Checking the vaccination certificate in an alpine ski resort, Italy.

Checking the vaccination certificate in an alpine ski resort, Italy.

Photo: REUTERS

Outraged opinions about the fact that Russia can enter mandatory QR codes in public places, I read while in a small town near Nice. This is France. I was in Europe for the third day already. And I experienced it myself – without the presentation of these dots, which are not readable by the human eye, knocked into a square, here it has long been impossible to take a step. Not in a cafe, not on a bus, not in a museum. Nowhere! The QR code was the first thing they asked me as soon as my foot crossed the border of the European Union.

But, as you know, the severity of the laws is compensated by the optionality of their implementation. And this is not only in Russia! We must start at least with how I got to France in general.

BREAK THE WINDOW TO EUROPE

It seems that everything is closed and no “Russo tourist image of morality” for you. But it turned out that not all countries have yet figured out how to live in the era of total covid-confusion. And the mentality, albeit of a united Europe, is still different. Someone is categorical “we won’t let you in and that’s it!”, Someone looks at those crossing the border through their fingers.

Hungary, for example, is widely known in narrow circles as a staging post for desperate travelers. Through Budapest, people fly all over Europe, where you cannot get directly. Greece, which is open to tourists, is also often used. Croatia allows it with “Sputnik”, and without it, if with a certificate of 72-hour freshness, as I found out from my own experience, as soon as I got into the phone to open the vaccination certificate, the border guard girl waved her hand. No need, they say, the rules have already changed and your vaccination is not of interest to us.

But this is not the Schengen area yet. But neighboring Slovenia is already like a promised land. As I read on the forums, the border guards allow tourists traveling on the ground there, calmly. For what reason – I don’t know, but it really is. From Zagreb on a regular bus in 1.5 hours I got to Ljubljana. Moreover, at the border, they did not ask me anything except my passport. Nothing at all like the good old days. As if there is no coronavirus. I was delighted, but early …

VACCINATION TOURISM

By the way, on my plane to Zagreb, several people flew specifically for the foreign vaccine.

“We found out on the Internet that here everyone is given Johnson & Johnson for free (this is the most popular vaccine among vaccine tourists, because it is one-component), so we’ve arrived,” says a couple from Moscow. – Bought tickets, booked a hotel. We hope we will have time to inject and take a walk in 3 days.

– Why do you need a foreign vaccine at all? Do you trust more?

– My husband was invited to work in the United States, and they are not allowed there without a vaccination certificate approved by the WHO. Johnson & Johnson is approved. And our “Sputnik” is not yet there. Here in Croatia, vaccinations are given to everyone, even foreigners, and free of charge. But in Germany they charge 750 euros for an injection!

The guys and I exchanged phone numbers, and after 2 days they wrote to me that they had been vaccinated without any problems. Satisfied – they have acquired European “green” passports and can safely travel wherever they look.

Immediately, standing in line for passport control, I discovered in two clicks on the Internet that resourceful travel agents are already selling “vaccination tours” to Croatia and Hungary with might and main. Fashion business. They promise to organize everything in 3-4 days and 30-40 thousand rubles. But nothing is reported about the fact that in general the EU countries are actively rejecting this “Johnson & Johnson”. The reasons are very different, including the fact that the vaccine is one-component. In Austria, for example, after January 3rd with such a certificate, they will not be allowed anywhere. Pfizer is, of course, more reliable – it is two-piece. But this means that you will have to spend at least 2-3 weeks in Europe. And that’s another story and other money.

You can also give one injection to Pfizer, a friend who lives in Paris teaches me. – A friend came to me, did it. We must come to the vaccination centers organized by the Red Cross. There you show a certificate of Russian vaccination, they immediately take an analysis for antibodies for free, and if their presence is confirmed, they give one injection. Everything!

In Nice, where I was going, there are no Red Cross points. And to be honest, it was not part of my plans to inject drugs. The plan was to visit my sister and return home.

