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rt-PCR test change--AGAIN--now back to 120 hours #245997
01/28/2021 04:52 PM
01/28/2021 04:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 186
Maryland
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ScottW Offline OP
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ScottW  Offline OP
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Maryland
From the EHAS website (updated 1/26):

As of February 12 2021 the rt-PCR test time frame will be reduced from 120 to 72 hours, before departure to Sint Maarten for all travelers originating from a high risk country (last leg in case of connecting flights).

We are supposed to travel on 2/13. 72 hours doesn't provide much leeway.

Scott

Last edited by Carol_Hill; 02/03/2021 04:43 PM.
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Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #245998
01/28/2021 05:02 PM
01/28/2021 05:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,033
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Ridiculous.


Carol Hill
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #245999
01/28/2021 05:04 PM
01/28/2021 05:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,794
Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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boucharda  Online Content
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Sooooo...you would have a test and have to get the results the next day to fill out the EHAS.....that won't work

Edit: actually you have two days . If they accepted a rapid test that would be possible but who can be sure they will get the results in 48 hours...we did but would not have to assume that

Last edited by boucharda; 01/28/2021 05:09 PM.
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246000
01/28/2021 05:11 PM
01/28/2021 05:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,750
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Thanks, and yet another determent to travel. I am scheduled for March 7 but this is just another hoop to jump through that is making it look less and less likely that I will go.

And they still left section 8 unchanged and it states the 120 hours.

"8, A rt-PCR test for the SARS-COV-2 virus obtained from a naso-pharyngeal swab performed within 120 hours prior to departure to Sint Maarten (last leg in case of connecting flights) is required for all travelers originating from a country that is categorized as high risk. Antibody tests and tests performed outside of the 120 hours period will not be accepted. Results from home covid-19 collection test kits will also not be accepted. Airlines might require you to show a negative lab test result."

They REALLY need to get their act together.




J.D.
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246002
01/28/2021 05:32 PM
01/28/2021 05:32 PM
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phillygirl7 Offline
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I just used the "Contact Us" on the EHAS website, to say that paragraphs 5 and 8 contradict each other. Awaiting their response. Now originally they did make you do this in 3 days, and they relaxed it to 5 days, but I remember seeing that they will bring it back to 3 days when traveler numbers are up.

I will post if I hear something back from them.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246003
01/28/2021 05:34 PM
01/28/2021 05:34 PM
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Posts: 315
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freedomfighter Offline
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It's doable here in Florida. That was our timeframe in order to go to Aruba last October. We had time to spare.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246004
01/28/2021 06:11 PM
01/28/2021 06:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,020
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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Their cases are steadily increasing, so I'm not surprised. The interesting thing though, is that I don't see where they're stating that any tourists have tested positive. I fully expected things to ease up once the vaccine started being distributed, but I guess that's not to be, at least not yet.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246011
01/28/2021 07:39 PM
01/28/2021 07:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 257
Albany, NY
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JimandBeth Offline
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I was crossing our fingers on being able to get results when it was 120 hours. I can’t imagine we can meet this timeline. We would be celebrating a 30 year wedding anniversary and we have been going to Simpson Bay Resort and Marina that long. Although we were looking forward to this trip it seems quite unlikely. I feel so badly for the islanders. For us, it’s a “champagne problem” compared to so many people who are suffering. Next year I guess.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246014
01/28/2021 08:44 PM
01/28/2021 08:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,055
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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I am not making any changes to my plans to be there, will let this play out and I suggest others do the same. I just can't see the island not finding a way to allow people, the island needs people to be there.


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Todd] #246016
01/28/2021 08:58 PM
01/28/2021 08:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,750
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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If you only have a few weeks to "let this play out", you may be left holding the bag with test results that are not received in time and lost lodging and an air voucher that may or may not be usable to the traveler. The SXM government has flip-flopped, backtracked and continued to change the rules as the game is in progress. What happens if one does make it to the island and the rules change again? Sorry, I am not at all that trusting of them or the US government.


