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COVID-19 Information Hub

Our COVID-19 policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Like many of you, we're also getting excited at the thought of heading out for an active holiday. But we want you to rest assured that your safety and well-being continues to be our utmost priority.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have evolved our operating protocol to build in additional measures on our existing safety and risk mitigation strategy. 

Please read the FAQs below for more information related to our COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Visit our Travel Advisory page for information on the operational status of our trips.

The World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp means we have adopted a set of global safety and hygiene protocols. We're COVID Safe We're a COVID Clean Practicing Business


Our COVID-19 Travel Policy FAQs

From the 1st of December 2021, travellers over the age of 18 are required to provide proof of a current and valid COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose administered no later than two weeks prior to departure.

Vaccination age requirements may vary from country to country, or region to region. For example, in Canada, participants aged 12+ are required to be fully vaccinated to allow services including trains, internal flights and restaurants to be utilised. 

On our Australian trips there is no longer a requirement to be vaccinated however we strongly recommend that all travellers are fully vaccinated. This will help create the safest possible environment for you, your co-travellers, and our guides.

It is the duty of travellers to check any requirements which need to be fulfilled before travel, which includes transit destinations, on the destination country’s government websites.

USEFUL RESOURCES: IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map, COVID Safe Travel in Australia 

There is much fluidity in relation to government policies and it is the case that requirements for many countries globally include proof of vaccination on entry or mandatory quarantine in the absence of it. This being the case and to help mitigate the risks to our travellers, as well as improving the free movement of our groups as much as possible, we continue to require our travellers on trips outside of Australia to be fully vaccinated.

Children under 18 are exempted from vaccination requirements and may instead provide a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to day one of the trip.

If they are vaccinated, we will require proof of vaccination.

There are some exceptions to the age requirements, for example in Canada, among others, where those aged 12+ are required to be vaccinated.

Medical exemptions for adults will be considered on a case-by-case basis and require a medical certificate from a medical professional.

Those with valid medical exemptions must provide a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to the first day of the trip.

Please be aware that additional quarantine requirements for unvaccinated travellers may apply, depending on destination and transit countries, and these should be considered before you travel so the appropriate arrangements can be made.

Vaccinations which are acceptable are those approved by health authorities in the country you will be travelling in, transiting through, or the vessel operator in the case of a boat-based trip.

USEFUL RESOURCE: To find out which vaccinations are acceptable for your destination country, refer to the relevant government website and the IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map.

A copy of your vaccination record must be provided to our reservations staff prior to the start of your trip.

All personal information provided is kept in accordance with our privacy policy which you can view here .

A digital or paper copy should also be kept with you during your trip.

Depending on your country of origin, proof of vaccination may take the form of an:

  • Australia - Immunisation history statement or COVID-19 digital certificate 
  • EU - EU Digital COVID Certificate
  • England - NHS COVID Pass 
  • Scotland - Vaccination Status Record 
  • Canada - Vaccination Records or receipts issued by province or territory
  • USA - CDC documentation 
  • New Zealand - Vaccination confirmation letter

National certificates may alter if vaccination passports are created. Please check with us if you are unsure which documents are required.

Note entry and exit requirements governing international travel are constantly changing and it is imperative you check any requirements which need to be fulfilled before you travel, via your transit and destination country’s government websites.

Requirements may be more stringent than those required by us, and these may include requiring evidence of recent COVID-19 test results.

USEFUL RESOURCE: IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map.

We recommend you take out a travel insurance policy that provides a level of coverage for cancellation costs should you contract the coronavirus and and a forced isolation period means you are unable to participate on the tour. 

Our reservations team can advise you on our  recommended policy.  

Our Flexible Cancellation Policy is is only available where you are prevented from participating on the tour due to government-imposed lock downs and restrictions.

For the protection of other travellers and our staff, our policy is that all travellers must be fully vaccinated and provide evidence of, or alternatively hold proof of a medical exemption, prior to trip departure. If a medical exemption is granted a negative PCR test will be required.

We acknowledge and accept your right to choose what is best for you as an individual.

Whilst this is the case, we take our responsibility to our travellers, host communities and global staff seriously and with this in mind, will not accept travellers on our trips in the absence of a valid, current vaccination or suitable exemption.

Our Terms and Conditions of travel related to cancellation will apply should you decide not to meet the requirements for joining your chosen trip.

This also applies to those passengers who are holding Travel Credit Vouchers and who booked before or during the pandemic.

We hold our responsibility to our global team in the same high regard as that of our travellers.

In line with this commitment, all our leaders and crew must either have been vaccinated, or in the case of access challenges, being addressed via our advocacy, have tested negative to COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before they start a trip.

In some cases, for example on partner operated trips, local health regulations will direct the policy in place for staff.

For multi-day trips occurring in Australia, all our guides undertake a Rapid Antigen Test within a day of departure and must return a negative result to proceed as a guide on all exclusive World Expeditions trips.

In the vast majority of cases, yes.

In some cases, for example on partner operated trips, local health regulations will direct the policy in place for travellers.

There may be some travellers on your trip who are not vaccinated.

There is no obligation for participants to have a Rapid Antigen Test on arrival, however testing requirements for the relevant destination country must be adhered to.

If you are travelling domestically in Australia, see our advice in respects to Rapid Antigen Tests.

Our protocols have been carefully honed with your wellbeing in mind, using our 45 years of experience and in accordance with the standards set by the WHO (World Health Organization) and WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) and ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association).

