by Maurie Backman | Published on July 24, 2021
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The Delta variant could interfere with your travel plans. Here's what you need to know.
For a while there, it seemed like good progress was being made on the coronavirus front in countries with relatively strong vaccination rates. But then the Delta variant came into the mix, and it's already causing a major setback.
The Delta variant is said to be far more transmissible than previous versions of the COVID-19 virus. And while being fully vaccinated does seem to offer a strong degree of protection, the unvaccinated remain extremely vulnerable to it. In fact, case numbers are already up across the U.S. now that Delta has become the predominant strain of COVID-19 domestically, and that holds true abroad as well.
All of this is coming at a time when European countries have finally started opening their doors to U.S. tourists. And if you're planning a trip to Europe this summer, be aware that new restrictions may alter your plans.
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In anticipation of an influx of tourists, both Spain and Greece are putting new restrictions into place in an effort to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Now, evening curfews are being implemented in more than 30 Mediterranean towns, which means nightlife may be off the table in those locales. That's bad news for tourists who were hoping to escape life's daily grind by heading to those towns for some late-night entertainment.
But it's not just the nightlife that's being impacted. Greece is also requiring all customers dining at restaurants to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccine. And those planning to enter nightclubs and theaters will also need proof of vaccination. Those wishing to dine outdoors, however, don't have to fulfill this requirement, as being outdoors is said to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission in general.
The reason Spain and Greece are imposing new restrictions is that COVID-19 cases have been up. And if that's worrisome to you, then you may want to reconsider your travel plans. Furthermore, if you were hoping to take advantage of the nightlife in either country, the new set of evening curfews could result in a very different trip than the one you had in mind.
If you haven't yet booked your trip, you may want to hold off and perhaps wait to travel until things calm back down on the COVID-19 front. And if that doesn't work for you -- say, you're a teacher and you can really only get away during the summer -- then make sure you know what aspects of your trip are and are not refundable before making your plans.
This summer, more so than ever, it's important to purchase travel insurance if you'll be going overseas. This holds true even if you intend to use a travel rewards credit card to book your plans. Though these credit cards do tend to offer some built-in protection, the coverage you'll get from a separate travel insurance policy is apt to be far more comprehensive.
Of course, these new curfews shouldn't necessarily drive you to cancel your plans, as there are still plenty of unique, interesting things to do in both Spain and Greece. Just keep reading up on the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation so you know exactly what you're getting into.
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