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blog vegan travel during covid19

World Vegan Travel Covid-19 Policy

Last updated: 4th September 2021


It’s time to travel again!

So here at World Vegan Travel, we feel like it’s time to once again dream of exotic and exciting faraway destinations and start thinking of your 2021 travel plans!   Of course, if 2020 taught us anything is that nothing is ever for certain!  But life does go on and we must plow ahead, and with all of this in mind, we’ve decided to offer trips from October 2021 only.  We hope this will give the world enough time to find travel solutions, whether they be vaccines or rigorous testing at points of departure and entry, etc.  The travel industry is ready to welcome travelers again and it really needs visitors!

WORLD VEGAN TRAVEL’S COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

A lot of thought has gone into making sure that our 2021 trips will be as safe as possible for our travelers, leaders, crew, and suppliers.  At every step in the journey, we have consulted with suppliers/hotels on how to travel safely in this new normal.  New minimum standards have been implemented with an emphasis on increased hygiene and sanitation.  Some of our precautions, both usual and new, include, but are not limited to:

  • Privatizing hotels or large sections of them;
  • Privatizing our meals, whether by taking over the entire restaurant/dining venue or cordoning off a large section just for our group;
  • Privatizing the great majority of our activities by booking private tours;
  • All transportation is in private coach/boat/plane (with an exception on our Botswana/Cape Town trips — see below);
  • Our usual amenities bag will include hand sanitizer and a mask;
  • Our hotels and coach will be cleaned and sanitized daily, with hand sanitizer and masks readily available;
  • Periodical temperature-taking of travelers, guides and tour leaders
  • Reviews of the policies of our suppliers (i.e. transportation, hotels, restaurants, etc.) in regards to COVID-19

REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN A TRIP

Vaccine Requirements:

Anyone who chooses to travel with us has a duty of care to themselves and the people around them. We ask that all our travelers comply with local regulations and laws, as well as our own health and safety guidelines, to ensure that everyone can enjoy their adventure while remaining well.

In addition, each destination has its own vaccination, testing, and health screening requirements for entry, exit, and transit. It’s important that you check these on the government’s foreign travel advice website as these may include requiring evidence of recent COVID-19 test results or vaccination and these may change over time. You must also be aware of what requirements you might need to undergo while transmitting through other airports or when traveling home.

For travelers that booked a trip before 1st September 2021

In line with what we project many countries themselves to be demanding, and in order to join our trips, travelers are required to produce either:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination (fully/dual dose), for example, an NHS card with batch number (UK travellers), CDC vaccination record (USA) or digital vaccination passports), or
  • Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or
  • Proof of recovery documentation
  • In addition, if you’re aged 70+ on day 1 of the trip, or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination* before you can join a trip.

For the time being, we will not be accepting any solo travelers in shared rooms.  If you are traveling alone you will need to pay the single supplement (if applicable) in order to get your own room.

For travelers that booked a trip from 1st September 2021

Travelers are required to produce: 

  • Proof they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 vaccination.

If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.  

All documentation will be checked at the welcome meeting (if we have not checked it before) and if adequate documentation as stated above cannot be produced, then the traveler will be unable to join the trip and will not be entitled to any refund.

FAQ about change in WVT vaccine requirements

Why did you change your vaccine requirements to travel with you?

  1. As time went it became more obvious to us that many countries were introducing vaccine requirements to enter the country and / or to dine in restaurants and visit museums and other activities we often do when we are on holiday. We were also seeing that countries were changing these policies at short notice, which would not allow our unvaccinated travelers to get vaccinated quickly enough to travel on the trip. This would be disappointing for travelers. Requests for refunds or vouchers (according to our booking conditions)will not be offered.
  2. We have many travelers, local suppliers and guides who are a little older and even if they are vaccinated, they are still at higher risk from serious illness.
  3. Some of the countries we travel to have much lower access to the vaccine and poorer healthcare. We believe that if we travel to these countries we must do all we can to make sure we minimize risk of illnesses to these populations. Even if an unvaccinated traveler does not infect someone else, they might take away valuable resources from the local population should they need hospitalisation.

While this policy will be reviewed regularly over time, we do not anticipate this policy changing anytime soon. We believe that in order to be able to travel with any assurances, vaccines will be required for the foreseeable future.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurance is a requirement on all World Vegan Travel trips, and for the foreseeable future, we will need to make sure you have adequate Covid coverage. You can find companies that provide this coverage in this article. We advise you to ask the following questions about COVID19 when researching to make sure that the policy will cover you for the biggest expenses you might need to face. We recommend calling and speaking to an advisor and telling them you are traveling on a group trip at a value of (cost of the trip).

Here is a list of some travel insurance companies that offer COVID19 insurance. We do not endorse or recommend any of them and advise you to consider the following questions when shopping for insurance.

1. If I test positive before leaving my home country and I am unable to catch my flight and meet my group, what will my coverage be?

