We are in a time of transition. COVID is still rampant in our society and yet people are tired of it and relaxing their guard. What are you to make of this if you are registered for or are considering attending WMC22 in Lombardy, Italy?
Our experience in 2022 is that travel is back in a big way. Our sister company that runs tours around the world is having its best year ever. I myself am traveling to Europe four times over the next four months, to run the Wine Media Conference and some of our tours. You can definitely travel and can do so safely.
The Biggest Risk – Relaxing Your Guard
The biggest risk we have seen is people relaxing their guard when they are on vacation. We strongly recommend taking an antigen test before you get on a flight to go anywhere – if you do happen to have COVID, it is better to know before you go. We recommend being extra vigilant in the days before your trip, while you travel, and while you are at your destination. Most people are not wearing masks at airports or on airplanes; that is all the more reason for you to wear a high quality mask yourself. Once you are at your destination, continue to be cautious. Letting down your guard by going maskless in a pub, for example, is a fun thing to do but increases your risk level distinctly.
Travel to Europe
The European Union now has relatively uniform rules requiring full vaccination for inbound travelers and travel between countries. “Non-EU travelers who are vaccinated with an EU or WHO-approved vaccine should be able to travel to the EU, provided they have received the last dose of the primary vaccination series at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before arrival, or provided they have received a booster dose.” Note it is also possible to present a negative PCR test result.
Studies have shown that air travel is relatively safe if you well a high-quality mask and leave it on most of the flight. Our recommendation is to not board until the last minute, do not take your mask off to eat or drink at the same time everyone else is doing so, and keep the jets flowing downward in front of your face.
In Italy at the WMC
We require everyone attending the WMC to be either vaccinated or show a negative PCR test result. We expect everyone or almost everyone to be vaccinated. We have also vastly reduced our maximum capacity to provide more space in our conference rooms. Masking is required on public transport in Italy. So while there are always risks, we feel good about keeping safe in our own WMC travel bubble.
We recognize each of you has your own risk tolerance. Please reach out if you have questions and we hope you will consider joining us at WMC22 in Italy!