Coronavirus (COVID 19) Travel Updates
At Discover the World we ensure that you are looked after every step of the way with your safety and wellbeing our top priority. Rest assured that we operate our trips in accordance with advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), monitoring their ongoing guidance along with the advice from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation.
If you have any concerns about a destination you are thinking of booking or have already booked to travel with us please talk to our travel experts and we will offer advice and do all we can to help you to ensure minimal disruption to your travel. To give you additional peace of mind we have adapted our booking policy to be as flexible as possible.
Is my holiday going to take place as planned?
Should the UK FCDO continue to advise against travel or should they or the local destination government impose severe restrictions on movement within a country that we are operating to, we will be in touch with our customers to discuss and advise as to whether we will need to amend itineraries or cancel trips as needed. We will provide alternative holidays or change your departure date if possible.
Entry information for Discover the World destinations:
- Iceland: the country is open to passengers inside the Schengen Area but as of the 19 August all arriving passengers must choose between a 14-day quarantine or a double testing procedure along with a quarantine for 5-6 days. The double border-screening procedure requires all passengers arriving in Iceland to undergo two PCR-tests: one upon arrival and another 4-5 days later to minimize the risk of a false negative causing infection to spread in the community. During this period, all arriving passengers must stay in quarantine in case of a possible infection. As of 26 September 2020, those returning from Iceland need to quarantine for 14 days on return to the UK.
- Greenland: if travelling from Iceland you need to have been there for 14 days before you travel to Greenland. Otherwise you need to go into quarantine on arrival, however no quarantine required on return to UK.
- Norway & Svalbard: all arriving passengers must quarantine for 10 days, with the exception of specified countries in Europe. The areas that are exempt from quarantine may change rapidly and the overview will be updated every 14 days, at least.
- Finland: entry to Finland is prohibited for non-resident foreign nationals entering the country, with some exemptions if you’re eligible to enter Finland from the UK, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival. From the 23 November, UK visitors will be able to visit Finland for up to 72 hours without having to quarantine on arrival provided they have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the last 72 hours. Those staying longer must quarantine for 72 hours after which they need to take a second test.
- Sweden: currently on the list of countries where self-isolation on return to the UK is not required.
- Denmark: is now open, and there are scheduled flights between London and Copenhagen, but you have to spend at least 6 days in the country before onward or return travel.
- Faroes: there is a testing requirement on arrival from Iceland or Denmark or on departure from Denmark if travelling on the ferry Norrona. More information here: https://corona.fo/news/487/guidelines-for-travellers-to-the-faroe-islands-from-27-june
- Canada: entry to Canada is restricted for non-Canadian citizens at this time, but is exempt from the FCDO advice against all non-essential international travel. However there is a requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK. In additions there are local and provincial restrictions regarding travel between and within certain parts of Canada.
- Australia & New Zealand: entry not permitted at this time and this is unlikely to be change until October at the earliest. However, both countries are included in the list of those which are exempt from quarantine on return to the UK.
- Antarctica: no restrictions here at present but travel needs to be via Argentina, Chile, New Zealand or Australia and these are all countries which are not accepting international guests at present. Most passengers travel via Argentina or Chile and we are hoping that special exceptions will be made to allow passengers to transit through these countries to embark and disembark expedition ships. However those wishing to combine a visit to Antarctica with a journey around South America may be disappointed this coming season.
What happens if I choose to postpone, change or cancel my trip?
- Postponing travel: please speak to your travel expert up to 7 days prior to departure and they will advise whether it will be possible to postpone your trip to a later date. If this is possible we will not charge you an administration fee and we will work with our suppliers to minimise costs wherever possible. If we can change your date you may be required to pay additional costs if the price of your new travel dates differs due to seasonal rate differences. Equally, if the cost of your postponed trip is less, we will refund you the difference.
- Changing the destination: If you would like to change to another holiday destination up to 7 days prior to departure your travel expert will advise what is possible. We will not charge you an administration fee, however, you may be required to pay additional costs. Likewise, a refund may be due if the cost of your new holiday costs less than your original holiday.
Important note: You will need to update your travel insurer regarding any change to your travel dates and or destination.
- Transferring your booking to someone else: You can transfer your existing booking to another person suggested by you (subject to agreement by our suppliers), by giving us notice in writing at least 7 days before departure. The replacement traveller must satisfy and fulfil any conditions that apply to the holiday, and all costs of the original booking, and both you and the new traveller are responsible for paying all costs we incur before the transfer can be made by us. We will not charge an administration fee but we will need to pass on any costs which our suppliers impose
- Cancellation: If you booked your holiday between 8 October 2020 and 31 January 2021 for travel during 2021 you can choose to cancel up to 45 days prior to departure and we will give you a full refund of all recoverable costs including your deposit. You will be advised at the time of booking of any elements or holidays that will not be refundable (polar voyages, travel over Christmas and New Year 2021 and some travel arrangements and holidays are excluded). If your booking was made outside of these dates, is within 45 days of travel or is for travel beyond 2021 our standard booking conditions apply, however, if you wish to make changes we will still do everything we can to assist you. Your balance remains payable as per our standard booking conditions. Failure to pay the balance without giving notice of the intention to cancel will mean that normal cancellation terms are applied.
- Cancellation due to a Covid-19 reason: If you or a member of your travelling party develop Covid-19 symptoms prior to travel or if any of you are forced to self-isolate due NHS’s track and trace team and therefore can no longer travel, Discover the World will refund all recoverable holiday costs. Appropriate official written evidence will be required.
How will I know if my travel plans are going to be affected?
We continue to monitor the World Health Organisation, Public Health England, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and ABTA guidance on a daily basis for all of the destinations that we visit, and we will contact our customers in departure date order if the government advice is against travel and as a consequence requires alterations to their holiday.
What will happen if Discover the World has to cancel or make a significant change to my holiday as a result of Coronavirus?
If we are forced to cancel your holiday or make a significant change to your travel arrangements we will if possible make alternative holiday arrangements for you or amend your departure date depending on your individual arrangements. If the only alternative is to cancel your holiday you will in the first instance need to contact your insurance company regarding a refund. If however, they will not provide you with a refund we will refund all monies paid.
We have found that many insurers fully appreciate the enormity of the situation facing travel companies and are taking a more flexible approach to cancellation claims in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, over and above their usual standard policy
Will I be covered by my travel insurance if I decide to cancel?
This will depend on the terms of your policy. You should contact your travel insurance provider to check what cover is provided in your circumstances.
For more information
- The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) TravelHealthPro website travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries provides specific country-by-country travel health advice
- The NHS website has useful information about how to take preventative measures against Coronavirus at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
- ABTA, the Travel Association, also has updated advice and FAQs for travellers at www.abta.com/coronavirus
Assistance when travelling with Discover the World
Clients travelling with us will have received details of our 24-hour emergency telephone number to be used in the event of problems arising whilst on holiday. The emergency number can be found on itineraries. You can also contact us using our general office telephone number 01737 214 250 during opening hours.
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