Oh, fiddle de de!
I'm just one of those geeky people who gets interested in a variety of trivial things, especially technical- and know just a little about a lot of things, and nothing about just as many.
The government may or may not direct what will happen here. In order to check into the Sonesta Maho Beach you must present proof of an antigen test. To get aboard our ship you must show proof of vaccination, and they will give you an antigen test on the spot prior to boarding. The ship will provide covid pcr testing upon request for a fee for the trip home. Some of the excursions take you ashore, even to bars and restaurants, but you must be on a ‘ship’ excursion. St. Maarten requires that you buy ‘their’ covid insurance. My eyes grow weary reading rules that change daily, but if it happens it will be a blast. By the way the Maho Beach was totally destroyed by the last hurricane. I think the rebuild took two years. Actually, we’ve stayed there twice before. It needed a rebuild.
I am going to address a couple of things here and I hope I don't get flagged. Sealord...since 1999...Steve and I have been to SXM 15 times. We always stay 2-3 weeks. The beach is beautiful and the French food is amazing. We have not been back since Irma devastated the island in 2017. We always stayed on the French side but we always flew into Princess Julianna Airport on the Dutch side. The French side took the brunt of the storm...and it is slowly recovering. The Dutch side...is more Americanized...more high rises and condos...which faired better so the Dutch side has been able to reopen sooner. A dear friend...who we met on our Tauck River cruise in 2017...arrived in SXM Saturday. She is keeping me posted about covid rules and regulations. She is staying for three weeks. She did NOT have to buy covid insurance. SXM like many Caribbean destinations...is not for everyone.
I contacted Tauck yesterday about our upcoming Antarctica expedition. I have two concerns. One...we had to submit a medical form filled out by our Doctor no less than 90 days before our departure date. We did this for our December 2020 departure. I wanted to know if we needed to resubmit the forms for our upcoming December 2021 trip. The answer...yes. So today we resubmitted a copy of the forms we sent last year. She said this was the first time she had been asked this question. Second...do we need a negative covid test? NO... not if you have your covid vaccination card. We do....so we don't.
I think the vaccine passport in many cases is going to be that precious little white card. I read that we should not laminate them so I bought little plastic sleeves to put them in to protect them. Who knows how many changes are going to occur between now and the time we get to go anywhere...but I am feeling more optimistic with each passing day.
I put my vaccine card inside my passport.
cathyandsteve: I just looked it up again. The insurance has been a requirement since April 2, ... both sides of the island. I would suggest that your friend may not have been asked for proof, but it is currently a requirement. I am ‘in transit’, but staying overnight so we will see. Things change daily, and we still have ten weeks.
I put my vaccination card, passport and yellow booklet (see photo) together in a plastic sleeve. I even had the COVID vaccinator acknowledge my COVID shots in my booklet. In the past, countries have accepted the yellow booklet (with physician’s signature, dose, medication batch and a stamp) (there was no embossed official seal) for confirmation of having the yellow fever vaccine. In reality, this too could be easily scammed.
I have our global entry, our yellow vaccination cards and our covid cards all stuck inside of our passports but I will put the little white covid card in a plastic sleeve for protection.
Sealord...I do not have an answer. I do not intend to go to SXM until 2023 and I certainly hope this covid pandemic is a bad memory by then.
Where my girlfriend got her second dose of vaccine two days ago, they were laminating the cards for you if you wanted.
We have our original white cards in plastic sleeves in our passports. We have a copy in a plastic sleeve we are carting around with us. We have photos of the cards on our phones and in our computer. We always keep our yellow cards in our passports.
I’m still concerned Tauck is not asking for proof of vaccination. At least one of its major competitors sent me an email today to say they require proof of vaccine for their land tours.
I think to go on a tour that is visiting more than one country is going to be complicated because of different and ever changing rules.
Right now our county has continually rising positive Covid cases.....yes, because it has only been given the same doses as much smaller counties with much smaller populations. I know of people who are driving three hours away, still! To get a vaccine.
I looked at the US tours that are a go.I’ve been on several of them previously. One looked interesting even though we had been to most of the places it was going, the deal breaker was the price, almost $5000 for a seven day tour in the US, plus air fare.
We are taking a road trip to Charleston in May, taking our time, fancy hotel. Tauck does the two main plantations in one day, we can take our time on two different days.
I was thinking of laminating my vaccine card, but when I got my 2nd dose a week and a half ago, I heard one of the workers tell another person not to laminate the card because if we do need a booster they would add that info to the card that lists the 2 doses (or 1 dose if it's J&J) on it. Makes sense. They did suggest taking a picture of both sides to have on your phone. I did that and emailed it to myself just in case if the phone is ever lost, at least I'd have access to my email. Also made copies, too. Just glad to finally be vaccinated!! 4 days till I'm 2 weeks past my last dose!!! I'm going to Dollywood next month and still have Switzerland scheduled for end of August, trying to be hopeful, but realistic, too.
