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Travel with confidence

When you travel with us you can be confident that we are doing everything possible to keep you safe. Read on to find out more about the steps we're taking to do this.
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Coronavirus Peace of Mind

At Explore, we do everything we can to ensure responsible and hassle-free travel. Many countries have introduced rules regarding both entry requirements and then the ability to partake in services within that country. Being fully vaccinated is now a requirement for free travel on the vast majority of our trips. Taking this into consideration and also to minimise the risk of COVID transmission amongst fellow travellers and the wider community, it’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers are fully vaccinated, or if unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons can apply for an exemption. To apply, you must be able to provide a medical certificate from your healthcare authority.

Children aged between 7 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72 hours of departure. 

For many countries, at least one of these requirements is a condition of entry. Where this is not the case, we reserve the right to ask for proof of vaccination or a medical certificate at the start of the trip.  

This policy applies to all trips and will be regularly reviewed to ensure that it is consistent with the latest requirements. Read terms & conditions

General guidelines

Our protocols are guided by the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation), the European Commission and local government regulations and include personal protection, extensive disinfecting and social distancing measures.

• Given the ever-changing nature of local rules and protocols relating to COVID-19, our itineraries are under regular review and will be tweaked according to local requirements to ensure a safe experience. Should any major change be required, we will inform you prior to departure.

• Our Explore leaders will make judgement calls during the trip to modify the itinerary if appropriate social distancing can’t be achieved (for example to avoid large crowds).

• Our Explore leaders have undergone detailed training on COVID-19 protocols and leading our trips in the ‘new normal’. 
• Our Explore leaders will brief you on arrival on the usage of face masks and social distancing during the trip, based on local government guidelines.

• Only restaurants with strict protocols that comply to local requirements for food hygiene and social distancing will be used. We will encourage outdoor eating spaces where possible.

• All our staff and third party suppliers will continually be updated on any new health and safety protocols.

Transport

• Our drivers will follow local protocols on the usage of face masks and required social distancing.

• Our drivers will make alcohol-based hand sanitizer and paper tissues available in the vehicle and encourage customers to clean hands when they get into the vehicle.

• All relevant touch points (seats, door handles, etc.) in vehicles will be disinfected regularly throughout the day.

Accommodation

• Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines.

• We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.
• Download the safety guidelines we've provided to our staff for a more detailed breakdown of the measures we've put in place.
Download our safety guidelines

If you become unwell

• All Explore leaders are trained to support any customer who becomes ill during a trip.

• Explore has a country-specific  response plan in place to enable  us to  coordinate  the most appropriate medical support and local assistance in the event of a suspected COVID-19 case within the group.

• Explore leaders are supported by our 24/7 UK based operational team and local in-country partners.

Our recommendations for you

• You should take your own face masks (minimum x2 reusable) and alcohol based hand sanitizer. Even if not required in your travel destination face masks are necessary for your flight there, and local rules can change.

• You should check with airline on their individual COVID-19 requirements before departure.

• You should carry your final documents on you as some airlines and arrival airports are requesting that you fill in a ‘passenger locator declaration’ which will require you to fill in your overnight hotel stops. We also strongly suggest you travel with a smartphone or tablet that either has the option to enable roaming or connect to Wi-Fi. Most COVID forms and declarations are now only available online, you may need to access these whilst you're away via your e-mail account or via an app.

• Check your travel insurance cover carefully – not all polices provide cover for medical and cancellation claims related to COVID-19. Campbell Irvine are able to offer a policy which does cover for medical and cancellation claims.

 

Pre-departure information

Country-specific entry requirements
Check our important pre-departure information, including current COVID-19 testing requirements and pre-arrival health questionnaires, for each country.  

Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for up to the minute latest advice on entry requirements in this fast evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

Check COVID-19 entry requirements

COVID-19 testing for entry to destination
Many countries have introduced a requirement to carry proof of a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within a defined timescale of arrival. The defined timescale is for when the sample was taken, not from the date on which the result was delivered. We strongly advise that you check with the relevant Embassy travel advice to ensure that the test you decide on meets their entry requirements. If your flights transit through another country please also ensure you meet the travel requirements for that country.
 
The FCDO advice states that tests for travel must not be obtained via the NHS and that you should find a private Covid testing facility. There are several private and local testing facilities available, please note fees can vary. We have secured a discount with some select COVID-19 testing suppliers.

Find out more about COVID-19 testing suppliers and get a discount.

COVID-19 testing for return to the UK
From 4am on 11 February, all testing requirements will be removed for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals into the UK, with only a Passenger Locator Form now required. Arrivals who are not recognised as fully vaccinated will only need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day 2 after they arrive in the UK.

Until then all travellers from England regardless of vaccination status will need to book a lateral flow test before they travel. You must take the test any time after you arrive and before the end of day 2 at the latest. The day you arrive is day 0. NHS tests cannot be used for this purpose, you must book this with a private provider - we recommend you purchase a self-administered test prior to travel. This type of test allows you to self-administer under supervision by video call or by supplying photo evidence to an authorised testing provider in order to obtain certification needed.
 

Proof of vaccinations record for COVID-19 for travel
Most countries are now accepting the UK’s NHS COVID PASS. Please check if this is the case on the FCDO advice for your destination and make sure you are carrying it in the correct format detailed on the FCDO page. Some destinations are asking for a print out as well as on your smart phone. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status. For England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, please check how to obtain your COVID PASS.

The EU are now accepting the NHS COVID PASS however anyone now travelling must have a new printed PDF proof of vaccination status that must date from 1 November to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully. 

Travel requirements
To find out what the entry requirements of your destination and any Government advice changes mean for your trip booking, please see our booking FAQs.

 

✓ Book with confidence

As well as being confident in travelling with us, you can be confident in booking with us.

Discover our flexible booking conditions, including our new COVID-19 refund promise. 
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Coronavirus Peace of Mind Terms & Conditions

1.    You must have valid, up to date proof of full vaccination against COVID or medical exception. 
2.    Full vaccinations means that you are vaccinated against COVID with a vaccine recognised by the relevant authority in the country where the vaccine was administered. You should have taken the full recommended course of the vaccine, this may vary by age  and also allowed the manufacturers recommendation for time taken for immunity to take effect. Where manufacturers or national authorities have advised that a booster is essential to ensure protection from COVID then this is required to ensure ‘full vaccination’  
3.    It is your responsibility to ensure that the vaccine you have received matches any specific entry requirements for the country you are travelling to. 
4.    We reserve the right to ask for proof of full vaccination or medical exception at any time on your trip. Failure to provide this represents a breach of your Terms and Conditions and means that you are unable to participate in the remainder of the trip. No refunds will be provided for any unused services. 
5.    Proof of vaccination provided by your relevant national authority will be accepted – eg in the UK the NHS app, an EU Digital COVID pass or the US CDC vaccination record.
6.    If you have recently had COVID and are still returning a positive test result after recovery then you should contact Explore on cr@explore.co.uk to request an exemption from the Coronavirus Peace of Mind policy.  An exemption may be provided where it is shown that you have had a positive test, have followed your governments rules to complete isolation and you have an official letter from your healthcare authority confirming that you have recovered from COVID, are no longer infectious and are cleared to travel.
7.    Any costs associated to tests / vaccinations are your responsibility.
8.    We reserve the right to amend the policy regarding on-tour arrangements at any time.
9.    For those travelling on Polar trips you will require to have full vaccination against COVID. There may also be additional requirements relating to testing, which will be detailed at the time of booking.

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