Covid Policies for Tours

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

For our 2023 tours, all eligible travelers need to be "fully vaccinated" according to the CDC — meaning that 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 I need to bring my original vaccination card with me on tour?

If you're on a tour departing between Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2023, you will need to show proof of vaccination to your guide on the first day of your tour, in one of these forms: original CDC (or equivalent) vaccination card, photo of front and back of original card, or photocopy of front and back of original card.

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. For our 2023 tours, 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 On Call Assistance Services will provide you resources and support. 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 receive 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 leave the tour 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 the first day of the next tour is at least five days after you tested positive and you are symptom free. You also must present a negative Covid test to your guide on the first day of the 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. 

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.

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