Updated January 2021
In our FAQs below you can find the answers to any specific questions you might have about travel at this time. You can also find out about some of the steps we are taking to help our travellers who have already booked.
To read more about our Covid promise and how we decide whether a tour is Covid viable, visit this page.
If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch via +44 (0) 20 3944 7846 (UK & EU) or 1-857-415-6615 (US)
Q. I am booked on a trip with you, what are my options?
A: In line with our Covid Promise you have the right to transfer without any transfer fee, from any of our trips at ANY time* if your trip is not Covid Viable.
If your trip is not Covid Viable, we will not ask you to pay your final balance.
If your trip is not Covid Viable, by 30 days prior to departure at the latest, we will cancel your holiday and you can either transfer your funds to another departure or have a full refund.**
Q: What does Covid Viable mean?
A: We consider a trip Covid Viable if it meets ALL of the following criteria:
· The British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office do not advise against all but essential global travel or advise against travel to any part of the tour for Covid-19 related reasons.***
· There is no national lockdown or ban on foreign travel for the period when your trip is due to depart.***
· No destinations visited on the tour have in place any significant COVID-19 restrictions for travellers.
· Tourist visas (if required) are available.
· There is reliable airline access to/from the start/end of the trip.
· Following an assessment by both Wild Frontiers and our local partners we are confident that your trip is able to run in both a safe and enjoyable manner.****
Q: I do not live in the UK, and my government’s travel advice is different to the British FCDO.
A: Since our HQ is in London, Covid Viable status for our Group Tours will be assessed on UK-based travellers. However we are fully aware that many of our clients live in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. As such, when we deem a trip to now be Covid Viable, everyone booked will have a chance to review their own personal situation before deciding whether or not to remain booked on the trip. Anyone wishing to, will have the option to transfer without fees to another trip at this time. For tailor made bookings, we may also able to consider additional countries’ travel advice when deciding if a trip is viable. Please discuss this with us at the time of booking.
Q: What happens if a country is clear to travel to, but after we book then has an outbreak of Coronavirus, or brings in a mandatory quarantine for foreign visitors?
A: If a destination, that we have deemed to be Covid Viable, subsequently fails any aspect of the criteria for two consecutive weeks, you can transfer without any fees.
Q: Given the ongoing developments regarding Covid-19 is it still safe to travel?
A: Once the world starts to open up again it is likely that different destinations will come back into play at different times. To determine which destinations are able once again to be visited, we will be avoiding the often panic-inducing headlines and instead will be looking to official sources upon which to base our decision-making especially as we do not profess to be medical experts. In general, we will be following the advice of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCDO) with regards to Covid -19 and would urge all travellers to do the same.
Please also note that as a pioneering travel company, often leading the way to destinations that are considered ‘off the tourist trail’ we are very experienced in assessing the safety of the countries to which we travel. As well as reviewing the FCDO advice on the safety of travellers, we also are in close contact with our teams in each country to understand the local situation. We would not run a trip if we had serious concerns about the safety of our clients or our local teams on the ground. In addition, given the current fluidity of the situation, if required we would have no hesitation in making any necessary changes to your day-by-day itinerary for your own personal welfare and safety.
Q: What precautions can I take to protect myself and others from Covid-19?
A: It’s worth mentioning that most of the advice below is applicable also for those not travelling and is just considered good hygiene practice even back home in your country of residence.
· Frequently wash your hands with soap and (ideally hot) running water for at least 20 seconds.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue to hand, then sneeze into the crease of your elbow.
· Do not travel if you feel sick and avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
· Carry hand sanitiser with you at all times and use frequently.
· Use a face mask and/or facial covering, especially at times when social distancing is not possible or not practical.
The latest WHO advice can be found here
Q: What precautions will you be taking on trips to ensure we are safe from Coronavirus?
A: Our criteria for a trip to be Covid Viable includes a full assessment taken in conjunction with our local partners to ensure we can run your trip in both a safe and enjoyable manner.
Every country is implementing its own set of guidelines and regulations (such as standardised cleaning practices, face-mask and testing/vaccination requirements etc) to minimise risks associated with Covid-19. As a minimum we will follow and implement all such requirements. While we cannot offer a 100% guarantee that not a single client will contract Covid-19, we can assure you that we will take all reasonable steps as part of our duty of care to both you and our local team abroad.
More details can be found on the Travel With Confidence section of our Covid Promise page
Will I need to take a Covid test before departing for my tour?
A: Many countries now make this a requirement of entry so in all likelihood the answer is yes. Additionally, for our small group tours, for the foreseeable future, regardless of any destination requirements, for the well-being and peace of mind of all those on the trip as well as the local communities we visit, we will be making pre-testing a requirement of travel.
Q: Will I need to take a Covid test before returning home?
A: Possibly. In January 2021, certain countries (including the UK and the US) introduced a requirement for most/all travellers to show a negative Covid test before returning home. As the situation and the regulations are evolving and changing so rapidly – and as our clients come from all over the world - we are not currently planning on amending the core of any small group tour itinerary to fit in with these new requirements. As and when group tours become viable and are in a position to be guaranteed, we will be in touch to advise of the current practicalities and the options available to you. In certain cases it may be necessary to extend your stay by a day or so in order to obtain your Covid test within the required timeframe, but we have already seen several countries step-up their pre-departure testing capacity so in most cases we do not expect this to be necessary.
If you are booking a tailor-made tour with us, please liaise with your consultant.