This morning I received an updated Summary of Purchase from Tauck for my January 11, 2022 Wonderland: Yellowstone in Winter.
The update stated "
Consistent with CDC guidelines, all Tauck guests, except those who have been fully vaccinated, must take a PCR COVID-19 test and receive a negative result within five days of their departure for their Tauck journey."
Which is essentially what i was told on the phone...except I said specifically...I have been vaccinated and I have my card...do I need to have a covid test. She said as long as you have your card no negative covid test is required. Would she have said it that way had I not put the question that way? I don't know. But common sense tells me...those of us who have been vaccinated should most certainly carry that white card with us because who knows when and where it might be asked for.
I think there has been a small change, I think everyone had to have the five day test originally. This certainly saves a lot of hassle
I would like to suggest a reason for not laminating your Covid vaccination card. The back of the CDC version has space for additional vaccination data. There is research now into developing and administering a "booster" shot sometime later this year to deal with the newer variants. If this happens, it would be possible to put this info on the same card you have now and have all vaccination data on one card.
Having said that, it would be wise to get a thick plastic pouch with a waterproof zip-lock type seal that is typically used to hold trade show credentials or entrance passes. Most have slots for lanyards or clips.
We bought what inlanikai suggests from Amazon - of course retailers are already capitalizing on this "new" product. Basically its a clear vinyl pocket that zips closed and has holes punched at the top if you wanted to thread a lanyard thru. Or if you have some name tag/badge holders leftover from a convention, that might work just fine. Here's one I had from years ago. The photo is the back side of mine since you're not supposed to post the front on social media.
It’s just appalling to me that the government hasn’t come up with records of everyone who has had the vaccine and produced credit card size proof or better still, add it to drivers licenses. That’s maybe too intelligent for them to think about.
Remember unless your driver's license or passport have 'writable' chips embedded in them that you could take somewhere to have vaccine data added quickly (no one wants to wait in line at the typical DMV! ), those two documents won't do you any good. As to other cards, according to a Google search, a booming cottage industry producing counterfeit vaccine cards has already popped up.
cathyandsteve: Here is the SXM insurance info: https://www.sxmprotectionplan.com/
I would think we are going to have to show the covid card along with a photo ID.
The only way to add the covid information to our drivers license or passport is to do so when we have to renew them.
FYI - I’m in Jamaica right now. We flew in on American. Entry to Jamaica required completing an application online, agreeing to stay in the “Hotel Zone”, use only authorized transportation, stay at an approved hotel, and get an approved COVID test, with negative results within 72 hours of arrival. We passed all of these requirements. Upon checkin for our flight the agent checked mine and my wife’s COVID test result, but no one looked at the results of the other three people in our party. No one at American or TSA looked at anything else besides a passport and boarding pass. Once on the flight to Jamaica we had to fill out a form that asked questions similar to the online form. Upon arrival in Jamaica and working our way through customs and baggage claim we had our temperatures checked and we were applied with mandatory hand sanitizer several times. When we handed the customs agent the form we filled out on the plane, I don’t know if she compared it to our online form or not. All went very smoothly.
At our resort we will get the required COVID test for our return to the states tomorrow.
At the resort they have implemented a lot of COVID protocols:
a) they clean everything often
b) masks are required for entry into restaurants, or when at a bar, but not at the beach or when actually eating or drinking
c) the staff wear masks all the time
d) buffets are done by the staff dishing the food you desire, no self serve
e) some restaurants are closed on a daily, rotating basis - a COVID concession
e) some aspects of the spa weren’t open, but most were
Beach, sea, and pools are great, as are the drinks and food. It’s an all-inclusive resort.
If the rest of the week and our return home proceeds as it has so far then it will have been a successful reentry into international travel. All five members of our party had been completely vaccinated for over two weeks since the last shot prior to leaving the states.
Hopefully we will all be able to return to international travel, with fewer and fewer restrictions as time goes by.
Next steps. We got our return trip COVID tests today ( our 4th ones - you never get used to the cotton swab stroking your brain via your nasal passage ). We get the results tomorrow morning. In addition, we have to fill out a ‘Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the United States of America’ form that we will turn in at checkin. The form simply asks, ‘I attest that I have received a negative pre-departure test result for COVID ... during the 3 calendar days before departure’. Then you sign and date it.
We leave Saturday morning. I will provide an update once we get home about the details of the return trip.
Good to hear Sam. I have been wondering how it is going. I am sad we cancelled our Jamaica trip...however...in the long run I think it was for the best. I was not two weeks out from my last vaccine. We are looking forward to a little get away to NOLA in June.
Thanks for the information and enjoy the rest of your beautiful get away!
Smiling Sam-I’m ‘traveling’ vicariously thru you!! Have a mojito for me!