J.D.
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246019
01/28/2021 09:19 PM
01/28/2021 09:19 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 242
Upstate, NY
Mikel Online content
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Mikel  Online Content
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I think part of the problem is that here on the island, everyone is getting their PCR test results in about 24 hours.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ruralcarrier] #246029
01/29/2021 12:06 AM
01/29/2021 12:06 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,220
self-quarantine
Rasputin Offline
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J.D.

You are not that trusting that the SXM or the U.S. Governments will not change the rules without sufficient notice? Oh yea of little faith. You know I am being sarcastic.

Not to be negative, for I was hoping to travel internationally before the year is out, but from some things that I read today, it seems that the current vaccines may be less than 50% effective against the new South African variant. I'm afraid that can be a game changer for international travel this year, unless they come up with a new vaccine to cover some of these new variants, including the South African one, and the ones to follow. The more contagious U.K. version now seems to be old news, even though we are yet to see its' actual impact in the U.S.

Vacation/holiday trips where many of the restaurants, bars, and public gatherings are either closed or extremely limited, are not something that appeals to many people including myself. There are those with "Covid Fatigue" or denial who will still travel as long as they are allowed to, but things will not get back to anything close to "normal" until we get this Pandemic under control.

Maybe there should be a new Thread that questions: should I travel for personal gratification during an International, once in a Century Pandemic that has already killed millions of people? If the answer is "yes", then I assume NONE of these travelers will be Asymptomatically infected and spread the Pandemic to anyone else. Or maybe that is NOT an important consideration?

These deadly variants only travel because we travel. The Pandemic spreads because we travel.
I have heard from many, "we need to live our life". My question is: what are you willing to give up in order to save a life?
Maybe giving up travel until this is under control is a start. It certainly is NOT under control now.

To all: be well, and stay safe.



Rah Rah Rasputin
They put some poison into his wine
He drank it all and said "I feel fine"
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ruralcarrier] #246030
01/29/2021 12:18 AM
01/29/2021 12:18 AM
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Bahston Offline
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It's speculation on my part, but I think that what is now being seen may be what has already played out.

There's a Government of Sint Maarten post from 1/26 on FB entitled ** Prime Minister Silveria E. Jacobs meets Préfet Délégué Serge Gouteyron to discuss synchronizing measures to safeguard public health **

One line in the post reads as follows: Prime Minister Jacobs stated, “The cooperation meeting held was a fruitful one in which much agreement was made moving forward with the established health protocols being implemented by both sides of the island in combating the COVID-19 virus. We have already synchronized our travel restrictions to both sides of the island in order to avoid importing the more contagious new variants of the virus to the island.

Synchonized travel restrictions sound like both sides have agreed on 72-hour test requirements. French-side was never going to change to 120-hours. They can't. That decision comes from much higher up the food chain. The only way that the test requirement could be synchronized is if Dutch-side backed off from 120-hours.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Rasputin] #246031
01/29/2021 06:18 AM
01/29/2021 06:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,750
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Thanks for your input. All very good points.

Bahston, very good point as well and I think you are correct.


J.D.
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246041
01/29/2021 09:46 AM
01/29/2021 09:46 AM
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Doc Bill Offline
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Agree that statement 5 and 8 contradict each other. I am hoping that they are meaning an ANTIGEN TEST is required within 72 hrs., which is more reasonable. It is almost impossible to get a PCR test done and get results in 24-48 hours in order to send back EHAS form and get it returned before you get on the plane. Most sites performing PCR tests state they results will be available in 3-5 days. BTW the companies approved for antigen tests are not available in my state as far as I can determine.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246048
01/29/2021 10:24 AM
01/29/2021 10:24 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,033
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Carol_Hill Offline
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The antigen test now says 48 hours. Wasn't it 72 hours before? Totally impossible to plan anything, when the rules keep changing. And now, with these latest variants of the disease, it sounds like maybe all the vaccines may not be nearly as effective as they say??