In Athens, a buyer will not be allowed into a store without making sure he is vaccinated.

In Athens, a buyer will not be allowed into a store without making sure he is vaccinated.

Photo: REUTERS

WITHOUT PAPER YOU ARE BUCKET

We finally got to Nice. But the further we delved into Europe, the more often we had to get a certificate of the absence of coronavirus with a QR code. You can walk along the street as much as you want, but go to a bus, to a cafe or check into a hotel – NO.

– Present the QR code – the most frequent phrase that I have heard in my address.

For the first three days, we also managed to get by with a certificate from the Moscow laboratory. By the end of the validity period, we already had it worn down to holes. Yes, yes, what causes hysteria among our Russian anti-vaccines is in effect in France, Italy and other EU countries. And very strict!

– Madam, PiSiER, – the bus driver smiles. This was my first encounter with this unfamiliar word in French usage. I didn’t even immediately guess that this is how our native abbreviation sounds in the French way (PCR in Europe, by the way, is also digital, like a QR code).

And not only I was a bug in Europe without a piece of paper, my 15-year-old daughter too. Here, the same requirements are imposed on children from the age of 12 as for adults. And this is despite the fact that vaccination of minors is not obligatory, as it were.

– In Vienna, you would not get anywhere with your certificate, – says an acquaintance. – We have a hard lockdown for the unvaccinated. And no PCR will save. Without a vaccine certificate, you can only go to the pharmacy and to the grocery store near your home. Everything. Neither buy a blouse, nor watch a movie. Nowhere!

– Do they let you into the transport?

– There are no checks at the entrance. But there are often police raids on the subway and buses, asking for vaccination certificates. So – how lucky. But you can run into a fine of 1,500 euros. They are generously discharged here.

– Tomorrow is over, I won’t let you in, – smiled the owner of a small coffee shop, bringing my cappuccino. – Sorry. Your PiSiR finito la.

So, no more cheap and comfortable buses and coffee shops, I thought sadly. And I went to the office to rent a car, since this service is more than affordable in Europe (only 5000 rubles per week). We had somewhere to live and without hotels.

“We actually rented an apartment from a private owner on the Internet,” boasted two Russian girls-tourists in Nice. – The key to the apartment was in the box, we didn’t even see the owner, and he didn’t ask us for any QR codes. We will not die of hunger either, they are allowed to go to supermarkets and bakeries without a code.

But the cultural program – sorry. They were not even allowed to enter the park at the museum.

Berlin.  To get to football, fans now have to show not only a ticket, but also a confirmation of vaccination.

Berlin. To get to football, fans now have to show not only a ticket, but also a confirmation of vaccination.

Photo: REUTERS

NOT OFFICIAL, BUT DEAR SATELLITE

– Madam, show the PiSiER, – the cashier at the ticket office looked at me sternly. I tried to give up the expired certificate at the fool, suddenly she would not notice the date. But she noticed. Then, out of desperation, I took out my phone, where I had an electronic certificate of vaccination with “Sputnik V”.

The cashier tried to scan the QR code (all service workers have such programs in their smartphones), pointed at my black and white drawing – nothing came of it.

“This is a Russian certificate,” I began to explain. – “Satellite”…

“… Vi, vi,” the woman smiled. And I began to read what was written (I have a certificate in English). – And how did the vaccination go? Fine? We have people who trust your Russian vaccine and have specially traveled to Monaco, where you can be vaccinated with Sputnik. But then they had to do and Pfizer to get a “green passport”. And what about the girl? – asks, looking at my Marusya.

– Nothing. In Russia, children are not given vaccines yet. Here we have PCR, though it expired yesterday, – I babbled.

She didn’t listen, took pity and just let it go.

Emboldened, I began to show my Russian certificate everywhere. And they let me go everywhere with him! What is surprising, because he is not officially recognized here yet. They read it carefully, peered, asked how it went, and let it go. But my daughter still had to do PCR (30 euros) twice more.

