Covid-19 safety measures on our trips
Examples of what our travellers may expect when joining a cycling or walking holiday in 2022 (subject to change without notice depending on current health advice) are as follows:
To participate on a tour we require that you are fully vaccinated before you travel.
- If you are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 once you are on a tour you will be tested and if positive you will be excluded from the tour and medical assistance will be sought if required.
- Guides, crew, other travellers and/or hotel staff will usually be vaccinated but we cannot guarantee this is the case for everyone you encounter during your travels. Where there are no specific country requirements for vaccination, you may encounter unvaccinated travellers or staff on a trip. Usually, the risk will be mitigated by use of rapid antigen testing. Specific information on the individual guided and boat based trips is provided in the trip notes which can be downloaded from our website.
When boarding or checking in at hotels
- You may be allocated a fixed time for embarkation or check-in to avoid queues.
- Your luggage which is handled by third parties will be disinfected (handles).
- Room keys / key cards will be disinfected before being handed over.
- Markers will be provided at reception to ensure social distancing.
- Some hotels may require proof of vaccination before boarding or check-in.
General Hygiene in Accommodation
- Where it is not possible to maintain a 1.5 metre distance between people, we ask that you wear a mask. Many boat operators will require you and the crew to wear a mask in common areas except when seated for dining.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be set up throughout the hotel and on board boats. You will be encouraged to regularly handwash / sanitise throughout your stay.
- High touch areas will be cleaned / disinfected regularly through the day with a log kept.
- Rooms / cabins will be thoroughly sanitised between guests. For longer stays when staff/crew enter your cabin / room, they will wear a mask and take all precautions to maintain strict hygiene practices including disposal of cleaning wipes and gloves after each room / cabin has been cleaned, hand sanitizing between cleans etc. to avoid cross contamination.
- On our alpine walks when staying in mountain refuges/ gites, you will now need to bring a light weight sleeping bag and pillow. Pillows and blankets will no longer be provided by the hosts.
- In refuge dormitory rooms, only members of the same group will be accommodated in each room.
- All bikes will be provided with disinfected seats and handles.
- Many countries are requiring people to wear facemasks on public transport and in shops. For the most current information, please refer to the individual countries’ health advice.
- As capacity may be limited on buses and trains you will need to allow plenty of time to travel to your destination.
- Bookings are required on longer journeys (outside urban areas).
Visiting Tourist Sites
- Most tourist sites will require advance purchase tickets for a set date and time.
- As numbers are limited it is advisable to book well in advance.
- Tourist sites may require proof of vaccination before you can enter.
- Bookings will be required for many restaurants.
- You may need to supply contact details to restaurants and some bars and shops on entering.
- Proof of vaccination may be required before entry.
- Seating will be limited in order to comply with local social distancing guidelines. Seating in some restaurants may only be available outside.
The above information represents examples of what procedures are likely to be in place for your trip whilst the virus remains. These will be dependent on the country and region of travel, local health authority advice and current conditions and may be adapted and changed over the months depending on these factors.
Personal safety recommendations
As a traveller, we recommend you also take your own precautions at this time including:
• ensuring you are fully vaccinated prior to travel,
• using a face mask when social distancing is difficult,
• regular handwashing of at least 30 seconds,
• avoiding touching your face and
• ensuring that you respect social distancing requirements.
Such precautions are likely familiar already if you are out and about in your neighbourhood, visiting shopping centres and/or taking public transport.
Feedback from the field
We appreciate that some of these new procedures may seem overwhelming, however it is important to remember that for the majority of the time, as you are walking or cycling during the day, the pleasures of active travel and exploring will not be compromised. There may also be some silver linings including reduced crowding of tourist sites and genuine warmth from locals happy to see travellers returning.
"We could not enjoyed it more. Although, it was anticipated to be the busiest month for Camino, especially this part from Sarria to Santiago, last 115 km, it was truly not. Due to the pandemic, it was much less people on the road and in the villages that we were passing through. UTracks was extremely efficient with preparing all documentation ahead of time and communicating every details to make our preparation very smooth."
Viktoriya Kozlova | Spanish Camino traveller, August 2020
"We arranged this last minute due to changing Covid restrictions. Nicola from UTracks was very helpful, helping us chose a holiday to suit us and sorting out all the details. The trip ran very smoothly and it was a perfect fit. Amazing scenery for just the right amount of effort."
K. Griffiths | Via Alpina Switzerland traveller, July 2021
"We thought we would send a quick wrap up of the cycle adventure we completed last week. We managed the cycle notes fairly well. The hill on the way out of Andlau was a tough climb and we had a "divine ray of sunshine" at the top. The bikes were good. Each of the accommodations was good. Each hotel helped us store the bikes securely overnight. Hats off to all of the accommodation for adapting to the new conditions which allowed us to travel. Thank you to everyone at UTracks for all your help in pulling together this trip at fairly short notice."
M. & M. Maughan | Alsace Wine Route Cycle | August 2020
If you have any further questions, please get in touch with our friendly team of travel experts.
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