COVID-19 & Travel – what to know about safety

Covid 19 & travel

How do I know the country is safe for travellers?

We’re only operating tours in countries where we are confident we can keep everyone safe. That means countries with a high percentage of the eligible population fully vaccinated against covid 19, an effective health care system and strict protocols regarding proof of vaccination as a condition of entry to restaurants and cultural institutions. Our first tours in 2022 are in Italy, which also has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia. 

Do I need to be fully vaccinated before the tour?

Yes. For your own protection, for the protection of others on the tour and for those who live in the country we’re visiting. 

Will I need to provide proof of vaccination during the tour?

Probably. In Europe it’s now quite common to be asked to show proof of vaccination before entering restaurants, cafes, galleries and museums. A phone app with evidence of your vaccination status might be acceptable but that will not be accessible if you don’t have a data connection on your phone. Therefore you also need printed proof of your vaccination status, and preferably several copies. The document you need is the International Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate issued by the Australian Government. If you have problems obtaining this document contact me :

What about masks?

We’ll be following whatever local regulations apply. We’ll carry a supply of surgical masks. 

What about hand sanitiser?

We’ll always have hand sanitiser available. 

I’m a single traveller. Do I have to share a room?

No, single rooms are available if you select to pay the single supplement. 

Do I need a PCR test before leaving Australia and how do I get that?

Yes. Simply Google “PCR test for travellers” and you should find a pathology lab near you that delivers quick results. When you make the test booking you’ll be given a PIN number which will allow you to open your test result, which comes as an email. It’s important to print this out in colour. We can assist if you have any problems or concerns. Note the publicly funded PCR tests will not provide the proof you need to travel overseas. 

I need a PCR test to come back to Australia. Can you help me get that?

Yes. If you’re returning to Australia immediately after the end of the tour we’ll help you locate a clinic that provides PCR tests. If you’re staying on we’ll locate one at your final destination before you return to Australia.

What happens if I get symptoms on the tour?

We will have antigen test kits with us. These give a quick result although they are not as effective as a PCR test. If the antigen test returns a positive result we’ll help you get a PCR test. You’ll be asked to stay in isolation until the test result confirms whether you are infected. 

What happens if I get sick with COVID-19 during the tour?

We’ll follow whatever the local regulations are. In most cases that means isolation for a period of 10-12 days. That would usually be isolation in a suitable hotel and we’ll help you with that. We’ll also contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate, your insurer and anyone you need to contact in Australia. While the tour will move on, we’ll be in daily contact and do our best to make sure you’re comfortable and well looked after. 

What happens if I test positive yet I’m asymptomatic?

You still need to isolate since you’re infectious. If you return a positive PCR test immediately before returning to Australia, the government’s Safe Air Travel Team has a pathway to get you back home. You can re-enter Australia if you provide your positive COVID-19 test result taken in the 72 hours pre-flight and a medical certificate from a doctor.

What must the medical certificate state?

The medical certificate must clearly state that at least 14 days have passed since the onset of symptoms, or from the initial positive PCR test result if you’re asymptomatic. It must also state there has been clinical resolution of fever and respiratory symptoms of the acute illness for the previous 72 hours and that you have previously had COVID-19 but are now recovered and not considered to be infectious. You would also need to alert your airline that you are medically cleared to travel to Australia, since check-in staff might not be aware that you are allowed to return home despite a positive PCR test.

How big are your groups?

Maximum 10, plus Liz and Michael. 

Is social distancing enforced on the tour?

We’ll be travelling in a roomy bus – minimum 16 seats – so there’s space to sit alone if you prefer. At meals with the group, you can decide where you sit. 

Will travel insurance cover me if I get sick with COVID-19?

Most travel insurance policies will but that’s something you need to find out from your insurer. 

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