Even Christmas figurines in this store in Naples, Italy have their "certificates".

Even Christmas figurines in this store in Naples, Italy have their “certificates”.

Photo: REUTERS

WITHOUT A MASK YOU ARE A VIOLENT

The second most popular phrase I’ve heard, you know what? “Put on the mask.”

Here in Europe everything is strict with protection. Moreover, it must be worn exclusively according to the rules. No “on the chin”, as is customary for us. If the nose is open, this will be indicated. And even if it is closed, but the upper part is not tightly pressed against it, they will also make a comment. And not only specially trained people – police officers, employees of public places – are watching this, but also ordinary citizens.

– Girls, where are your masks? Put on, or get out of the elevator, ”a visitor to a shopping center in Milan told us when she bumped into us.

And so everywhere.

Until recently, masks were also supposed to be worn on the streets, but this rule, thank God, was canceled!

WANT TO TRAVEL – ADD ON WITH ALL VACCINES

We flew back to Moscow by plane through Frankfurt. At the check-in counter at Nice Airport my Sputnik didn’t miss a beat. Moreover, the airline employee looked at me just as if I was mentally ill, that I even came on the plane without a certificate. Well, I haven’t called the police yet. I had to run and do an express test. And this, for a minute, is 150 euros. Saved, called.

At the border in Frankfurt, the border guard asked for a very long time how we got to Europe at all. And why, in fact, did you come? Have you been quarantined in France?

“I really do not recommend you to travel without vaccinations,” he said, reluctantly handing over his passport. – I assure you, soon all these routes through Hungary and Croatia will be closed.

To be honest, you need to have very strong nerves and a lot of charm to travel around the EU now. My knees trembled as I approached the boarding gate, so much I went through at customs.

“We’re all grafted,” said the waiter guy at the airport diner. – They made me here. Many are vaccinated for vaccination, who travel a lot around the world. It often happens that you ask for a QR code, and a person immediately takes out 3 – 4 – both Chinese vaccines, and European, and American, and your Russian ones. Times like this.

– In your Europe, people are on strike against “digital slavery” and these QR codes. There are many dissatisfied (Protests are taking place in France and in other European countries, but it was Germany that became the center of the “antiquated resistance”, numbering a million activists).

– Here with a reason and without a reason they are on strike. Does this really help? These are the times, ”he repeated again.

Indeed, somewhere on the sly, somewhere at once, but restrictions all over the world have come to a common one: if you do not want to be vaccinated, stay at home. It is useless to resist. Or pay for endless PCR tests, and not all countries recognize them.

The first thing I saw upon arrival at Domodedovo was a bunch of people without masks. This, honestly, was so unaccustomed to the eyes! Compared to Europe, we still have complete freedom. True, it seems to me now some kind of reckless prowess.

EVERYWHERE EVERYTHING IS THE SAME

“Buy a vaccination certificate” is a popular request not only in Russia.

– In Greece, a big scandal has just thundered. It was revealed there that the doctors promised to inject saline instead of the vaccine for money. They took a fee, but they got injections anyway. Both ours and yours, let’s dance, is called.

– The Cologne police now has a special anti-counterfeiting group, so big is the problem.

– The US has already announced that on the most magical night of Christmas, only those who are used to it will be allowed into the main square of New York. PCR tests won’t work.

– In Germany, all New Year’s fairs were canceled altogether. And for the second year in a row. For conservative Europe, breaking traditions is a tragedy, but what to do.

– In Croatia, people are not even allowed to attend a funeral without a vaccination certificate.

– In France, those who refuse vaccination were even forbidden to pay salaries.

By the way, it seems to me that Israel acted the most competently. All certificates are recognized here, but! Anyone who comes with a vaccine not approved by WHO, and our Russians are still in this category, must undergo a mandatory test for the presence of antibodies. There they are – go for a walk. No – quarantine or back home.

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