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Coronavirus Advisory Information

Updated: 26 February 2020

Explore has been closely monitoring the novel Coronavirus since its outbreak. Our customers’ safety and wellbeing is our first priority.

We work closely with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and adhere to their guidance. We have an extensive and longstanding network of ground operators, tour leaders and teams worldwide that keep us informed and up-to-date on situations such as these, and we will be checking our information and advice daily and making any necessary updates on our Travel Alerts page.

Our tour leaders have been briefed on identifying the symptoms of Coronavirus and what to do in the event that someone presents with symptoms. We have contingency plans in place and will be encouraging staff and travellers alike to follow WHO guidance regarding hygiene and hand washing.
We’ve answered some of your questions about the recent Coronavirus outbreak:

I am concerned about Coronavirus. Can I get a refund on my trip?
If you are travelling to mainland China: Tours starting up to the end of May 2020 have been cancelled in line with FCO advice. We are reviewing subsequent tours on a rolling basis, and are due to review June departures on 2 March. If you are scheduled to travel on a trip to China after this date, whilst the FCO continues to advise against all but essential travel, you will be entitled to cancel your trip and receive a full refund of money paid to Explore.

If you are travelling to South Korea: We have also cancelled the 14 March 2020 departure of South Korea Explorer as the FCO are advising against all but essential travel to Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea. We are contacting the customers affected. We will review April and May departures to South Korea on Wednesday 4 March. 

If you are travelling to other countries: All other trips are running as usual; however we will try to offer flexibility to customers.

What can I do to reduce the risk of catching Coronavirus?
The World Health Organisation has issued the following guidance:
  • Be vigilant about hygiene, frequently washing hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel.
  • If coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your flexed elbow or a tissue. Throw tissue away immediately, and wash hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough
  • If you are have a fever, cough and any difficulty breathing, seek medical care early and share recent travel history with your healthcare provider
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of Coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with animals and surfaces in contact with animals
  • The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat and dairy products should be handled with care, to avoid uncooked foods as per good food safety practices.

Do I need travel insurance?
You must ensure that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip. You should check the wording of your policy, to ensure it covers all the activities and eventualities of the trip that you are taking part in. You must be covered for Medical Expenses and Medical Emergency Repatriation in the event of illness or injury (including the deterioration of known medical conditions).
If you haven’t already arranged cover, or you have concerns about your existing policy, our recommended travel insurance providers Campbell Irvine offer travel insurance specifically designed to cover travel with Explore. If you’d like a quote or have any queries please contact Campbell Irvine directly by phone on 020 7938 1734 or visit
Explore Worldwide is an Introducer Appointed of Campbell Irvine Ltd, who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

What if I have underlying health issues and am concerned about travelling to a destination with confirmed cases of coronavirus?   
We recommend that you discuss your travel plans with your GP.  If they recommend that you do not travel you should obtain a letter confirming this  from your GP.  Using this letter you may be able to claim back your holiday costs through your travel insurance.

How will I be informed of any changes to travel advice or traveller information?
We’d recommend signing up for the FCO email travel alerts to stay up to date with their information and advice. If your planned trip is directly affected we will inform you as soon as there is an update. Otherwise, we will continue to update the Travel Alerts page.

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