13th July 2020 As lockdowns ease round the world we can now start to look ahead to tours again. We all understand that Coronavirus will be around for a while so the ‘World Travel Map’ will be necessarily a little complicated for a while! Our customers are our life and we want to ensure you that we’ll do our very best to look after you from the moment you think about booking to the tour’s end. We want you to be able to book in complete confidence and also have full confidence that Greentours will operate our tours safely following appropriate local and international protocols in relation to health and coronavirus. We hope the following information will give you that security and provide a picture of how things will be (a little) different on tours during coronavirus.
13th July 2020
As lockdowns ease round the world we can now start to look ahead to tours again. We all understand that Coronavirus will be around for a while so the ‘World Travel Map’ will be necessarily a little complicated for a while! Our customers are our life and we want to ensure you that we’ll do our very best to look after you from the moment you think about booking to the tour’s end. We want you to be able to book in complete confidence and also have full confidence that Greentours will operate our tours safely following appropriate local and international protocols in relation to health and coronavirus. We hope the following information will give you that security and provide a picture of how things will be (a little) different on tours during coronavirus.
How will I know if a Tour is going to go ahead?
Travel corridors between fifty-odd countries and the UK allowing for no self-isolation on return to the UK was announced on the 3rd July and subsequently the FCO changed its travel advice on the 10th July. Greentours is now expecting to run tours from July onwards to countries in that list. So that is mostly the tours we are operating to Europe through the late summer and autumn. This list is likely to be added to in the coming months so we expect many of the longer haul tours offered from the Autumn onwards to run to. Watch the Greentours news page for more information on this.
What Happens if my Tour is Cancelled?
If ultimately we have to cancel a tour because of the UK FCO travel advice then we will refund you in full or offer to transfer you to another tour of your choice. Please note that if airline tickets have been bought it may take us a while to procure the refund from them and this ‘flight part’ may be slower returning to you.
We will apply the same process to our many customers from all over the World. So if your government advises against travel to the tour you are booked on with Greentours then we will refund you whether it is different from the UK FCO advice or not.
In all cases of cancellation by us due to the government travel advisories you can in the end expect a full refund.
So what happens if you decide that you are unhappy to travel even though the tour you are booked on is going ahead and there are no travel advisories applicable to that tour? Ultimately our booking conditions apply however in most cases we would like to provide flexibility and allow you to move to a different tour or provide either a full or partial refund. We have moved to a discretionary approach on this – in essence we’ll refund or move to another tour booking everything except payments made on your behalf that we cannot recoup. In practise this will be the ‘flight part’ and possibly some supplier costs.
At some point we expect to return to operating with the traditional ‘rigid’ booking conditions but until everyone – hotel and lodge operators, airlines and of course you – see a more settled scenario then we think it most sensible for all to remain flexible.
Greentours recognises that it is an uncertain world at present and so we feel full flexibility is vitally important. Please rest assured that deposits are now fully moveable between tours and refundable if you decide that you no longer wish to go on a tour even if there is no change on the status of the tour as far as the FCO is concerned. The only proviso is where air tickets have been bought. If they’ve been purchased and the airline at a later stage does not refund them then they will be taken out of your deposit.
Can I get Travel Insurance?
Many travel insurers are now starting to offer travel insurances that include cover for Coronavirus so you should now easily be able to find suitable cover.
Keeping You Safe on Tour
At Greentours we follow both the Coronavirus safer travel guidance for passengers advice of the UK government and the World Health Organisation’s advice on ‘Protecting yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19’. During the tour we’d like you to follow these guidelines as much as possible to ensure the safety of other tour members, your leaders and of course workers at the hotels.
Hotels and Lodges throughout our ‘Tour World’ are very different creatures however we are working with all of them to ensure that both social distancing and enhanced cleaning regimes are commensurate with internationally accepted protocols. You will find some changes in how both hotel and restaurant meals are taken reflecting the necessary social distancing rules. Where possible meals will be taken outside.
Greentours will in all cases respect and work within the rules of the country the tour is operated in. These rules are changing every few weeks at the moment. This is especially true of transport issues where some countries have very detailed guidelines/rules and others don’t. To keep it simple and commensurate with maintaining social distancing as much as possible we will limit ourselves to a maximum of five customers in a nine seater minibus or where a vehicle is larger approximately two seats per customer.
We pride ourselves on our picnics and will continue to provide them where local regulations allow. However the freshly prepared on site salads that some of our leaders provide will be out for the moment. Utmost care will be taken regarding hygiene during picnic provision – of course it is anyway!
Masks may be expected to be worn at times on a tour depending on local regulations. This might be in the hotel or in the transport or in both and are certainly currently regulation on airlines. Greentours will have a supply of masks and hand sanitiser available but you should try and bring enough for your own use.
Please do not share optics, field guides or any other equipment during a tour.
Airlines have come in for criticism (refunding!) and sympathy is about equal measure during the months of Coronavirus. Much as the attacks on the New York Trade Centre signalled a new security conscious regime the current pandemic will push the travellers health security to the fore. So expect travelling by air to be a different experience for the foreseeable future. As airlines and medical advice develop over the coming months how that experience will differ will change. We urge you to visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-air-travel-guidance-for-passengers in the days just before you travel to get guidance on the latest regulations and advice on how to travel safely by air.
If you have questions regarding trips you can still call the office +44129883563 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org anytime.