New Masking and Social Distancing Policies



  • Delta has shoulder harnesses on some international aircraft, for takeoff and landing. Enjoy the trip Nancy.

  • Back to Masking: Philly just announced a return of its indoor mask mandate, effective Apr. 18, the same day current transport mask rules expire. Stay tuned.

  • No, I've not survived a crash but twice avoided head trauma due to my fastened seatbelt. The few who were not seatbelt-secured on a KLM flight over the Atlantic hit their heads on the ceiling and had leg injuries when coming back down to the floor or seat. A passenger who was using her belt was injured by her partner (not wearing his belt) who fell into her. No serious injuries but there was bleeding and a pair of broken eyeglasses. Google this-- October 19, 2021 - All 21 passengers survived Texas crash.

  • I'm fascinated by the shoulder harnesses on aircraft. This must be new since I haven't seen much when I searched on the internet, which I normally don't do much of anyway. I hope it becomes the norm, however. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they were equipped with a locking device to restrain combative passengers or those who believe they are better than everyone else because they know all about turbulence and don't need to wear a seat belt?

  • Ouch, I just bit my tongue!

  • They are very uncomfortable. I have a really bad right shoulder and could hardly wait to release the shoulder harness after takeoff. There is no way to lie flat with it on. Seat belt part is quite enough, thank you.

  • They told us we could undo after takeoff…and we did. It certainly kept us snug in our seats.

  • I’ve been on a couple of flights where there are shoulder straps on rear facing seats. They are just for take off

  • Regarding masking, I received an e-mail this morning from Tauck thanking us for traveling with them this fall and wishing to advise us of some relaxed requirements. Actually, I believe it is the same information that is already on their website, just nicely consolidated in a very professional letter. Beginning 15 Apr, masks are no longer required at all unless mandated by local authorities. They acknowledged and apologized for some current supply chain and staffing issues.

    I am somewhat dismayed by the blanket removal of masks but have every intention of continuing to wear mine. Like many of us here have said, I can only control my behavior.

  • edited April 12

    kfnknfzk, I received the same letter and as you was surprised, I also intend to continue to wear my mask. My next overseas trip is a river cruise (Cruising the Seine, London and Paris) in May and I don't feel comfortable being around so many people without a mask.

  • gladysorlando984,

    I will be on that trip next spring! I'm concerned about my small ship cruise this fall with so many people confined in such a small space. I don't think I will be doing much wining and dining with other travelers, but I will nonetheless make the most of it and protect myself as much as I can.

    For the small ship experts out there (cathyandsteve and Sealord), I have a question. I know that the excursions are for Tauck guests only, but are all dining venues and lounges open seating for all passengers or do Tauck guests have their own meal and lounge times? I suppose it doesn't matter since my husband and I will probably stay in our own little bubble anyway.

  • How long were you clearing immigration?

  • It’s hard to talk about length of time waiting in imigrsrion lines, it depends on how quickly you proceed to get there once leaving the plane. We make a point of walking very quickly once we get off the plane, partly because we hate waiting in immigration lines, some people really dawdle and we are also eager to get our circulation going after being cramped up for so long. Our most recent tour, we were through in minutes and others on the tour were in line for three hours. In the past when securing at airports were not as strict, we also wanted ro get to the luggage carousel because luggage was being stolen from them.

  • Choc, I don’t know where you will be clearing immigration but Paris on Monday afternoon was VERY slow…two international flights arrived around 1:30 pm…only 3 windows were open! About 30 minutes later, 3 more opened. A bit slow indeed but it all worked well, luggage was there and so was our TAUCK sign-bearing driver! Always a welcome sight!

  • We took three trips in the past six months. One thing I noticed is that the airlines were not enforcing the wearing of masks, at least not in business class. Everyone wore them at the beginning of the flight but after dinner, a lot of people left their masks off. Also, when sleeping.

