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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Written by Jessica Pitman 29 November 2021

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Coronavirus (COVID 19) Update: November 2021

After a fairly consistent period for the travel industry, there is some unsettling updates once again with the latest news about the Omnicron variant and some minor changes to travel restrictions; with the reintroduction of the day 2 PCR test and a red list. Rest assured that Team DA are working as quickly as possible to understand the potential impact of any changes on upcoming trips. All we ask is that you wait until we contact you, and that you remain patient. The government are returning to a structure of 3 weekly reviews and we will be led by these updates, along with the rest of the nation.

We highly recommend any new bookings take up travel insurance as soon as they have booked with us. Please carefully consider the level of Covid cover you take on, and we'd recommend cancellation cover as an essential in this time of overnight changes and uncertainty.

Currently, our regular terms & conditions and cancellation policy will apply to viable trips. You will be notified as soon as we’re confident that your trip will be able to depart and we will expect all final balances to be paid on time. At this point we are financially committing to services and much of this is non-refundable. If you still wish to transfer to a future date, we may be able to offer this but you will be subject to our standard admin fees (as disclosed in our terms & conditions), any transfer requests will be approached on a case by case basis.

Team DA will offer as much support as possible when it comes to understanding the rules, restrictions and any testing requirements, but the booking and purchasing of required tests is down to the individual. As with anything like this, we recommend you do your research. We have discounted rates for some test suppliers and anecdotal tips and tricks from previous travellers that we will share with you in your trip information. Remember: rules vary based on your vaccination status.

As has been proven in the last week, things can still change overnight and Discover Adventure will continue to do their best to be as flexible as possible. If we have to cancel a trip that we believed was viable due to any changes in travel restrictions (or any other concerns), our flexible booking promise will stand (scroll down to read more about this).

We continue to make final decisions around 6-8 weeks out from departure, in line with the latest government update. If you are concerned about a trip that falls after March 2022, please be patient - You are very much on our radar, but we’re still heavily impacted by the pandemic and it’s damage to the travel industry. We are working methodically and chronologically to manage the level of enquiries within our small team. We understand just how frustrating the waiting game can be, and in most cases we know no more than you do about travel restriction changes. If you cannot work to this timeline and choose to cancel, defer or transfer before hearing from us, you will be subject to an admin fee and our standard Ts & Cs.
Please check your junk/spam inboxes, as our emails have an annoying habit of getting caught up in some spam filters. 

Before you contact us again, please read this page thoroughly as we may have answered your question here, which remains our most up-to-date source of information. 

 

Unvaccinated Travellers

As a company, Discover Adventure aren’t enforcing any vaccination rules on our staff, crew or participants, however we highly recommend everyone looking to travel in the coming years considers getting their Covid-19 vaccinations. The added complications and requirements for unvaccinated travellers could lead to your trip being heavily impacted, and Discover Adventure will not make any special allowances for unvaccinated individuals. Any additional quarantine requirements (costs, tests, bookings etc.) will need to be covered by the individual and Discover Adventure will not assist in making these arrangements. Please be aware that there are two parts to any overseas travel; your destination country entry requirements, and the requirements for your return to the UK. Your vaccination status is likely to impact both elements, please consider this before committing to a trip. It is not unusual or new for there to be vaccination requirements set by countries around the world, this has been a key part of travel for many, many years (for example; malaria, yellow fever etc.), and it would be wise to consider the Covid-19 vaccinations in the same way if you are a keen traveller.

If you are unsure how your vaccination status will impact your travel, the best thing to do is to google ‘Travel Advice <destination country>’ and read the advice on the government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

 

UK Trips

We have been operating our UK trips since spring 2021, under government restrictions. These UK trips will operate under our Coronavirus Operating Procedures, UK Government advice and increased safety regulations. 

Important things to note: 
  • We will be adhering to standard coronavirus safety practices on all UK adventures. Including; social distancing, facemasks in enclosed spaces, frequent use of handwashing and hand sanitiser, and track and trace check-ins where appropriate. 
  • We encourage you to explore insurance options for UK trips, in light of the added risks due to coronavirus.
  • For multi-day UK challenges, we may implement bubbles within the group; this will apply anywhere where the rule of six is enforced (for example, restaurants and bars). These bubbles will remain the same throughout the challenge. 
  • We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the free NHS testing ahead of any UK challenge. You can acquire free rapid lateral flow tests here: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests, and we recommend you take one of these tests within 24hrs of joining the trip. 