Q: If I have had a vaccination, will I be exempt from needing to be tested?
A: This will very much depend on your chosen destination(s), your chosen airline(s) and your home country. In most cases, the answer is currently no, but this may change with time. If you are joining one of our small group tours and can provide proof of full vaccination, we will consider exempting you from any requirement from our side for any additional testing requirements for you to join the tour.
Q: What happens if immediately prior to departure, I contract Covid, receive a positive test or am instructed to self-isolate in accordance with official track and trace protocols?
A: Sadly this means that you will not be able to join your trip. The good news however is that many insurance policies now include cover for such scenarios so you should ensure you have a policy which matches your requirements
Q: Will I be screened for Covid -19 while travelling?
A: Possibly. Each country is approaching screening measures in their own way based on their own unique situation but you should be prepared for some form of screening and allow for extra time at entry and exit ports.
Q: What should I do if I start to feel unwell whilst on our tour and think I may have COVID-19?
A: As with any illness, if you start to manifest any symptoms, please let your tour-leader or local guide know as soon as possible. You should also contact your travel insurance provider so please be sure to keep these details with you. You can also contact Wild Frontiers 24/7 on our emergency numbers, details of which will be given to you with your final pre-departure documentation. Lots of good general advice for travellers can be found here
Q: What happens if the FCDO advise against all but essential travel to the country or area to which we are travelling because of Covid -19?
A: If this was in place for at least two weeks, we would consider that your trip is not Covid Viable –Please see “I am booked on a trip with you, what are my options?"
Q: What if the FCDO doesn’t advise against all but essential travel to our chosen destination but that destination announces that they will not accept travellers from my country of residence or a country to which I have recently visited?
A: If this scenario would mean that your trip was no longer Covid Viable (see above) then please see “I am booked on a trip with you, what are my options?" above for what this would mean to you. If the trip were still Covid Viable then we would be as flexible as we could and consider each situation individually.
Q: What if Wild Frontiers consider the trip to be Covid Viable, but we nevertheless want to cancel our holiday?
A: To ensure the safety of our clients and our staff, we have set stringent criteria before we would consider a trip to be Covid Viable. Before we guarantee a trip, you will have a chance to review your own personal situation before deciding whether or not to remain booked. If you (for whatever reason) wish to transfer at that time, you will be able to, without fees. If your decision not to travel comes at a later stage, then if the trip is still Covid Viable our standard transfer and cancellation fees will typically apply. However if there were specific reasons as to why you were not able to travel then we would be as flexible as we could and consider each situation individually.
Q: What if the trip is not Covid Viable but we want to transfer our holiday to a later date?
A: We are happy to look at transferring your holiday to a later date and we will do our best to keep the costs to a minimum. However, please bear in mind that the closer to departure the more likely that we will incur costs transferring your trip.
Q. What are Wild Frontiers actively doing in relation to the virus?
A: In accordance with current regulations, we are all now generally working from home.
Due to the benefits of modern technology you should not notice any significant change in our ability to respond to any enquiry or booking request. We would just ask for your patience if it takes us a little longer than usual to respond, especially if your enquiry or booking is for a tour more than 3 months in the future. We have also introduced temporarily reduced opening hours (Mon – Fri 10:00 – 16:00) to enable us to better manage this ongoing situation.
We are staying in touch with all of our tour-leaders and partners on the ground and of course monitoring the world coronavirus situation. As soon as travel becomes possible again we will look at how we can reintroduce tours to our destinations in a safe and responsible manner.
Q: Does my travel insurance cover Coronavirus?
A: It will depend on the specific wording of your individual travel policy. Every week sees new policies emerge onto the market which is a much-welcomed development. However it is unlikely that any policy will cover you for every possible scenario so you should check the policy wording carefully to ensure it matches your requirements.
Q. What happens if there is a mandatory quarantine on return from my holiday?
A. We will not cancel a trip if there is a mandatory quarantine, as we know that some travellers are happy to self-isolate when they return. Should you not wish to travel in these circumstances then if the mandatory quarantine was confirmed to be in place over the dates you are travelling (or was for an unspecified duration but was still in place at 30 days prior to departure) we will be as flexible as we can with regards to transferring or cancelling your booking.
* We are very happy to offer flexible free transfers as per our Covid Promise but it is subject to fair usage as transfers often involve a lot of work on our part, hence the reason for our usual transfer fees. So please be kind! Please note that while Wild Frontiers will not charge any admin fees, some
changes may still be subject to 3rd party transfer fees, such as those imposed by airlines, which lay outside of our control and will be passed on.
** If you were originally booked to travel before 30 April 2020 and transferred to a later date, or if you have a tailor-made booking, there may be some irrecoverable costs which we cannot refund. Please speak to us and we will be able to advise you if this is the case for your booking.
*** Since our HQ is in London, Covid Viable status for our Group Tours will be assessed on UK-based travellers. However we are fully aware that many of our clients live in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and beyond. As such, when we deem a trip to now be Covid Viable, everyone booked will have a chance to review their own personal situation before deciding whether or not to remain booked on the trip. Anyone wishing to, will have the option to transfer without fees to another trip at this time. For tailor made bookings, we may also able to consider additional countries’ travel advice when deciding if a trip is Viable. Please discuss this with us at the time of booking.
****If a destination, that we have deemed to be Covid Viable, subsequently fails any aspect of the criteria for two consecutive weeks, you will have the right under our Covid Promise to transfer without any fees.