Covid-19 Travel Guidelines - FAQs

Covid-19 Travel Guidelines - FAQs

We understand that you may have a number of questions or concerns around areas such as booking guidelines, safety measures or insurance queries for travel in the future. Our FAQs will provide you with more information to support your planning.

  • Is it ok to start planning?

    On Thursday 24 Feb 2022, DfE again updated their operational guidance to schools in light of Covid developments. The edits to the “educational visits” section are encouraging schools to follow the relevant and all the available guidance as follows:


    Educational visits should be subject to risk assessments as normal and reflect any public health advice or in-country advice of the international destination.
    General guidance on educational visits is available and is supported by specialist advice from the Outdoor Education Advisory Panel (OEAP). 

    For international educational visits, you should refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth and  Development Office travel advice and the guidance on international travel before booking and travelling to make sure that the school group meet any entry and in country requirements especially in relation to vaccinations. More information can be found here and in the guidance on health and safety on educational visits.

    You are advised to ensure that all bookings have adequate financial protection in place. You should speak to either your visit provider, commercial insurance company, or the risk protection arrangement (RPA) to assess the protection available. Independent advice on insurance cover and options can be sought from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) or Association of British Insurers (ABI).

    The full text of the new document is available here  

    You can start planning with a tour operator at a time that suits you, whether that’s now or in the future. At WST, we will discuss itinerary, accommodation and transport, along with any concerns you may have regarding safety, before providing you with a quotation. This will give you an idea of cost and content to share with SLT, students and parents. A quotation does not put you under any obligation and is a good way to gauge interest.

    Once you know if you have interest and permission to travel you can provisionally hold services, still at no obligation. Now that travel is back on the agenda, interest is high for 2022 and 2023, availability of accommodation at key dates will become an issue. As transport services come on sale, demand will dictate price increases. So, our advice is to make a provisional booking as soon as possible, so you can avoid price increases and secure your preferred suppliers.

    For peace of mind take a look at our Book With Confidence Promise

  • What is the latest advice on travelling with children?

    ABTA have recently launched a 'travelling with children' section on their website which includes information about school trips and directs people to the STF website for specific detail to help build confidence amongst teachers. There are also now two questions in the FAQs section relating to school trips. Please note this information on the ABTA website will continue to change so we advise you keep checking this. 

  • Parents are more nervous now at the thought of sending their children on a school trip. How can we support them?

    We can provide you with a power point covering all planning details that we can tailor make to your trip and your group of parents. You can then send this as an attachment on your school portal for interested parties.

    Our advice is to give them as much information as possible. Gather together their questions and concerns and talk to us. We will support you in answering these concerns. The landscape of travel is changing rapidly at the moment and we may not have all the answers on the spot but we will find out and come back to you.  

    Information from ABTA

    ABTA have recently launched a 'travelling with children' section on their website which includes information about school trips and directs people to the STF website for specific detail to help build confidence amongst teachers.There are also now two questions in the FAQs section relating to school trips. Please note this information on the ABTA website will continue to change so we advise you keep checking this. 

    If you would like to talk through with a member of our team face to face, we can arrange a video call with you so we can cover your requirements and questions in more detail.

  • I usually take a trip to a city but I’m worried about the safety issues in this destination.

    We can discuss with you a range of destinations that are less busy and can provide smaller hotels, visits with more open spaces etc that can minimise risk, but where you will still get the same level of education value balanced with bonding and well-being.

  • I usually take a trip abroad that supports our learning objectives, but I’m worried about safety issues around leaving the country

    We have developed new learning experiences in a range of locations around the UK that can still support learning objectives whilst not travelling too far away from home. Ask us for more information.

  • Will our money be insured if we are no longer able to travel due to travel restrictions with Covid-19?

    If your trip is affected by Covid restrictions within 21 days of travel and you are unable to postpone, we will give you a full refund.

