Health & safety has always been our top priority. Which is why we’ve spent the past year quietly expanding and improving our internal policies and practices. To our valued guests we make one clear promise: we will do everything within reasonable ability to run our tours at the highest standards of health & safety, protecting not just yourself, but also our staff and the communities we visit.
About our practices and policies
Our policies closely follow guidelines developed by international partners, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council. To keep things organized, we’ve arranged our practices and policies into three sections: Before, During and After your tour.
Before your tour
Before touching down in a destination, a slew of health & safety initiatives will have already taken place. Some initiatives will be ‘behind the scenes’, for example our new tour planning policies that ensure we’ve dotted our Is and crossed our Ts. Other initiatives will be more obvious, including new education practices and mandatory health screenings. Here are just a few of the changes you can expect before your tour.
- Renegotiated supplier contracts to ensure minimum health & safety standards are met.
- Systematically scrutinizing our existing day-by-day itineraries, keeping an eye out for activities that could be safer. For example, visiting crowded heritage sites during low-traffic hours.
- Training all hands-on staff, including Hosts and Guides. Training will include:
- Sanitation measures and standards,
- Understanding of all PPE (personal protective equipment) requirements,
- Understanding of all contingency plans for various health and safety scenarios, including the location of all specialized medical facilities in a destination.
- Educating fellow guests via updated Trip Documents that include:
- An informative new section on health & safety,
- Updated packing lists with enhanced health & safety items,
- Recommendations for minimizing transmission of viruses in airports and on aircrafts,
- Known health issues in the country or destination highlighted in documents.
Mandatory health screenings
- A Covid-19 Self Declaration & Waiver of Liability will be sent to guests and hands-on staff four days prior to departure. The questionnaire may include:
- Checklist to identify staff or guests who may be experiencing symptoms related to Covid-19, or any other known outbreak,
- Proof of immunity, vaccination, a negative Covid-19 PCR antigen test or any additional requirements for entry by a destination,
- Waiver of liability acknowledging the increased risk associated with travelling during a pandemic, along with risks associated with any pre-existing medical conditions, disclosed or otherwise.
- Monitoring the health of all guests and hands-on employees during the tour. If any Covid-19 symptoms are identified in staff, a suitable replacement will be found until testing can be administered and verified. Monitoring may include:
- Regular temperature checks administered primarily by accommodation providers,
- Mid-tour electronic evaluation and health questionnaire.
During your tour
From your tour’s Welcome Meeting to its Farewell Dinner, you can expect our staff and suppliers to hold themselves to the highest standards of health & safety. On the ground we have two primary focuses: reduce transmissions and enhance sanitation. Here are some of the key initiatives you’ll notice our team taking on tour.
Reduce Transmission by:
- Encouraging physical distancing where possible:
- Maintain a distance of 6ft/2m between all guests and staff whenever possible,
- The suggested use of PPE where a safe distance may not be maintained,
- Discourage physical contact such as handshaking and hugging,
- Dedicating a minimum of 30% of seats in private transportation to be empty to allow more space between guests,
- When possible avoiding large crowds, visiting sites during low-traffic periods.
- Providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer for use in public areas, before and after group meals, and before entering transportation,
- Encouraging good respiratory hygiene by:
- Requiring that guests, group leaders and all staff have a face mask with them on tour,
- Encouraging the use of masks in high-risk situations, such as in crowded public spaces and attractions,
- Including extra medical masks as part of first aid/emergency kits on tour,
- Requiring all guests and staff to comply with any local regulation, laws or requirements that require the use of a mask in public or in certain places or situations.
- Immediately addressing and escalating any concerns regarding hygiene or sanitation.
After your tour
Just because we’ve said our goodbyes and our tour has officially wrapped, doesn’t mean we’ve stopped looking out for you. We’ll be keeping an ear to the ground, listening for any transmissions that may have occurred during your tour. And if something comes up, you’ll be the first to know.
Although we’re taking every precaution to minimize health & safety risks, we realize issues may arise. This is why we’re creating internal documents outlining contingency plans for foreseeable world events including—but not limited to—Covid-19. It is our goal that guests such as yourself will rest easy knowing we take your health & safety to heart.
Until it is safe to travel again
Should you have any questions about our health & safety practices and policies, never hesitate to reach out. Together we can ensure that our journeys are safe for everyone, including yourself, our staff and the local communities that welcome us into their cultures and homes.
Until it is safe to travel again, and as we always say at Out Adventures, ‘Never lose your sense of adventure.’
PLEASE NOTE: The above guidelines will continue to be updated as the situation around Covid-19 evolves.
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