I personally think that Spain is doing pretty well with the vaccination process against COVID 19. At this point we have 80% of the population vaccinated with two doses. The third one (the booster) has already started and 90% of our population who are over 75 years have already had it. We expect that by Christmas everybody over 65 and people of risk will be vaccinated with the booster.
The debate with the booster shot is served. What do we do now? Do we keep on vaccinating our younger population, or should we send those shots to countries where the main population haven’t been vaccinated at all? Please don´t think this is a 100% altruistic point of view, in fact Europe is thinking of sending these vaccines to the countries from where we welcome most of our immigrants.
Last week I heard on the radio a great debate trying to explain why Spain is one of the countries with a higher percentage of fully vaccinated population. By the way, it is volunteer, not mandatory. Here are 3 of the most relevant conclusions:
– First of all, they have made it very easy to access vaccines. Our public health care system has worked like a perfect engine. At the very beginning of the vaccination process, they created a website where you could personally book your own appointment, always respecting the vaccinating age group. Before they moved to a different age group they would call one by one to the people who had not been vaccinated.
Many of our big sports stadiums were transformed in almost no time into vaccination stadiums. They all were easy to reach places with big parkings. The vaccination was fast, efficient and safe.
– You have to understand that Spain is one of the countries in the world with higher life expectancy. In order to protect our elder population, we have all voluntarily got our vaccines. The publicity slogan in the mass media has been “protect your grandparents, get vaccinated ” It is direct and effective.
– Economy is the third reason to get vaccinated. Starting from day one, back in March 2020, the world’s economy has been on hold, especially in the countries where a big part of the income comes from tourism. This crisis has put Damocles’ sword above the head of many companies. Spain is one of those countries, almost 15% of the gross domestic product (GDP) comes directly from tourism.
If Spain wants to be a safe place for travelers, we all need to be vaccinated: hotel and restaurant staff, bus drivers, tour guides, museum guards, taxi drivers…. Spain has become one of the safest countries for tourists to visit.
COVID RULES AT TRAVELING STEPS
This issue brings me to think about my company and the tours I am providing for 2022. How can we offer the safest experience to our guests?
We are only going to work with vendor’s whose staff has been fully vaccinated. All our drivers, waiters, hotel maids, etc. will have to had their 2 shots.
We will also follow the rules regarding where masks have to be worn. At this moment, it is required to wear masks in any closed space, except in restaurants and bars when you are eating. This means that when we are in an open-air group activity, masks will not be required, but the moment we enter a museum or a church, our guides will make sure that you have your mask on.
We will only welcome guests who are fully vaccinated. This has probably been the most difficult decision to be taken. I know you are in the right to not be vaccinated, but in order to protect my team and especially my guests, it is going to be mandatory to present your vaccination card before you book a tour with us. There is yet another reason to ask for your vaccination card. Here in Europe there are many restaurants, bars and sights that require you to be fully vaccinated in order to walk in.
To make it totally clear, you will need to prove that you have been fully vaccinated in order to book any trip with Traveling Steps.
What about if you get COVID while on tour? Let’s hope that this doesn’t happen, but if you feel bad and test positive, you will have to leave the tour. Money is not refundable, so please get yourself a good travel insurance. As you can imagine, we will help you as much as we can, but the tour has to go on.
Thank you in advance for your comprehension and cooperation. We can only win this battle if we are all together in this!