New Masking and Social Distancing Policies

My TA just received and forwarded an email from Jeremy Palmer, Tauck COO, outlining a relaxing of the mask policy. As of April 15, Tauck will no longer require masks or social distancing unless required by the local authorities.

I guess I’m glad about that but do have mixed feelings. I’ll probably continue to wear them in crowded indoor places. Tauck TDs and bus drivers will continue to wear them.



  • I, too, will continue to wear a mask especially when in close quarters with other people. Given that I will receive my second booster next week, I will have yet another added layer of security.

  • Same here.

    Just scheduled booster #2 for later in the week (approved by CDC/FDA today).

  • Yes, it is weird but there is such a thing as viral load on the body, less overall exposure, less chance of being overloaded by people infected with different strains which make it harder for your body to fight against. And as far as chances of testing positive before returning home while the one day testing before returning to the US remains. it is a concern.

  • Unless we have another big peak here I may wait to see the travel requirements closer to our first overseas trip. Sometimes the country requirements will say vaccine or booster within a certain time period. It's been less than 6 months since my last so I think I have some time.

  • We will get our second booster tomorrow morning at Walgreens.

  • We are discussing about waiting a little while too so that our July Alaska trip (oh dear, the Tauck Princess one) might be more covered. I have just heard it’s already difficult to snag an appointment in this area, my husband is away on business so I don’t want to proceed further until we have fully discussed it. The riskiest things we have done so far in this pandemic is to go on tours where people didn’t wear masks as requested. So far, we have escaped Covid. Our daughter in law recently got it, even though boosted, but they went to Disney. Another friend in her forties, boosted had a cough that lasted for six weeks with it recently. Otherwise, we wear masks in most situations, it doesn’t stop us doing anything. We are singing in masks while rehearsing for a show, we all have to, several people are having cancer treatment anyway. We are the only ones who wear masks at exercise class and so on, we are too busy to get Covid, mild or not.

  • We’ll be getting our second booster late next week, about 3 weeks prior to our Israel/Jordan tour. We should be well protected for that and for our August K/T tour.

  • I’m not sure the covid issue is the end of this. After wearing masks for two years, a common cold would probably kill you. When was the last time you met someone who had a ‘cold’? When I traveled for a living I always made a point of exposing myself to small amounts of the local ‘culture’ like ice, and water. I never had a problem. We have now been masked and sanitized for two years. I do know that those of us with dogs get sick a lot less than others, perhaps because we get exposed to many ‘germs’, that others avoid. I get a face full of dog on a regular basis. Maybe that should be the second booster? (;-)

  • We're leaving for our Portugal trip on April 27, and this week I've stopped going to the gym since masks aren't required anymore, and cases are high here. I only started going back to the gym recently after 2 years. I can work put at home easily enough, for now. I'd rather not take the chance with the trip coming up. We have to look into getting the Covid tests timed right for the trip. Getting our second booster on Tuesday.

  • I had my second booster, so happy about it !!!!!!!!

  • KathyEvans - I am so happy that I am not on the same plane as you are.  We are leaving on May 29 and also travelling business class and we will follow the guidelines.   This is just not to protect us but to protect the other travellers.   Our trip to Switzerland with Tauck last September we all wore masks on the bus. Our trip leader made sure everyone followed the rules which I was so thankful for as I would be very upset if someone decided not to wear a mask and put my health in jeopardy because of their selfishness.

  • I’m at the point that wearing a mask has become second nature, just like putting on a seatbelt. I admit that wearing it for a long time on a plane, it eventually is uncomfortable on the ears. During normal days, I use my common sense to assess the situation I am in and decide whether it would be prudent for me to put on a mask. Example, yesterday, I picked up a friend in my car and put on a mask, we went to a restaurant, we took our masks off. Her husband is having cancer treatment, so it was extra important, but I would have pur on a mask into that situation anyway.. If I go in a busy store, I put on a mask. So far, fingers crossed, I have not contracted Covid. Our life is completely back to normal with everything we do, travel, family, restaurants, theatre, movies, singing in a show, we just put on masks when we can for certain situations. The times when it is annoying for me to be honest, is when I wear makeup, when I want to look especially gorgeous 😂 Since masks, I rarely wear makeup for everyday trips that I might have done before. My mask is my new makeup.

  • edited April 2

    rileyboy - Over the last several months, I've noted many of your posts have been flagged into oblivion. Mine haven't. What does that tell you?

