ABA Travel Communicable Diseases Guidelines

Group travel has inherent risks. While we can mitigate some health risks with appropriate precautions, it’s impossible to control each environmental factor within the diversity of our destinations. Please read through this document to have a sense of our general health practices and expectations, as well as participants’ responsibilities prior to and during the tour.

Many travel insurance providers offer plans that cover illnesses or expenses, including for COVID-19-related disruptions. We recommend travel insurance in general, but highly recommend a plan that covers COVID-related interruptions.

Should a participant be unable to join (or continue) on with their tour due to a COVID-related reason or other medical reason, all costs associated with isolating and/or later rejoining the tour are the participant’s responsibility. This is also true for delays getting home after a tour. Additionally, we cannot offer any refunds for missed days of the tour.

To reduce the spread of common airborne communicable diseases such as the Common Cold, Influenza and Coronaviruses, amongst others on our tours, we have implemented the below safety measures for any guest displaying typical symptoms of common airborne communicable diseases (ie: nasal congestion, cough, sneezing, sore throat, body aches, shortness of breath).

  1. Before the trip

Travelers should familiarize themselves with the entry/exit requirements of their own journey to and from the tour destination. This includes reviewing and monitoring the embassy websites for any changes that can occur up until the tour commences. Vaccine recommendations are available for most destinations and we will follow published guidance. 

Although ABA no longer requires COVID vaccinations for ABA Travel, ALL participants should self-assess their physical condition and self-screen their risk profile. 

In the two weeks leading up to the tour, they should practice standard health protocols to limit their exposure to various illnesses (flu, COVID, common cold, etc). We recommend they get a seasonal flu shot and update any other vaccinations at least two weeks prior to departure.

We recommend mask-wearing in airports and on planes and other public transportation, especially en route to the tour start. This is a personal decision, of course, but getting sick just prior to the tour will have potential repercussions for both the traveler and the entire group.

  1. During the trip

Tour participants will be in close proximity during much of the tour and are encouraged to exercise common sense health practices. Simple common courtesy will go a long way in making the tour experience better for everyone. 

ABA no longer requires COVID testing or immediate removal from a tour due to COVID. However, the Tour Leader/s will still have the right to exercise on-tour protocols such as mask-wearing, isolation, or removal from the trip on a case-by-case basis.

Travelers should immediately advise the tour leaders if they feel sick or are exhibiting sickness symptoms while on tour. 

The Tour Leader/s will monitor the group, and may request that a sick participant or a participant exhibiting symptoms wear a mask. The Tour Leader/s also has the right to ask them to remain in their room and rest if circumstances allow. This is for the participant’s own good, as well as the good of the group.

Travelers are to observe the following guidelines during the tour:

General Hygiene Expectations:

  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue, or the crook of their elbow, not their hands.
  • Dispose of tissues rather than keeping dirty tissues in a pocket.
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Apply hand sanitiser (min. 60% alcohol) regularly.

Mask wearing:

  • Tour leaders have latitude to require mask wearing at times on tour, in accordance with local guidelines or as on-tour needs demand. 
  • Masks are to be worn as soon as a traveler feels sick or exhibits sickness symptoms while on tour.
  • If mask wearing is requested, masks should cover the nose and mouth completely.
  • Travelers should bring an adequate personal supply of well-fitting and effective masks with them on tour. 
  • Travelers are, of course, always welcome to wear a mask while on tour if that is their preference. 

Cooperation:

  • Travelers are expected to comply voluntarily if they self-diagnose with typical symptoms.
  • Travelers should advise the Tour Leader/s if they feel sick or are exhibiting symptoms while on tour. 
  • The Tour Leader/s will direct guests to wear masks if they demonstrate symptoms and are not wearing a mask and following General Hygiene Expectations.
  • The Tour Leader/s reserves the right to assess the situation and, if necessary, require additional preventive measures. This may include, but is not limited to, isolation measures or other precautions to minimize the potential spread of the airborne communicable disease.

Monitoring and Adaptation:

  • Adjustments may be made based on the evolving nature of airborne communicable diseases.
  • The policy will be regularly reviewed to align with the latest health recommendations and guidelines.
  • We will follow all local/regional laws and mandates if more strict than the above.