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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

Our policy in respect of COVID vaccination has evolved throughout the pandemic, with consideration afforded to many factors as it has gone through several iterations. These include the potential impacts on the communities where our trips operate, government mandated requirements, movement restrictions and accepted scientific studies around the efficacy of vaccination. 

Consultation with health departments and close adherence to accepted protocols have also been core drivers. As the pandemic has evolved, people around the globe have moved into a phase of ‘living with the virus’ (which is not to say that the impact has lessened or that new variants will not occur) and with this, we have adjusted our position. 

The safety responsibility we have to our travellers, our teams who support and facilitate our trips and the communities we visit, are imperatives. 

Additionally, we accept the changes to policies around the globe in terms of the onus on personal responsibility, the cessation of required vaccinations in the majority of countries and increasing levels of herd immunity, albeit varying significantly depending on the destination. 

We continue to strongly recommend that our travellers are fully vaccinated

It remains that entry and exit requirements can alter at short notice and it is the responsibility of travellers to check any requirements which need to be fulfilled before travel, which includes transit destinations, on the destination country’s government websites. 

Further, our additional COVID-19 safety measures remain in place on all our trips to safeguard the wellbeing of our travellers and teams in the field.

From 1 December 2022, we do not require our travellers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, on exclusive World Expeditions trips, however we strongly recommend that you are vaccinated. This will help create the safest possible environment for you, your co-travellers, our teams and those in the communities we interact with. 

Some of our partners may require that you submit a negative test before participating on the tours. Further, some non-exclusive trips, for example on Polar cruises, the requirement for full vaccination remains. 

If you are travelling on a non-exclusive trip (as outlined on your trip notes) please check the specific requirements with us. 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 

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.flexible

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

Our reservations team can advise you on our recommended policy.  

We strongly advocate for all our guides and support crew to be fully vaccinated to minimise the risk of severe illness or hospitalisation should they contract COVID19.

Like any other person in the community, there is no longer any obligation for one of our tour guides or crew to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test before your departure unless they have symptoms. A negative test in this case will be required before they may proceed as staff on your tour.

In the vast majority of cases, yes. Though, from 01 December 2022, we are not asking for proof of vaccination, so some may not be.

There is no obligation for participants to have a Rapid Antigen Test on arrival, however it is a personal responsibility of any person joining one of our tours, that if they have symptoms, that a negative test is returned before participating on the tour to ensure others are not infected.

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).

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 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 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 to the best of our practical ability while not deterring the tours continuation.

With the tour underway and all services pre-paid, 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.

We recommend the use of masks in vehicles during your trip. In some instances, they may be required depending on the government regulations in place. For this reason, please ensure that you bring a mask with you on the tour.

Last updated 16 November 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 our 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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