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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Written by Jessica Pitman 31 March 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Understandably, the outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is raising a lot of questions about travel and the safety of specific places around the world. We get it and want to provide you with as much information as possible and provide support at this challenging and confusing time. It is important to us that you, our DA family, feel reassured and trust that when the time is right, we're here to take you on your next adventure. 

This is an unprecedented situation for all of us. Although Discover Adventure has dealt with many different circumstances in our 26 years of business, this is a new one for us. We know that everyone, at every level, is struggling with the impact of this pandemic. There is a lot of uncertainty in the air, and we're actively looking for, and seeking out, answers to the many questions we all have. 

With the barrage of daily rolling news, it is perhaps a little hard to decipher the facts. We are taking our information and advice from official sources (The UK Government and The World Health Organisation), and you can read more of this information further down this page. We are also lucky to have many contacts and links to organisations to help us to help you in these tough times (AITO and ABTA), and they are keeping us up-to-date with information about the travel industry and your rights. 

It's crucial to Discover Adventure, our employees, and for our local teams, as small businesses, that people begin to travel again when it is safe to do so. With this in mind, at such a time we have to cancel any trips due to travel restrictions, we ask you to strongly consider postponing your trips with us rather than cancelling, as we would love to take you on the adventure of the lifetime in the future. We'll be reaching out as soon as things return to normal and once it's safe to live the adventure again. We're in this together.

 

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

The World Health Organisation publish a daily situation report and have a whole section of their website dedicated to Covid-19. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 

You can access the situation reports here: WHO situation reports 

It is worth noting that the WHO numbers tend to lag a little behind general news reports. However, we use this as our main reference point because these are verified figures.

 

FAQs Relating to COVID-19

On the 17th March 2020, the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all non-essential international travel, initially for a period of 30 days (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/travel-advice-foreign-secretary-statement-17-march-2020). This meant Discover Adventure cancelled all of our challenges due to depart before the end of April.

 

What happens if Discover Adventure Cancel my trip? 

If we cancel your trip, or if we cannot deliver a significant part of it, then you can choose from the following 2 options:

  • A transfer to a trip departing in 2021 
  • A transfer to another trip departing in 2020 

If we have to cancel your trip, we will contact you as soon as possible with as much advanced notice as possible. 

We want to avoid cancelling trips unless absolutely necessary: that is, unless travel advice from the FCO changes for your destination country, or unless the trip becomes operationally unviable due to safety or logistical concerns.  But 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, they will be cancelled. You will be informed if this impacts you. We want you to make the decision that is right for you

What if i am a participant on a bespoke charity challenge?

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 change in challenge situation.    

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will aim to proactively contact our charity partners whose challenges are affected as quickly as we can. However, as these changes are affecting large numbers of customers, we are prioritising our imminent departures at the moment, but continue to monitor every destination we travel to.

If you are unable to contact your charity, continue to look at our updates and the advice from the Foreign Commonwealth Office for British people travelling abroad - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.

What happens if I choose to cancel my trip?

Discover Adventure will only cancel trips due to operational restrictions or safety concerns, or if the FCO advise against travel to your destination. We will let you know as soon as we can if we're due to cancel your challenge.

If you choose to cancel your trip with us, before we have made a decision about the trip, or if the trip is still going ahead as planned, our usual cancellation policy will apply. You may be able to claim costs on your travel insurance depending on the circumstances and the extent of your insurance coverage, but no refund or compensation can be claimed from Discover Adventure. You can read our Ts&Cs in full here.

What happens if someone in my group shows symptoms whilst on the trip, or the group gets infected?

If you or another member of your group displays symptoms of COVID-19 we will work with our leaders and local team to ensure that you and the rest of your group are safe. This would likely involve the affected participant being isolated from the group and transferred to a medical facility to receive the appropriate treatment, and if necessary the cancellation of the rest of the trip.

If you suspect you are ill on a challenge, or if you believe that you have come into contact with a known COVID-19 case, we advise the following steps: 

  • Stay indoors if possible and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu.
  • Call your DA leader to inform them of your unwellness.
  • Call your travel insurance company to discuss what you should do.
  • Follow local public health guidance (if available)

What happens if I am put into quarantine in my destination, and who will cover the cost of this?

Many travel insurers will not cover the costs of medical expenses incurred whilst choosing to travel in a country known to have a coronavirus risk. You must check your travel insurance policy to see whether you are covered - this may depend on when you purchased the policy.

We always recommend bringing a contingency fund for emergencies for circumstances such as this. The recommended amount is listed in your challenge FAQs and information.

Whilst we will do our best to assist you in coordinating with our team on the ground, medical facilities, and other partners, we cannot cover costs associated with being quarantined in-country.

What does my travel insurance cover if I become ill?

Every travel insurance policy is different. You must read your policy wording carefully, and contact your insurer if you have any questions or concerns. You should also travel with copies of your travel insurance documents. Whilst we take copies of your insurance as proof of coverage, the ultimate responsibility for having the correct and adequate coverage is your own.

We always recommend bringing a contingency fund for emergencies for circumstances. The recommended amount is listed in your challenge FAQs and information.

How is the spread and containment of COVID-19 being managed in my destination?

In all of our destination countries, we are working closely with our ground teams and are monitoring their operational responses to the coronavirus outbreak regularly. The key things to be aware of are: 

  • Our ground teams and leaders in all destinations are following and implementing all of the World Health Organization recommendations for infection prevention.
  • All staff and partners are closely monitoring multiple channels of official news, including the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), ABTA, AITO and the World Health Organisation.
  • Ground teams and leaders in all destinations are informed of the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and the safety precautions required to prevent transmission of the disease. Staff and participants will be assisted in isolation and seeking medical attention where necessary.
  • Hand-washing and the use of alcohol-based handwashes are available for all participants throughout our trips, including implementing new hand-washing stations at campsites and equipping vehicles with hand sanitizer.
  • Delivering additional health briefings on coronavirus on arrival, and advising that any recent cases of illness must be reported to the DA Team. If our team have a special case reported by a participant, we will immediately contact health authorities and passengers will not be allowed to continue on the trip as a protective measure for other customers.
  • We increase the frequency of thorough cleaning and disinfectant procedures across transport, equipment, activities, dining and housekeeping in all locations.
  • All our drivers and ground staff are careful to avoid handshaking, hugging, touching their faces, eyes and nose, and are frequently washing their hands, and reporting any suspicion of illness for immediate action to be taken.
  • All our participants are advised that if they develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, to immediately seek medical advice, and we will assist with facilitating medical care as necessary.

Discover Adventure advise the following: 

  • NO handshakes, hugs or kisses
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away
  • Wash your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds) more often than usual and especially after using the toilet and before and after eating food– use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • The use of face masks is NOT recommended for the general public, as there is no evidence of benefit outside healthcare environments.

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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