 

International Trips – Overseas & Europe

We have been operating overseas trips for the latter part of 2021, safely, within the guidance. We continue to work hard to make the best decisions about future trips based on the information and guidance available. If we've learned anything in the last 18 months, things can change overnight; whilst we will not be rushing into any decisions, be aware that we are closely and constantly monitoring the situation in our destination countries.

Important things to note: 

  • Discover Adventure will aim to make any final decisions about a trip six weeks before departure
  • If your trip is on a red list today, it does not mean it will remain so in the months leading up to your trip. 
  • Discover Adventure have relationships with highly respected testing companies, through AITO, for the required tests, and we will provide you with this information (and discounted rates) in your final joining instructions.
  • We will contact you with important updates and information as frequently and promptly as possible. 

Please be assured, the safety of our customers will ALWAYS come first. If we have any doubts whatsoever about our trips and the associated risk, it will be cancelled.

We endavour to contact you as soon as possible following any Government Updates. Please be aware that these updates often come out after our working hours.

 

Flexible Booking

When you book with Discover Adventure, you book with confidence. If any of the above changes our flexible booking promise is as follows:

If Discover Adventure have to cancel a challenge for any reason you would be entitled to the following options –

- Transfer your registration fee to the next suitable departure date, or
- Transfer your registration fee to any other Discover Adventure challenge in our portfolio, or
- A refund of the money you have paid to us for your challenge


Our absolute priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff. We will only operate trips where we have undertaken a risk assessment and where we are comfortable that all aspects of the trip comply with UK government guidelines and any entry requirements and local restrictions in the destination country. If you would like to know more about the procedures and measures we are implementing on our trips to ensure your safety and the safety of our crew, please head to our Safe Adventures page.


Due to the high number of enquiries that we are currently dealing with and our significantly reduced team, it would be helpful if you could wait until we contact you. However, if you need to contact us urgently, please do not hesitate to email or call us; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01722 718444.

(Please see the bottom of this page for previous updates)

 

Official information and sources

If you would like to understand more about the latest Government Travel Advice explicitly linked to the COVID-19 situation, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

For general travel advice and country-specific advice, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice 

The World Health Organisation advice and information can be found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

 

FAQS RELATING TO COVID-19

IS MY TRIP GOING AHEAD?

If you haven’t heard from us, and your trip is due to depart after 17th May 2021, then it means your trip is going ahead.  Please check your junk email folder before contacting us to check if you've received any communications from us.  Please do not assume that your trip is cancelled until you are informed otherwise!

 

If you choose to cancel your place on a trip that is due to run as normal, then our normal T&Cs will apply.  Your registration fee is non-refundable and any trip costs that have been paid will be refunded in accordance with our normal T&Cs. You can read our Ts&Cs in full here.

 

We understand that you might be worried about taking on an adventure later this year, and you may not have been able to train or fundraise as much as you would have liked.  If you want to postpone your adventure until later on in 2022, or to 2023, then please contact the office to discuss your options.

 

All of our 2022/23 trip prices can be found on our website and you will be liable to pay the price of the trip that you move to.  If your new trip is lower than the amount that you have already paid, then we will issue you a refund credit note for the remainder.

 

If you have not been advised that your trip is cancelled, then please do pay your balance as normal, by the due date on your invoice.  If your balance is not cleared by your due date, then your place on the trip may be cancelled and you could lose the money you've already paid.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF I PAY MY BALANCE AND THEN THE TRIP IS CANCELLED?

If DA cancels or suspend your trip, or if we cannot deliver a significant part of it as a result of Covid-19, then you can choose from the following 3 options:

  • Transfer to another departure of the same trip
  • Transfer to any other Open trip we’re offering of a similar value
  • A refund of the money you have paid for your trip

 

YES. Discover Adventure Ltd is fully bonded, with the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence scheme (ATOL) managed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) - The CAA is the statutory corporation which oversees and regulates all aspects of civil aviation in the United Kingdom, as detailed below. 

In addition, DA is a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO)  both of which are UK travel trade associations for tour operators and travel agents, giving you excellent consumer protection.

Read more here: https://www.discoveradventure.com/your-financial-protection

 

We are constantly monitoring advice from the UK government and authorities, and we do not want to make any decisions too early.  We appreciate that this isn’t always ideal but we will keep you in the loop and be open with you so that you know the likelihood of your challenge going ahead. We usually make a final decision around 6 weeks prior to departure, however, this can vary if the travel advice is deemed likely to change nearer to the date of departure.

 

If you are on a trip that is unable to run due to COVID-19, then the same options as above will apply.

