Last updated: 7 April 2021
We are optimistic that much of 2021 will see plenty of travel and that we will be able to welcome lots of happy slow cyclists. That said, you will be aware that almost all governments have imposed measures that currently make international travel more difficult and no doubt these measures will be subject to change over the coming weeks and months. We have therefore put together these FAQs to help answer many of the questions you may have.
For the latest country specific entry requirements and information, we have provided further FAQs:
1. Will our trip go ahead and when will we know?
We very much hope so and unless you have heard from us otherwise, you must assume that your trip is going ahead as planned. UK Government restrictions are likely to change frequently, making planning very difficult, but our priority is to try and run your trip for you. This is the timeline that we are generally working to:
More than 8 weeks before departure
If things get to a point where we believe travel will be highly unlikely (for example, due to travel restrictions or vaccination requirements), we will get in touch with you to offer the opportunity to transfer to a later date.
8 weeks before departure
Unless we believe travel will be highly unlikely, we will collect the balancing payment from you in the usual way. This does not affect your rights – if the trip is cancelled you will have a range of options (outlined in 4. below) and our usual Terms and Conditions will apply.
1-3 weeks before departure
If, 3 weeks before the start of your trip, government restrictions are in place that either make it impossible for us to run the trip, or place overly onerous quarantine obligations on you, and we believe that such restrictions are likely to remain in place, we will get in touch with you to cancel the trip. If we believe that those restrictions could change to enable your trip to happen and we are able to hold onto our bookings in-country, we will defer the decision on whether to cancel until nearer the time, but no less than 1 week before the start of your trip. If your trip is cancelled, you will have various options that we have outlined below.
2. What is the latest government guidance on travel?
UK legislation currently bans all non-essential international travel until 30 June 2021 but, as part of its roadmap out of lockdown, the government is expected to permit the resumption of travel from 17 May 2021.
When travel is permitted again, there will be a ‘traffic light’ system of testing and quarantine that will be required on return to the UK. The extent of the testing and quarantine will depend on the country that has been visited and, possibly, whether you have been fully vaccinated.
The government’s next announcement is due on 12th April 2021, when it is hoped that further details will be provided.
In order for your trip to go ahead, it will need to fall into either a ‘Green’ or, possibly, ‘Amber’ category. The government may not announce which category Greece falls into for several weeks.
Romanian and Greek Governments
Please take a look at the summaries we have provided on the latest government guidance for travel to Greece and Romania, and what that may mean for your travel plans with us.
3. What restrictions would cause our trip to be cancelled?
Unfortunately we can’t predict every possible restriction that may be in place but, as a guide, these are some of the reasons that we may contact you to cancel your trip:
- UK lockdown restrictions make international holidays illegal*
- The UK government (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel to your destination
- The destination country prohibits visitors from the UK
- The destination country imposes lockdown restrictions that cause hotels to close and internal travel to be severely disrupted
- The destination country requires UK visitors to quarantine for more than 24 hours (or the time it takes to get a test result) on arrival and this causes the trip itinerary to be significantly altered
- The UK government requires you to quarantine in a hotel on your return to the UK**
- The UK government requires you to self-isolate at home for more than 72 hours (or until you receive a test result) on return to the UK**
* In circumstances where different lockdown rules apply in different areas, and some guests are restricted from traveling but others are not, we will not cancel the trip. However, all guests will be offered the opportunity to transfer their trip to a later date in 2021 or 2022. Alternatively, it may be that some of you decide to go ahead anyway with or without replacement group members, subject to relevant price increases to reflect the number of guests travelling.
** In these circumstances, you may decide that you want to go on your trip even if required to quarantine for longer; in which case your trip would go ahead.
4. What happens if our trip is cancelled?
If your trip is cancelled, you will be offered the following options:
- Transfer your booking to a specific date later in 2021 or 2022, in the same destination.
- Transfer your booking to another Slow Cyclist destination, on the understanding that the price may differ.
We very much hope that you will choose one of these two options but if you are unable to do so, and if in addition you do not wish to take up the offer of a credit note for travel in 2022, we are obliged to offer you a full refund.
