Molly Moon Neitzel, who owns an ice cream business in Seattle with just over 100 employees, said she had kept guidelines for isolation conservative.

“I’m on the side of protecting people over getting them back to work right now,” she said, adding that if it were summer and her business were busier, she might consider a shorter isolation period. “It’s the slowest time of the year for an ice cream company, so that is in my favor.”

Some public health experts worry that if the C.D.C. shortens its guidelines on isolating, employers could pressure workers to get back before they’re fully recovered.

“What I don’t want to see happen is for this to be used as an excuse to force people to come back while they are unwell,” Dr. Ranney of Brown said.

And even with clearer guidelines, putting policies in place can be tricky. While some experts suggest different isolation rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, some companies do not yet have a system for tracking which of their workers have gotten a vaccine. The question of whether the C.D.C. will change its definition of fully vaccinated to include booster shots adds another layer of complexity.

It’s not just sick employees who may have to stay home: Companies are also grappling with whether vaccinated workers should quarantine after exposure to someone with Covid-19, which C.D.C. guidelines do not require.

“It becomes a challenge for employers to choose between providing a safer environment and keeping staff intact, or going with the C.D.C. guidance,” said Karen Burke, an adviser at the Society for Human Resource Management.

But almost two years into the pandemic, that’s the position that employers continue to find themselves in, amid an ever-flowing cascade of new data, guidelines and considerations.

“Every moment, you’re making life or death decisions,” Ms. Sibley said. “That’s not what we signed up for.”

Rebecca Robbins contributed reporting.

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6 Things You Should Know About Traveling to Europe This Summer

By now, most of the large American-run chains have reverted to their pre-Covid cancellation policies for reservations made before a certain date (that has come and gone), and for travel through a certain date (that has come and gone). But some companies are still being flexible: Hilton has always had generous cancellation policies, and Four Seasons has been consistently easy about changes and cancellations during the pandemic.

Travel-industry insiders also have noticed flexibility among independent hoteliers.

“We’ve felt that small, family-run luxury properties are actually more nimble than some of the big hotel chains,” said Louisa Gehring, the owner of Gehring Travel, an affiliate of Brownell, a Virtuoso luxury travel agency. “Rather than lay off all their employees or point to an overarching corporate cancellation policy, they’ve had flexibility to keep the teams on, work with clients on a case-by-case basis and really step up to the plate.”

Policies vary by property, she added, but even some of the more rigid ones now include exceptions for Covid.

One thing to watch for is the credits-versus-refunds flash point: Even in cases when a hotel won’t swallow a deposit or prepayment outright, will you get a cash refund or will you be asked to rebook? Last year, Greece and Italy both passed laws allowing hotels and other travel companies to issue credits, rather than cash refunds, for canceled bookings. Although vaccines, the eagerness to travel and pandemic fatigue may make the idea of a credit less odious than it seemed last spring, always ask about policy specifics, including blackout and expiration dates.

The Palace of Versailles is open and President Emmanuel Macron is sipping espresso outside Parisian cafes, but nightclubs will remain closed even after France’s countrywide curfew ends in June. At restaurants and bars in Madrid, groups are capped at four people inside and six people outside. Germany and the Netherlands remain closed to American tourists.

“Clearly, we will not come back to ‘normal’ straight away, and travelers will have to be conscious of health measures and respect rules at the destination,” said Eduardo Santander, the executive director of the European Travel Commission, a Brussels-based nonprofit that represents the national tourism boards across the continent. “We all — destinations, businesses and guests — cannot let the guard down too soon both for our own health and for the safety of people around.”

In short, any trip to Europe this summer will come down to managing expectations.

“Save the ‘must check all the boxes’ trip to Europe for a bit later, once all new protocol kinks have smoothed out,” Ms. Gehring said. But you may still have an unforgettable experience regardless.

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Help! Will All My Travel Vouchers Expire Before I Can Use Them?

United and other airlines’ policies have evolved, and will continue to do so, with the pandemic. With 2021 well underway, Consumer Reports and U.S. PIRG, a public-interest advocacy nonprofit, called on 10 domestic airlines last week to ensure their vouchers can be used into 2022.

In addition to the official rules, Mr. Keyes said, “Most airlines have had informal policies to grant extensions to customers who called in and proactively asked for one. Though you shouldn’t be a jerk about it — honey attracts more flies than vinegar — you should be proactive, explain why you’re not comfortable traveling under the current circumstances and ask.”

CRUISE LINES

When the pandemic hit, most air travelers fell into two camps: Those whose flights had been canceled by the airline, and those who voluntarily canceled their tickets. Cruisers were given no such choice: The industry came to an all-out halt last March, after several coronavirus outbreaks were linked to cruises. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a no-sail order, and most ships have been bobbing emptily ever since. Cruisers, in turn, got either cash refunds or future cruise credits, the industry’s version of vouchers or merchandise credits.

Although the C.D.C. order was lifted in October, cruising still remains largely on pause, and most major cruise companies have preemptively canceled their sailings well into this year while they get their health-and-safety protocols up to snuff. In the meantime, policies about future cruise credits remain flexible.

“We’ve seen the concept evolve since the start of the pandemic, and cruise lines are giving people a fairly long lead in terms of expiration dates,” said Colleen McDaniel, the editor in chief of Cruise Critic, a leading cruise news and planning website. “They’re leaving room for people to sail when they’re comfortable. It also helps navigate the continued pause in the industry — with no definitive end date and cruises continuing to be canceled, it leaves some leeway.”

On Carnival Cruise Line, an industry powerhouse with a fleet of 24 ships, travelers who opted to receive a credit, rather than a cash refund, have through April 2023 to sail.

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