 

If you have organised your own flights then you are responsible for your own international travel arrangements.  If the trip is postponed then you will need to contact your airline to discuss your options. Your trip is likely to only be postponed due to travel restrictions remaining in place so the airlines should accommodate your requests.

 

We are in constant contact with our charity partners and are providing updates as it is required. We would ask that any participant on a bespoke challenge contact the charity in the first instance, as they will be responsible for contacting their supporters regarding any changes to their challenges.    

If you are unable to contact your charity, continue to look at our updates and the advice from the government - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.

 

With anything to do with fundraising, your first port of call should be your charity.  They will be able to offer you tips and advice – you may need to be a bit more creative, but as Sir Captain Tom demonstrated, where there’s a will, there’s a way!  You also have the option of moving to either the part or full payment options to reduce your target or cover all your trip costs yourself respectively.  Contact us to find out how to do this.

 

HOW CAN I TRAIN WHILE if we go back into a LOCKDOWN or under restrictions?

Exercise is really important for both your physical and mental health, particularly in times such as these.  Having something to focus on, to get the endorphins going, can really help with your stress levels.  Try to get outside and get your steps in every day.  There’s also a multitude of online sessions being offered which are ideal for cross-training and to try something new.  Ever fancied giving yoga a go?  Why not now!  If you’re stuck at home with the kids, get them involved.  Take up a virtual challenge – climb Ben Nevis on your stairs, walk a marathon in your garden – the opportunities are endless!
 

For more information about health & safety procedures, how we will operate our trips under the new guidance and FAQs about coronavirus procedures, see our Safe Adventures page.

 


Coronavirus (COVID 19) Update: 23rd August 2021

As things begin to return to “normal”, and we’re able to start sending trips out under various travel and government restrictions, our regular terms & conditions and cancellation policy will apply to viable trips. You will be notified as soon as we’re confident that your trip will be able to depart and, at this stage, we will expect all final balances to be paid on time. At this point we are financially committing to services (like flights, hotels etc.) on your behalf and much of this is non-refundable. If you still wish to transfer to a future date, we may be able to offer this but you will be subject to our standard admin fees (as disclosed in our terms & conditions), any transfer requests will be approached on a case by case basis.
Team DA will offer as much support as possible when it comes to understanding the rules, restrictions and any testing requirements, but the booking and purchasing of tests is down to the individual. As with anything like this, we recommend you do your research. We have discounted rates for some test suppliers and anecdotal tips and tricks from previous travellers that we are happy to share with you. Remember: rules vary based on your vaccination status.
Of course, things can still change overnight and Discover Adventure will continue to do their best to be as flexible as possible. If we have to cancel a trip that we believed was viable due to any changes in travel restrictions (or any other concerns), our flexible booking promise will stand (scroll down to read more about this).
We continue to make final decisions around 6-8 weeks out from departure and often in line with the latest government update. If you haven’t heard from us and are concerned but are still a little way off this timeframe, please be patient. You are very much on our radar but we’re still heavily impacted by the pandemic and it’s damage to the travel industry; we remain on reduced hours with an exceptionally stretched team so we have to work methodically and chronologically to manage the level of enquiries.
We understand just how frustrating the waiting game can be, and in most cases we know no more than you do about travel restriction changes but we’re doing all we can to make sure that our adventures can run safely. We may not be able to run all of our trips this year, but under the guidance and restrictions, we're looking forward to getting out into the world where we can, safely, once again. 

If you have made a recent enquiry with us but not yet heard back, please know that we are working hard to get back to everyone as quickly as possible. We've always been a relatively small team here at Discover Adventure, but we're now even smaller than before. Please check your junk/spam inboxes, as our emails have an annoying habit of getting caught up in some spam filters. 

 

Coronavirus (Covid 19) Update: 2nd March 2021

With the government's latest announcement and a roadmap to move us out of lockdown in place, there is a lot more optimism about the future and being able to get out into the world once again. We're planning to begin operating trips in the UK, within the guidelines of the roadmap, from May 17th 2021. If you have a trip booked with us before this date, you should have heard from us, or we will be in touch with you this week (2/2/2021) (please check your junk/spam inboxes). We approach this date with cautious optimism, as the government made clear, this could change at any time depending on the infection rate, vaccination programme and pressure on the NHS. 

For our overseas adventures, there is due to be a further update around the details of international travel mid-April. We await this announcement with great anticipation for clarity on our overseas trips. We're optimistic that we will be able to run adventures as normal from June 21st but are hopeful that April's announcement will bring this date forward. We will continue to update you directly with any news, good or bad. And we ask you to continue to bear with us, we're still working as hard as possible with a reduced team and reduced hours.