5. Are there any restrictions that would not cause my trip to be cancelled and, if so, what would happen?
Unfortunately Covid-19 has brought about some changes to the way we travel and, in order to enjoy the benefits of going away, we are all having to adapt to a new normal. As such, there may be some government / public health requirements that we all need to comply with, that are an inconvenience, but which do not fundamentally affect the holiday experience. Again, it is hard to predict all possible obligations and requirements, but examples might be:
- To complete passenger locator forms or similar documentation
- To provide evidence of vaccinations
- To take a test and show a negative result before departure from the your home country
- To take a test on arrival in the destination country
- To self-isolate for up to 24 hours (or until you receive a test result) on arrival at your destination in a way that does not cause the trip itinerary to be significantly altered
- To take one or more tests before return to and / or on arrival back into your home country
- To self-isolate for up to 72 hours (or until you receive a test result) at home on return to your home country
- If you get Covid shortly before your trip (you should be able to claim on your travel insurance)
- If your flight is cancelled (but if this happens please get in touch and we will do everything we can to help you find alternative means of getting to the destination)
If you are concerned that one of these reasons could be seriously problematic for you, please get in touch. If you have not yet made your booking, you may decide not to do so. If you have an existing booking, we will do everything we can to help; for example we may offer you the chance to transfer your booking to a later date.
6. What happens if my trip hasn’t been cancelled but I decide that I don’t want to go?
As you may be aware, disinclination to travel is not a reason for trips to be cancelled and, if you decide that you do not wish to travel, our normal Terms & Conditions will apply. Please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your situation. If the group is willing to stick together, we may be able to offer you the chance to transfer your booking to a later date, subject to availability.
7. What happens if I or someone in my group gets Covid before the trip?
If this happens it would likely occur shortly before your trip and would not be a reason for us to cancel it. The trip would still go ahead with the remaining guests and you would need to make a claim on your personal travel insurance policy. We believe that policies are available that cover this eventuality, so please make sure that you have cover in place that addresses your concerns.
8. What happens if I or someone in my group has to self-isolate before my trip?
If this happens it would likely occur shortly before your trip and would not be a reason for us to cancel it. The trip would still go ahead with the remaining guests and, if this risk is covered, the impacted person would need to make a claim via their personal travel insurance policy. We believe that some insurance policies may cover this issue and some may not, so please make sure that you have cover in place that addresses your concerns.
9. What happens if I get sick from Covid on my trip?
In such unlikely circumstances our local team will do everything we can to assist, including getting you to nearby medical facilities or accommodation and helping to liaise with the local authorities. It is important that you have travel insurance that covers medical costs incurred due to Covid-19. While our local team will assist you to get all the care you require, all expenses for testing, treatment or self-isolation will need to be covered by you.
10. What happens if restrictions and rules change while I’m on my holiday?
We will do everything we can to assist you and, where necessary, adapt the holiday although this would be outside our control so we would all have to follow any new rules. If you need to get back to the UK and curtail your holiday, we will assist you as best we can. You will be responsible for any associated costs. If rule changes cause you additional cost and such costs are covered by your personal travel insurance policy, you would need to make a claim. We believe that curtailment is covered by some policies. Please make sure that you have cover in place that addresses your concerns.
11. How does Covid affect my holiday payments?
Given the uncertainty this year, for new bookings for travel in 2021 we will waive any deposit so you do not need to pay anything at the time of booking. You will then be required to pay the full cost of the holiday 8 weeks before your departure date. For new bookings for travel in 2022 and beyond, we will ask you to pay your deposit in the usual way at the time of booking.
If you have already made a booking and paid your deposit, we will collect your balancing payment at the usual time, 8 weeks prior to departure. However, if before that time, we think that travel to your destination is highly unlikely, we will be in touch with you to ask if you wish to transfer your booking to a later date, in which case you will not need to pay your balancing payment until 8 weeks before the revised departure date.
12. We are travelling with you to Transylvania and / or Greece this year. We have some questions about flights. What should we do?
We have answered various questions about flights in the country specific FAQs for Romania and Greece that we hope are useful. If after reading the relevant FAQ you would still like a word, please get in touch with Sally Hoare on +44 (0) 7407 126 140 or email email@example.com.
13. We are travelling with you to Georgia or Rwanda or elsewhere this year. We have some questions about flights. What should we do?
If you are travelling with us this year to Georgia or Rwanda, we suggest you do not book flights yet. Please get in touch with Sally Hoare on +44 (0) 7407 126 140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions.
14. Can I get insurance to cover travel in the time of Covid?
Yes, various insurers are now offering generous policies that cover many of the most common issues associated with travel during the pandemic. We strongly recommend that you seek to secure such insurance as soon as possible and as always, you must be insured at the time of travel. If you need help sourcing a suitable insurance policy please contact us for advice.
15. Where can I find further information online?
Here are a selection of links that you may find helpful: