For COVID-19 Travel and RS Tours information, see our FAQ.

Covid Policies for Tours

Will I need a Covid vaccination to join a tour? And what about boosters?

For our 2023 tours, you need to be "fully vaccinated" according to the CDC, meaning you have received a single dose (Johnson & Johnson) or two-dose series (Moderna/Pfizer-BioNTech) Covid vaccine at least 14 days prior to your tour start date. Booster shots are not required but recommended for those that are eligible. Get more details about staying up to date on Covid vaccines from the CDC

Do children need to be vaccinated for Covid to go on a tour?

Yes. As Covid vaccines have been approved for children 5 and older, we require that all children traveling on a Rick Steves tour be vaccinated.

If I have a medical/religious exemption for the Covid vaccine, can I join a tour?

No. We can't offer any exceptions to our requirement that all tour members be able to show a Covid vaccination card.

If I have documentation showing I've already had Covid, do I need to be vaccinated?

This would be considered a medical exemption to our vaccination requirement, and we're not able to offer medical exceptions for any reason at this time.

Do I need to bring my original vaccination card with me on tour?

Yes, you will need to show a valid vaccination card to your guide on the first day of your tour. In addition, you should either scan or photograph both sides of your card and keep the digital copy on an easily accessible device, such as your phone.

Am I required to wear a face mask during my tour?

No, wearing a face mask while on tour is optional. However, at any time the situation with Covid may change and your guide may instruct you to wear a mask while on the tour bus or in other public settings.

Will I need a negative Covid test prior to joining a tour?

No, we do not require pre-tour testing. 

What happens if I test positive for Covid during my tour and need to quarantine?

We expect you to monitor your health and only travel with us if you're feeling well. if you test positive while on tour, you're obligated to follow local protocol for quarantining and cannot rejoin the tour. Rick Steves' Europe and Travel Guard Assistance will provide you support with managing your quarantine requirements. While the cost of finding and coordinating the services is included with your tour, the expenses associated with performing the services are your responsibility. Fortunately, these expenses are often covered by travel insurance.

Will I recieve a refund if I must leave my tour due to a positive Covid test?

Yes, we provide a $200-per-day refund for you (and your travel partner if you choose to quarantine together) for the number of tour days missed due to Covid. This is not insurance and is not intended as a substitute for comprehensive travel and health insurance.

What if I test positive and I'm on consecutive tours?

You may join a subsequent tour as long as you have isolated for 5 days after the original symptoms began or the initial positive test result and wear a N95/KN95 mask for an additional 5 days. You also need to be able to show a negative test result on the first day of the subsequent tour. Tour members may not join or rejoin a tour in progress.

What happens if a member of a tour group tests positive while on tour?

If any member of a group is diagnosed with Covid during a tour, they'll need to leave the tour and follow the protocols of the local health authorities. Those in close contact with the affected tour member will need to be tested, and if positive, follow the same requirements. We'll help source medical assistance, food delivery, and lodging, however the costs associated with testing and quarantining are the responsibility of the tour member.

What's the best way to stay healthy while traveling?

For advice on staying healthy while on tour, see Rick's article: Tips for Healthy, Happy Travels.

Where can I find information about entry requirements for Europe?

The entry requirements for Europe vary by country and may change at any time. In the days leading up to your departure, we advise checking with the US Embassy's website in your arrival country or these websites: Sherpa  and Re-open EU.

General Information

Are things still changing?

Yes! One of the most important pieces of advice for someone planning a trip to Europe is to check for updates in the country (or countries) you are visiting — when you book your trip and right before you go. It's possbile restrictions could ratchet up and you'll need to change plans on a dime.

Where can I find information about entry requirements for Europe?

We advise checking with the US Embassy's website in your arrival country or these websites: Sherpa  and Re-open EU.

Do I need to be vaccinated to travel to Europe?

In general, Europe has relaxed Covid vacccine requirements for entry. However, it's best to check the entry requirements when you book and prior to your departure. 

Do I need to bring my vaccine card?

We recommend carrying your vaccine card with you when you travel as Covid requirements may change at anytime.

Will I need to wear a mask in Europe and what kind?

Europe has relaxed masking requirements, but it's still smart to bring some along to cover any eventuality. If you do need a mask, you'll need the N95, KN95, or KF94 type.

How can I get a Covid test while traveling in Europe?

If you're feeling under the weather while traveling, your best resource is your hotel. You might also consider bringing self-test test kits from home — but keep in mind that these are not valid for official purposes.

What happens if I test positive while traveling in Europe?

This varies by country, but you may be required to remain in the country under quarantine, typically at your own expense, for a specified time.

Should I get travel insurance?

For some travelers, insurance is a good deal; for others, it's not. If you decide to get insurance, one thing to consider is whether the policy covers additional expenses in the event that you need to quarantine (and change your travel plans) due to contracting Covid. It's important to know that Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage is the only type of policy that covers fear of travel due to Covid. For more information, see Rick's travel insurance article.


For other questions about RSE Tours, see our Tour FAQ.