  • We have only been on one Tauck river cruise and it was all Tauck guests. One of our Ponant trips was a full boat charter, the other three had other guests. Aboard Wind Surf there were guests other than Tauck. We were in different ‘color’ groups to avoid crowding during excursions and lunch in Antarctica, but dinner I think we did by reservations. Very few wore masks at any time while seated dining or drinking, but if you got up you were expected to put a mask on. All of the crewmembers wore masks all the time except when I informed them that I could not ‘hear’ them if I could not see their lips. Then they would temporarily remove the mask to talk. I found the lectures to be almost useless because the speakers wore masks speaking into microphones, and the muffled voices with accents I could not understand. Seating arrangements were never crowded, and we dined outside when that was an option … even in Antarctica. Did I mention we had great weather?

  • Mr. Palmer's email states, "Tauck no longer requires mask wearing, although it is encouraged and is highly recommended in public spaces." I'm puzzled by this: "Our Tauck Directors and coach drivers will continue to wear masks." It raises more questions than answers, and also sounds like Tauck may accept cancellations: "We also understand that these policy changes may negatively affect some of you. We are sympathetic and stand ready to assist you as best we can. If you foresee these policy changes impacting your future travel plans, please contact your travel advisor directly or call us at 877-356-4552 by May 20th."

  • edited April 13

    Why do the TD ‘s and Bus drivers wear masks…Simple answer, it protects them from guests who don’t want to wear masks. If the TD or is driver test positive, it could be the end of your tour if they can’t find a quick replacement.

  • You beat me to it, British. Yes, their livelihood is at stake. I was truly impressed by the vigilance of the tour directors, drivers, ship crew and local guides on my last tour.

  • edited April 13

    4:41PM edited 4:42PM
    Why do the TD ‘s and Bus drivers wear masks…Simple answer, it protects them from guests who don’t want to wear masks. If the TD or is driver test positive, it could be the end of your tour if they can’t find a quick replacement.

    Is the previous science wrong? While masks can protect the wearer, I thought the primary reason was to protect others. Also, if you want to do business with Tauck you must follow their rules- if they say their vendor personnel must wear a mask, then the drivers, local guides, wait staff, etc., etc. must wear masks, until Tauck changes the rules for them.

  • edited April 13

    On our Antarctica trip everyone worked by the same rules, guests, and TD’s, and ‘drivers’. Twelve guests got covid and one of our TD’s did also. No one was seriously ill. The trip went on without a hickup. I suspect most trips are going with more than one TD. Our TD’s were together constantly, but only one got covid. ?? Actually, it just occurred to me that one of our TD’s remained in BA as a backup in case needed for the next trip.

  • Perhaps BKMD, if willing, will offer some edification.

    Wearing masks offers protection to the wearer and to those the wearer comes in contact with. It is not foolproof but when used in conjunction with proper hygiene, it can and will reduce the spread of germs. We all have different immune systems. Some are more susceptible to diseases than others.

  • kfnknfzk is correct. The mask is a filter. An N95 filters 95% of the viral particles in both directions. So, you get protection by decreasing the viral load on inhaling, as well as blocking 95% of the viral particles while exhaling (if you're infected).

    If it's anything less than an N95 mask, such as a non-certified KN95, you are rolling the dice on what filtration/protection you're getting.

  • edited April 14

    Well, I'm not happy with the new free-for-all; yes, of course staff should wear masks, but for everyone's protection, guests should also be masked. I am hoping that either the covid situation will have improved or masks will be reinstated at least on the bus b/f my next Tauck tour this fall. Otherwise, if my group is maskless, I will probably defy Tauck's rotation and sit at the back of the bus to socially distance and as I do now, dine outdoors as much as possible.

  • BKMD,
    Thank you, sir. Regarding N95 masks, my local pharmacy is now giving them away...three per person. And just today, my husband's cardiologist gave each of us two! I'm stocking up!

    Please don't stress over it. Just be vigilant and do what you need to do to take care of yourself.

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