear a mask in restaurants or public establishments. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions. In some countries, the mask is necessary for public transport, and in others in public buildings. In the United States, the rules even differ from state to state. It is, therefore, worthwhile to bring enough masks and to find out about the local rules before departure or immediately after arrival.
What should I pay attention to when traveling by plane?
It is recommended to arrive early at the airport. The general rule of arriving at the airport two hours before departure is no longer valid given the situation in crowded airports. It is now better to arrive three or even four hours in advance. Aviation experts predict turbulence at European airports this summer. The reason for this is the lack of staff at airlines and airport operators in the wake of the pandemic. The Whitsun weekend was a taste of this: thousands of passengers missed their flights in London, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt var officials could not handle the influx in time.
Has travel gotten more expensive for summer 2022?
Without a doubt. Airline ticket prices have increased for two reasons: on the one hand, kerosene has become more expensive. On the other hand, the demand exceeds the supply of flights. Airlines cannot keep up due to a lack of staff. They, therefore, increase their prices to reap maximum profits. Added to this is the high inflation in many holiday countries, which in particular drives up hotel prices. Everyday products in the destination country are also likely to have become more expensive. “In the Western Mediterranean, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, the price increase is more marked,” says Bianca Gähweiler, spokesperson for Hotelplan.
What is the volume of reservations?
It is partly higher than before the pandemic. At Hotelplan, bookings for June to August were 10% higher than in 2019. Tui and Kuoni also report strong demand. All things considered, experts expect the volume of bookings for the 2022 summer holidays to be only slightly lower than in 2019. So the recovery is here!