Carol Hill
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Carol_Hill] #246049
01/29/2021 10:30 AM
01/29/2021 10:30 AM
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Posts: 16,750
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Whoever maintains their website sure leaves a lot to be desired.


J.D.
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246050
01/29/2021 10:32 AM
01/29/2021 10:32 AM
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East Texas
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Would you "fail" the antigen test if you have had the vaccine?

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Jaybird] #246052
01/29/2021 10:46 AM
01/29/2021 10:46 AM
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Posts: 33
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Doc Bill Offline
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Doc Bill  Offline
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No.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Rasputin] #246056
01/29/2021 11:50 AM
01/29/2021 11:50 AM
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Posts: 3,200
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BeachKitten Offline
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Originally Posted by Rasputin
J.D.
These deadly variants only travel because we travel. The Pandemic spreads because we travel.
I have heard from many, "we need to live our life". My question is: what are you willing to give up in order to save a life?
Maybe giving up travel until this is under control is a start. It certainly is NOT under control now.


THAT is brilliant!

IMO, travel at this time is NOT a necessity. It is a luxury. And selfish if you are asymptomatic but a spreader. You can also have had the vaccine and still spread COVID. frown


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Carol_Hill] #246077
01/29/2021 03:20 PM
01/29/2021 03:20 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 750
Chicago area & St-Martin
ChiTownHarry Offline
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Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
The antigen test now says 48 hours. Wasn't it 72 hours before?


No. I am quite sure it was 48 hours when I researched it two weeks ago.


--ChiTownHarry
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ChiTownHarry] #246079
01/29/2021 03:55 PM
01/29/2021 03:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,033
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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OK, thanks. They just keep changing so many things, I was thinking they changed that too.


Carol Hill
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246419
02/03/2021 02:33 PM
02/03/2021 02:33 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,055
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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Any new news on changes back to 120 hours yet? Wait for it.........


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: BeachKitten] #246422
02/03/2021 02:53 PM
02/03/2021 02:53 PM
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PelicanPirate Offline
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Originally Posted by BeachKitten
Originally Posted by Rasputin
J.D.
These deadly variants only travel because we travel. The Pandemic spreads because we travel.
I have heard from many, "we need to live our life". My question is: what are you willing to give up in order to save a life?
Maybe giving up travel until this is under control is a start. It certainly is NOT under control now.


THAT is brilliant!

IMO, travel at this time is NOT a necessity. It is a luxury. And selfish if you are asymptomatic but a spreader. You can also have had the vaccine and still spread COVID. frown



For most, Travel to SXM has always been an unnecessary luxury. Folks want to be free and safe and they will navigate the rules as necessary to be free and safe.

I have been sick in Europe, Asia, And the Caribbean. Never on a cruise. Passing germs, viruses is a fact of life in the jet age.

Hopefully, this new normal will allow the cruise industry to Inspect/find those norovirus spreaders at embarkation and make them walk the plank or waddle like a penguin.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robert...ke-a-penguin-china-says/?sh=752dff1f475e

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Todd] #246423
02/03/2021 03:01 PM
02/03/2021 03:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,445
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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Supposedly reverting back to 120 hours for US travelers as per a post Andrea from LaVista posted on Facebook an hour ago on LaVista Facebook page.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Todd] #246424
02/03/2021 03:02 PM
02/03/2021 03:02 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
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Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Todd--what makes you think they will change back to 120 hours? I think that would be a good thing, but curious as to your reason for the statement.


Carol Hill
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Carol_Hill] #246425
02/03/2021 03:14 PM
02/03/2021 03:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,445
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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Jeff Berger also indicated it was about to happen but is making no formal announcement yet too.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Carol_Hill] #246426
02/03/2021 03:40 PM
02/03/2021 03:40 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 4,055
Vancouver, WA
Todd Offline
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Carol, I honestly didn't think that a shorter time would actually take effect from the US, the reason is money. So the rumors that this is going to be back to 120 hours seems to follow what I originally thought would happen.