    Full Refund Applies Only:

    • If school/college RPA / Government backed indemnity insurance will not cover your claim
    • To bookings made before 31st December 2022 for travel from 1st September 2021
    • If you are due to travel within the next 21 days
    • If the FCDO advise against travel to your destination
    • Mandatory quarantine is required upon arriving in your destination or upon returning home from your destination
    • If local or national lockdowns in the UK prevent your departure
    • If there are local restrictions in your destination that will impact on the main purpose of your tour
    • If you have adhered to the payment schedule
    • If you cancel as a group. Standard terms and conditions will apply if individual travellers choose to cancel

    We advise that you check your school RPA business insurance cover before booking a trip as in many instances they will provide cover for this.

    T&Cs apply - please see here 

  • Will our trip be we insured for anyone who is diagnosed with Covid-19?

    We now have a new insurance policy for bookings received from 1st September 2021. This new, bespoke policy Travel Sure has been developed exclusively for schools and youth groups, is backed by ABTA and the School Travel Forum and underwritten by AXA and is included as standard in all of our tour quotations.

    Please see https://travelsure.abta.com/stf/ for more information on how this policy will support you when planning and travelling in these new times. Highlights include:

    • Covid-19 cancellation cover - if passengers test positive for Covid-19 or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
    • Free travel app providing all the advice you need about your destination before and during travel, plus information you may need in the case of an emergency 
    • Dedicated telephone number for all group leaders 

    Click here for more information on our travel insurance policy 

  • What if the infection rate increases in the country we are visiting, whilst on tour?

    We provide 24 hour emergency support, so should this happen whilst on tour we will contact you to discuss the best options for your group. In these circumstances we will always take advice from the DfE, STF and ABTA. As long as you keep our new insurance cover in your standard tour price you will have additional support such as:

    • Free travel app providing all the advice you need about your destination before and during travel, plus information you may need in the case of an emergency 
    • Dedicated telephone number for all group leaders 

    Please see https://travelsure.abta.com/stf/ for more information on how this policy will support you when planning and travelling in these new times.

    If you have your own travel insurance we advise you to check this prior to travel.

    Click here for more information on our travel insurance policy

  • What will happen if a pupil or teacher develops symptoms on tour?

    We provide 24 hour emergency support so, if you contact us should this happen we will work with you to agree the best solution for you. Our current travel insurance covers contraction of Covid-19 whilst on tour.

    If you keep our new insurance cover in your standard tour price you will have additional support such as:

    • Covid-19 cancellation cover - if passengers test positive for Covid-19 or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
    • Free travel app providing all the advice you need about your destination before and during travel, plus information you may need in the case of an emergency 
    • Dedicated telephone number for all group leaders 

    Please see https://travelsure.abta.com/stf/ for more information on how this policy will support you when planning and travelling in these new times.

    If you have your own travel insurance we advise you to check this prior to travel.

    Click here for more information on our travel insurance policy 

  • How will we know the rules on social distancing in our destination?

    We are in regular contact with our suppliers in all our destinations who are keeping us updated with their local regulations. We are also following the FCDO and government advice closely. As the social distancing rules are evolving, we can give you information on an ongoing basis with final confirmation on social distancing in your destination closer to your departure date.

  • What safety measures are airlines and airports taking?

    All airports are working hard to ensure all travellers are informed of regulations. See this example from London Heathrow.

    We will keep you updated with their procedures throughout your booking process, with final confirmation on social distancing in the UK and your destination airport closer to your departure date.

    All of our flight tours include a UK airport representative to support you at check in and to meet you on arrival. They will be fully briefed on airport guidelines and will provide you with extra assistance.

     

  • What safety measures are Eurotunnel and ferry companies taking?

    Eurotunnel and P&O are working hard to ensure all travellers are informed of regulations. As an example please see the latest information from Eurotunnel and P&O Ferries.

    We can give you information from them on an on going basis with final confirmation on social distancing whilst travelling with Eurotunnel or ferry closer to your departure date.

     

  • What will be the safety rules on board a coach?

    Instructions for safety on board coaches for schools are evolving at the moment. We will be ensuring that all our coach suppliers comply with the guidelines set out by the DfE prior to departure and will keep you informed of this. We will issue you in advance with the safety rules of the coach company taking your tour.