Our tailored, nuanced rapid response field management protocol is a required standard throughout our operational bases.

Within all the risk mitigation strategies, it remains that COVID-19 is extremely contagious and there is a risk of exposure anywhere where people encounter one another which cannot be removed.

Acceptance of the inherent risk is voluntarily assumed by you when you when join our trips, though you should rest assured we have elevated our protocols with a heightened awareness of this new paradigm.

For the protection of others on the tour, we will follow the relevant government health requirements for testing positive to COVID-19 which, as soon as detected, will involve being removed from the tour. 

In any cases where a positive case cannot be removed from a tour, strict isolation practices will be implemented for the remainder of the trip.

Unless you have had prolonged contacted with a confirmed COVID-19 case of four or more hours in a confined space (as per current government health guidelines, local health guidelines will be consulted as required), we will not consider you a close contact.

The tour will proceed as planned with the infectious participant removed from the tour immediately after returning a positive test as soon as is possible. Remaining participants will be required to monitor for symptoms.

We strongly recommended you take an available test when you return to the town or city where the tour ends.

Note requirements for joining flights are likely to entail a negative test result. Transit and destination state or country’s government websites should be reviewed for the latest requirements, these can alter rapidly.

 

With the tour underway and all services, there will be no refund offered in this circumstance. 

The normal procedure would be for you to make a claim on your insurance for unrecoverable costs. 

Your reservations consultant can provide you with a letter outlining those costs in support of your claim.

The current recommended health requirement for being a close contact is that you isolate for a period of 7 days. 

If you are in isolation and can complete that with more than 7 days before departure, you may continue with the trip as planned. 

If your isolation period falls within 7 days of departure and this prevents you from participating on the tour, you should make an insurance claim for the tour costs. 

Your reservation consultant can provide you with a letter outlining those costs in support of your claim. 

The isolation period and testing requirements are changing rapidly and may differ. Should a close contact test positive before you take a trip with us, please advise your consultant immediately so we can assist you.

Our standard booking cancellation clauses will apply.

While in vehicles or any other environment considered close confine with other group members, you will be required to wear a mask. 

For this reason, please ensure that you bring your mask with you on the tour.

We are reviewing the access options for testing in our destination countries and until such time as accurate testing is universally available, pre-trip testing is not required for vaccinated travellers.

Note that in most instances, travel outside one’s country of origin will require a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours prior to departure.

Be sure to check the requirements which need to be fulfilled before you travel, via your transit and destination country’s government websites.

USEFUL RESOURCE: IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map.

The decision to operate our trips around the world will be dependent on a number of factors which will include: 

  • That the host country is open to welcome foreigners 
  • Our Foreign Affairs office advising that it is safe to do so 
  • Where there is evidence that in your chosen destination infection rates are under control
  • Where the entry protocols are reasonable and do not include self-isolation or quarantine requirements on arrival at your destination
  • When our local partners in country and the staff have met our COVID safe policies and guides are vaccinated, or if medically exempt, have cleared a negative test 72 hours before departure

You’ll know when these things are in place when we confirm your booking.

Last updated 21 July 2022.

What we're doing to keep you safe


Our trip operating protocols have been carefully honed with your wellbeing in mind, using our 45 years of experience and in accordance with the standards set by the WHO (World Health Organization) and WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council) and ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association).

Within all the risk mitigation strategies, it remains that COVID-19 is extremely contagious and there is a risk of exposure anywhere where people encounter one another which cannot be removed, though you should rest assured we have elevated our protocols with a heightened awareness of this new paradigm by way of the following:

  • We've increased our safety measures to help manage COVID-19 on trips operated by us.
  • All guides have been trained on these actions which include field protocols that have been developed also in conjunction with our medical consultant Dr Ross Anderson.
  • Developed thorough health and hygiene protocols, including thorough cleaning schedules for all high touch surfaces, gear and group equipment and increased passenger screening process to identify high risk passengers.
  • Completed relevant state and territory government COVID-19 Safety Plans. In completing these assessments we follow the recommended protocols for physical distancing measures and health and hygiene principles.
  • Obtained COVID CLEAN accreditation from Quality Tourism Australia.

COVID-19 safety measures on World Expeditions trips

  • Stopping to admire the views on the Larapinta Trail |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i>
  • All guides are wilderness first aid trained and carry a comprehensive medical kit |  <i>Lachlan Gardiner</i>
  • 0U3A0854 |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i>
  • Back up vehicle for cycling tours |  <i>Mick Wright</i>
  • Guides prepare fresh meals each day
  • Tent accommodation at Spicers Canopy
  • Facilities at our eco camps |  <i>#cathyfinchphotography</i>
  • Getting ready to hit the Franklin River |  <i>Glenn Walker</i>

 

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FEEDBACK FROM THE FIELD

"We are certainly living in different travelling times; however, World Expeditions needs to be commended on embracing regulations and changes, surpassing all COVID expectations.  The attention to detail and thoroughness of staff left me feeling extremely safe and well looked after 🙂 Personally, I believe there's no better time to travel."

Cathy Finch | Larapinta traveller, August 2020


"We could not enjoyed it more. Although, it was anticipated to be the busiest month for Camino, especially this part from Sarria to Santiago, last 115 km, it was truly not. Due to the pandemic, it was much less people on the road and in the villages that we were passing through. UTracks was extremely efficient with preparing all documentation ahead of time and communicating every details to make our preparation very smooth."

Viktoriya Kozlova | Spanish Camino traveller, August 2020

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