    Edited to add - Rileyboy's post, to which this response was directed, was flagged into oblivion in short order. I must be clairvoyant.

  • Kathy, if I misunderstood your post wrt mask wearing I sincerely apologize. Sadly most of us have encountered people who know full well they are required to wear one in certain situations but either ignore the requirement or wait until some employee reminds them. I feel for customer service people who face(d) this daily wondering whether they'll get an "oops, sorry I forgot" from someone without a mask or end up in some ugly confrontation.

    I doubt any of us like wearing a mask. I particularly hate it in the summer due to the heat. Even worse in humid climates. I hated it during the 24 hrs in the hospital getting knee surgery and the twice a week for 4 weeks of pt. We flew business class last year to Europe and yep, I got really tired of the mask at times though at others I mostly forgot it. It was totally worth it though to finally go on our tours. Was so grateful that we were often outdoors and felt safe/comfortable not wearing the mask. I hope for you that the weather for your tour is pleasant and you can enjoy the freedom.

  • I continue to wear a mask both indoors & out; where I live many people are still masking, though I understand germs can be healthy, as Sealord explained...the old adage about the benefits of growing up on a farm. I find masks have several other benefits: they help minimize cigarette smoke and the marijuana stench that now permeates my city and I use a lot less sunscreen. (And I love women going natural without makeup, which imho is really not good for your skin.) It's upsetting that Tauck has dropped the mask mandate, but maybe this will revert depending on what happens on tours. I wonder whether some will consider bowing out, as the goalposts have changed since they signed up. I certainly hope masks continue to be required onboard flights. This week I attended a 3-hour Zoom Virtual Tour of Japan sponsored by Amnet NYC and learned that most Japanese continue to wear masks even without a mandate. They are eager to reopen to travelers btw.

  • Sealord
    It was common to see Asian people wearing masks for whatever reason.

    There are two reasons that I'm aware of:
    1. Pollution (particularly in China).
    2. To remain as white as they can (particularly in SE Asia). It's a cultural thing and thought to be "higher class" to be pale, rather than dark.

  • It's my understanding that the Japanese wear masks when they have colds. Sealord, I wear N95 on transport (I don't have a car); otherwise multi-layered cloth masks with filters. I'm perfectly comfortable being the only one masked, no problem. I rarely wear jeans or sneakers, enjoy being an outlier.

  • The thousands of health care workers that got Covid, where are they? Were they wearing masks in non hospitals situations?
    SeaLord, do you have friends or family who have died of Covid? We can live with the risk, but some have died with that risk. Most of us here who dare to state our views on the forum are learning to live with Covid, but that doesn’t mean we have thrown caution to the wind.

  • CathyandSteve, Amen with what conveyed and how you said it relating to Covid.

    I know people who did not mask, who did not get the vaccines and those people did not catch Covid (yet). Yes, they may have been asymptomatic but we all could have been asymptomatic many times, and not even have known it! Then I know other people who masked, sanitized until their hands were raw, who rarely went outside, who sanitized their apples after they were purchased and who hardly got together with family and friends and those are the ones who caught Covid! How does that even make sense?

    Yes, life is way to short. I'm going to travel cautiously without regrets.

  • I am in France now and none of the locals are wearing masks. It’s really shocking and they’re wondering why they have a massive surge of cases. It’s pretty obvious to me but the Presidential election is coming up so most of the mask mandates have been lifted. Hope I make it through cruise without contracting Covd.

  • cathyandsteve hello!
    I'm with you, I will mask as I think it's appropriate for my own protection and also social dist. etc.. it is my choice, everyone else can do as they like. I'm planning on traveling too... so today I'm getting my 2ND! booster. :))

  • I have decided on wearing a mask on airplanes forever. I went to Armenia, Republic of Georgia and Costa Rica last year with a small group of folks all vaccinated. When in crowds wore a mask but we were outside most of the time. I always get sick on return trips on plane and this might be stop that no cold/virus.

  • I also feel very protected on any public transportation or crowded indoor areas when I wear a mask. And this week, in Paris the air quality is so poor the mask is also very helpful outdoors.

  • Trying to figure out what I need to fill out/upload/test before getting on an Air France flight next Monday. Confusing on the Air France Site.

  • A few days prior AF sends an email with links to required forms. Just wait for it. Basically just a contact tracing form and a health declaration.

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