Coronavirus

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Coronavirus Update | Your Questions Answered
12 March 2020
The current outbreak and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is understandably becoming an increasing cause for concern for many travellers and will undoubtedly be starting to impact your business. Our staff are on hand to help and support you through this crisis and answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

The following frequently asked questions may also be of assistance:

Will we be charged if we cancel my tour outside of normal cancellation terms?
If you are forced to cancel a tour with us, outside of the normal cancellation terms, then of course you will not be charged.

Will we be charged if we cancel my tour within cancellation terms?
If you are forced to cancel your tour with us due to coronavirus, and the tour is within cancellation terms, we will work with you and our suppliers to limit your liability.

Will we be charged if we are forced to cancel a tour due to a Foreign Office travel advice within cancellation terms?
If Foreign Office travel advice is such that you forced to cancel a tour, and it is within cancellation charges, again we will work with you and our suppliers to limit your liability.

We have tours travelling to Europe within the next month. Should we cancel?
Given the increasing restrictions on travel and social contact across many European countries it is quite possible you may be forced to cancel tours to areas directly affected by the spread of coronavirus, either due to traveller cancellations or Foreign Office travel advice. If you are forced to cancel your tour with us and the tour is within cancellation terms, we will work with you and our suppliers to limit your liability.

We have tours travelling to Europe more in the next 2-3 months. Should I cancel?
If possible, while there remains a chance that your tour(s) could yet travel, our advice is to wait until closer to the cancellation date. We will not let you pass any deadlines or enter into any cancellation charges without notifying you and giving you the chance to make an informed decision. If you are forced to cancel your tour with us, outside of normal cancellation terms, then of course you will not be charged.

What about tours due to travel from July onwards?
For any tours travelling later in the summer, there is still time for the situation to improve and for tours to operate normally. While there remains a good chance that these tours will still travel, we would encourage you not to cancel and, if possible, encourage your passengers not to cancel.

Can we change a tour to depart on a later date?
If you wish to consider postponing a tour to a later date for travel in 2020, please contact us to discuss your options. We can’t guarantee that we will be able to change your arrangements, as it is dependent on future availability, but we will do everything we can to assist you.

Is Albatross Travel cancelling any tours?
Albatross Travel will only cancel a tour at your request. Unless you have been contacted otherwise, your tour remains contracted to travel.

How will we know whether the spread of coronavirus is affecting a destination we are due to travel to?
We are monitoring the position closely and take our own travel advice directly from the Foreign Office. If we believe there is a change in the travel advice that affects one of your contracted tours and we have not heard from you, we will contact you.

Where can we find out more about our legal obligations as a tour operator in the event we are forced to cancel?
If you are unsure of your obligations as a tour operator in the event a tour cancellation due to coronavirus or Foreign Office travel advice, these may be useful references:
https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak

The Coronavirus Outbreak – Knowing your legal obligations

What happens if one of our tours is directly affected by coronavirus?
Albatross provides 24-7 support for every tour we have in operation. We also have a fully-trained Incident Response Team ready to help you deal with any major incident or situation that affects one of your tours, including any direct impact from coronavirus.

What happens if the UK enters into a lockdown?
In the event that travel restrictions and movements of people are imposed by central government on the UK, we will work with you to minimise the impact on your business as much as possible, including limiting your liability on any tours you are forced to cancel.

What steps can I take to protect my customers from the spread of coronavirus and avoid its further spread?

There is no shortage of advice from the health authorities on how we can protect ourselves and others from the spread of coronavirus, but the following might be helpful:
• Ensure all vehicles are hygienic by following a regular and robust, deep-cleaning schedule.
• Encouraging good respiratory hygiene during the tour, particularly before boarding and on on board the coach.
• Good respiratory hygiene involves covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, and disposing of the used tissue immediately.
• If practical, consider providing tissues to passengers prior to boarding, or on board the coach.
• Provide bins or waste bags for used tissues. These should be emptied at least daily.
• Encourage all staff, particularly your drivers and couriers, to maintain and demonstrate good personal hygiene, using the above guidelines.
• If possible, provide a suitable hand sanitiser for all customers and staff to use to ensure all hands can be sanitised frequently.