2. If I am unable to fly back home due to testing positive what will my coverage be? Hotels, rebooking flights, meals for the 14 days while isolating, etc

3. How will I be covered should I be unable to travel due to border closures or travel advisories either to the country I am traveling to OR from my home country to the destination country?

4. How will I be covered if my flight is canceled by the airline and I am unable to meet the group on time?

5. Is the ‘fear of travel’ covered?

6. Will I be covered for medical expenses incurred due to COVID19 and will medical evacuation be covered?

7. Will I be covered if I need to be tested for COVID19 due to displaying symptoms?

WEARING MASKS

World Vegan Travel follows all government and local authority requirements around the use of masks. This depends on your location, mode of transport, and other factors. Travelers are required to travel with their own masks and to wear one when required. We recommend that all travelers, leaders, and crew wear masks:

  • To help reduce the spread of COVID-19
  • As a normal part of interacting with other people
  • Masks are mandatory for travellers, leaders, crew and suppliers in any situation or destination when it is required by local government advice. In many countries, this includes (but is not limited to):
    • Public and private transport
    • Crowds or places where physical distancing is difficult
    • Indoors (particularly in places with poor ventilation)

CANCELLATION POLICY

Since our trips are highly catered and made of activities that need a lot of planning and organization, all payments (the initial sign-up fee, 50% deposit, and final payment) are all non-refundable. This is because we must forward payments for accommodation, transportation, suppliers, etc. very early on, in order to privatize our accommodation, activities, transportation, and meals.

Should there be a need to cancel the trip due to a COVID-19 reason, and before the trip’s deadline (see individual trip’s website for the deadline date) then the sign-up fee will be refunded, minus any small processing fees, if applicable.  Please note that the refund of your sign-up fee will only apply if World Vegan Travel cancels the trip.

Our policy to run a trip or not comes down to several factors.  We take into account the government foreign travel advisories and guidelines of reputable authorities, such as the WHO.  Furthermore, we place a lot of emphasis on the local situation, and may choose to not run a trip should the local authorities in the country we are visiting places restrictions which may prevent a trip from happening or will make travel too challenging. 

Examples of possible reasons WVT might cancel a trip include (but not limited to):

  • border closings/lock-downs;
  • flight limitations;
  • mandatory quarantine on arrival and/or upon return to home country;
  • substantial spike in local cases that renders the area unsafe;
  • local restrictions imposed on our activities, restaurants, hotels, etc., that makes it unfeasible for us to run the trip in accordance with our high standards of quality

If the trip needs to be canceled once we have started to accept the post-signup fee payments (50% deposit and final remaining balance), we will either move you to the replacement trip or should that not be convenient to you, WVT will turn your payments into a voucher that can be used on future trips (terms will be noted upon delivery of the vouchers).

If the trip DOES go ahead (ie none of the above cancellation reasons apply) and you are unable to attend the trip for any personal reasons, even related to COVID-19 (ie your own country changes its travel/quarantine policy, you contract the virus, etc), there is, unfortunately, no refund.

Should you still need to cancel for any reason once you have signed up, our usual conditions apply: we will offer your spot to the first person(s) on the waiting list.  If we are able to fill your spot, we will refund all payments made, minus processing fees. Having said that, do note that there is no guarantee we will be able to fill up your spot. For this reason, again, it is a good idea to get solid trip insurance when you first sign up but be aware that insurance companies have only certain situations that will allow a claim to be paid out to their travelers.

PROCEDURE IF YOU OR ANOTHER TRAVELER CONTRACTS COVID-19

In the unfortunate event that you or someone else on the trip has symptoms of COVID-19 while traveling with us, we will assist you to access the appropriate diagnostic test and, if necessary, medical care as soon as possible.   We will follow the local guidelines in regards to whether a COVID-19 test is required, whether there is a need to self-isolate or quarantine, and whether there is a risk to other travelers in the group.

Should COVID-19 be confirmed, our full health and safety protocols will be enacted, including informing local health authorities, informing the group of the potential exposure, and sanitation protocols such as deep cleaning and disinfecting of accommodation and transport.

Please note that while we will assist to ensure that you get all the help and support you need, any expenses for testing, treatment or self-isolation will need to be covered by you and your travel insurer, so please ensure you have access to funds while traveling in case of this or other emergencies.

Should you need to leave the trip, or if the trip gets canceled, due to a case of COVID-19 in the group, we will try — but in no way is this guaranteed — to offer you a voucher for whatever we are able to get back from the unused portion of the trip.  However this is completely dependent on our suppliers and partners, and you should view any voucher as a bonus and not the rule.

POLICY CHANGE

This is a dynamic operating environment and requirements continue to evolve globally. WVT will closely monitor relevant changes and make updates as required.

COME TRAVEL WITH US!

We hope you’ll entertain the idea of travel in 2021, and feel safe doing so.   Here at World Vegan Travel, we are committed to running trips if — and ONLY IF — we can do so safely and according to local laws, regulations, and policies.   If borders reopen, airlines provide service and your own Government allows travel, then we feel it should be ok to go out and once again experience the different cultures, food, traditions, and sights that the world has to offer.   

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