Simply stated, "it's not cheating if one partner is on another continent". Thus, the vacationing partner and the one left on the home continent can both proceed with relationships as if single. However, all relationships formed in this time must be terminated upon both partners being on the same continent once again.
Important to note is that no relationship formed during the Continental Rule can supersede the meaningfulness of the original relationship. This means the Continental Rule is primarily for vacation hook-ups and avoiding lonely nights.
The Continental Rule can also be avoided if both partners expressly consent to such terms before being separated.
"I'm going away to France next summer, but I don't want to cheat on Jenny."
"Don't worry, the Continental Rule applies; nothing you do there is cheating."