As a company and an industry, we are keen to get back up and running as soon as possible. So we ask that you continue to adhere to the guidelines, be sensible and stay safe. The motivation to be running unforgettable adventures with you is all we need for the next couple of months!  

 

Coronavirus (Covid 19) Update: 1st February 2021

Whilst many of us were pleased to see the back of 2020 and ready to jump boots first into 2021, we know that this year hasn't started in quite the way anyone would have liked. The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on our lives. We're still under heavy lockdown restrictions in the UK, and there is no confirmed date of when this may ease, and what that will happen next. Across the world, the picture is similar; with lockdowns and restrictions imposed and lifted frequently. Unprecedented was possibly one of the most used words of 2020, and this remains the case now. We're working in an ever-changing landscape and what is still a challenging time for travel. 


Our absolute priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff. We will only operate trips where we have undertaken a risk assessment and where we are comfortable that all aspects of the trip comply with UK government guidelines and any entry requirements and local restrictions in the destination country. If you would like to know more about the procedures and measures we are implementing on our trips to ensure your safety and the safety of our crew, please head to our Safe Adventures page.


Our challenges are suspended until March 31st 2021 - this is as disappointing for us as it is for you. We will decide about trips after this date on a rolling basis (usually about 8-10 weeks before departure).  If you have been affected by this, you should have heard from us already (please check your junk/spam inboxes if you haven't). We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain optimistic about travel in 2021, especially now that the vaccination programme is underway. Due to the high number of enquiries that we are currently dealing with and our significantly reduced team, it would be helpful if you could wait until we contact you. However, if you need to contact us urgently, please do not hesitate to email or call us; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01722 718444.


We look forward to getting back out there with you, running our amazing adventures, just as soon as it's safe, practical and responsible to do so.

 

Previous Update: 2nd October 2020 

First of all, we want to say thank you. Thank you for your patience and understanding, for your bookings, support on social media and emails to let us know you're thinking of us. We're continually thinking about our colleagues and teams around the world. We miss them deeply and hope it won't be long before we are working together again to restore tourism safely. We very much hope that you, and your friends and family, have managed to stay safe, and found a silver lining amongst all the uncertainty.

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to be bigger than anyone could have predicted. We continue to do our very best to ride out the most significant storm we've weathered in our 26 years, and the travel and events industry has ever faced. The Discover Adventure team are working as a reduced team on limited hours to keep our outgoing costs to a minimum, whilst we wait for things to improve in the travel sector. We've adapted quickly and are trying to do all we can to ensure that these changes do not impact our usual standards of service, please do bear with us.

We've just passed through what is normally the busiest operational time of year and our Discover Adventure machine, usually in its highest gear, was pretty much at a standstill. This, of course, was heart-breaking. Everything we do is about enabling people to step out of their comfort zones and into the great outdoors. To experience the multitude of benefits adventure travel has, all the while raising funds for lots of incredible charities and causes. Not only is the lack of tourism having a considerable impact on our international colleagues and friends, but a summer without events and challenges has also had a devastating impact on charity fundraising. We aim to fill 2021 to the brim with adventures to help overcome the fundraising deficit and ensure that our charity partners can continue to do the fantastic work that they do.

For now, we remain in a position of limited guarantees and a lot of uncertainty. While we work through this as quickly as possible, your patience is appreciated. We're always in conversation with industry associations, and government officials, ensuring that we are meeting the industry standards they set. The goalposts are constantly moving, and we're doing our very best to keep up and share information or changes with you promptly.

We have reviewed our operating procedures, and although safety has always been our number one priority, we have ensured to include all new COVID-19 guidelines. With this, we have been able to run a select handful of COVID safe events. These events were incredibly successful - the feedback we had from the charities supported, and the participants reflected this (you can read more about this here). We were proud to be one of the first companies in this sector doing what we could to help our clients get some much-needed fundraising in. Through these events, we have proven to ourselves that running COVID safe events in this "new normal" is more than possible and exceptionally safe with the right precautions in place.

As we move into the winter and into, a hopefully much brighter, 2021 we remain optimistic and excited for the future of adventure travel and charity challenges. 2021 already looks busy for us, and we're looking forward to seeing the key differences and benefits that adventure has in post-COVID world. We hope to see you out there again very soon!

Rob Fielding - General Manager

 


 

If you have any concerns at all, please contact the team in the office, and we can give you our honest view of the situation at present. 01722 718444 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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