There is no right answer to all of this, no matter what you do or don't do it can be listed as wrong. Travel is wrong, not traveling so people can make a living is wrong. It is a matter of trading lives and I will stop there.

71 days and counting!


I prefer the Isle seat
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Todd] #246428
02/03/2021 04:19 PM
02/03/2021 04:19 PM
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ruralcarrier Offline
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While this would be welcome news, I personally know several people who have cancelled due to the announced change of going back to 72 hours. This includes myself. This is like a bad 3 ring circus with NO ringmaster. These constant changes are not at all helping people who want to come and support the island. Good luck on your April trip.


J.D.
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246430
02/03/2021 04:22 PM
02/03/2021 04:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,794
Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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boucharda  Online Content
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Again...repeating myself...but...how many cases of covid in SXM were transmitted by tourists? Unless they know that this is a significant mode of transmission they could cut it down to 12 hours and it would make squat of a difference in case numbers.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246431
02/03/2021 04:26 PM
02/03/2021 04:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,295
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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Minister TEATT said in the press conference today in response to a question from Dr Soc that they are considering removing the order moving to 72 hours. Will decide by 2/12.


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246432
02/03/2021 04:27 PM
02/03/2021 04:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,794
Massachusetts
boucharda Online content
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boucharda  Online Content
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Aaaannnnnddddd...just updated:

Quote
Last Updated: February 3rd 3:58 PM
Update in Travel Entry Requirements, as of February 12th, the window of PCR test taking will be amended to 72 hours instead of 120 hours.
An exemption will be extended to passengers flying in from the US and Canada. The 120 hours will remain.


Update link


Last edited by boucharda; 02/03/2021 04:30 PM.
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: boucharda] #246433
02/03/2021 04:30 PM
02/03/2021 04:30 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 16,445
Auburn, WA
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Thats good news for US and Canada tourists.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: boucharda] #246434
02/03/2021 04:35 PM
02/03/2021 04:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,750
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Thanks, and another flip-flop.


J.D.
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ruralcarrier] #246435
02/03/2021 04:42 PM
02/03/2021 04:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 79,033
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Well, Jeez, how freaking ridiculous. How many people like you JD, just cancelled because of this rule and now they are rescinding it -- at least as to US -- before it even comes into force. What BS.


Carol Hill
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Carol_Hill] #246436
02/03/2021 04:44 PM
02/03/2021 04:44 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,750
Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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My thoughts exactly.

As I told you before, nothing like shooting prior to aiming but that is typical government B/S! Ready, shoot, aim...oops, that didn’t work too well!


J.D.
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246437
02/03/2021 04:46 PM
02/03/2021 04:46 PM
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Posts: 257
Albany, NY
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JimandBeth Offline
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What a relief! I had serious doubts that our testing system could meet their timelines.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: JimandBeth] #246438
02/03/2021 04:49 PM
02/03/2021 04:49 PM
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Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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JimandBeth--Yes, a major relief, except for those who just cancelled because of the new rules. Glad for you though.


Carol Hill
Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: Carol_Hill] #246441
02/03/2021 05:16 PM
02/03/2021 05:16 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 257
Albany, NY
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JimandBeth Offline
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Originally Posted by Carol_Hill
JimandBeth--Yes, a major relief, except for those who just cancelled because of the new rules. Glad for you though.

I didn’t mean to sound like I was dismissing what they have been through. Sorry if it came across that way. It is a mess.

Re: rt-PCR test change [Re: ScottW] #246442
02/03/2021 05:29 PM
02/03/2021 05:29 PM
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mort Offline
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Too late for me. Too much stress to get there and back. Would have spent 3 weeks and spent money on food,entertainment and car rental. The Island needs to be consistent.

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