COVID-19 – FAQs
This page was updated on the 05/1/2021 and supersedes any previous advice.
We understand that you will have many questions and concerns regards the current outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its spread around the world. This situation is regularly changing but please be assured that we are monitoring the situation closely and are in contact with our local teams and airlines, as well as monitoring Public Health England, the WHO (World Health Organisation) and the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office). To keep up to date on these details too, you can follow the below links:
Coronavirus in the UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
Travel restriction to individual countries: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
International - The World Health
The FCDO on the 4th January 2021 have temporarily advised all British nationals against all but essential international travel. As stated, these travel restrictions are temporary and can be lifted at any time. Over the course of the coming weeks, we will be writing to participants booked on overseas challenges due to depart before the end of March 2021 with an update about their challenge. For overseas challenges departing from April onwards, if we haven’t written to you to say that your challenge has had to be cancelled then our plan will currently be to operate as scheduled.
We are very confident that our 2021 UK calendar which begins mid-April will operate as scheduled. As with Overseas Challenges, we are monitoring the situation and if anything changes we will be in touch with participants.
In addition to the above we have added some further information below based around some common FAQ’s we feel all participants due to travel with us in the future will have. These are broken down into 3 sections – cancellation (by ourselves or yourself), insurance, and protection against COVID-19.
What if your challenge can’t run due to COVID-19?
If we are unable to operate your challenge due to FCDO advice or because it becomes unviable to run due to safety concerns then you will be offered one of the choices below:
- We will transfer your place on to another challenge in either 2021 or 2022 – this can be the same challenge or a completely new destination. If the challenge you transfer on to has a higher registration fee, we will also waive the difference in the registration fee up to a value of £75.00
- If at that time you are unsure of which challenge you want to transfer to, we will issue you with a refund of any monies paid to date.
What if I postpone my challenge or transfer to a new one that is also affected?
If you move on to another challenge later in the year or next year, and we still find ourselves in a position where we cannot operate the challenge due to Covid-19 or any other reason, we will offer you the same options as above; to transfer, to change to a new challenge or receive a full refund of monies paid.
When will GAC make the decision to cancel your challenge?
Currently we have many participants, on lots of challenges across 2021. We hope you can appreciate that we are prioritising groups departing imminently and have to work through challenges in date order. Current travel restrictions are temporary and we expect some of them to be lifted and hopefully over the coming months there will be more clarity.
We want to avoid cancelling challenges unless it is absolutely necessary and we don’t have a set timescale for making a decision - it is likely to be approximately 6 weeks before departure. The advice that is in place today, could be lifted shortly or new advice added. The current environment is very changeable and where we can still operate your challenge we will do so.
If at approximately 6 weeks before departure the advice was still not to travel, we would be in touch to discuss your options further.
What happens if I want to cancel my challenge?
If we haven’t cancelled your challenge then our standard terms and conditions would apply. The registration fee you paid would be non-refundable in this instance, any other challenge costs you may have paid would be refunded in line with the standard cancellation terms shown in our booking conditions here.
However, we completely appreciate our participants will have concerns if they are on a challenge that is due to depart in 2021. With this in mind, we are offering all participants booked on any open challenge that is due to depart up until the end of 2021 a free transfer to the same challenge but on a different date in 2021 or 2022, or a completely new challenge of your choice.
Do I still need to pay the challenge invoice on time?
Unless we have informed you otherwise, we will be continuing with our plans to deliver your challenge and if you have received a reminder invoice, please continue to pay as normal and by the due date shown on the invoice.
As mentioned above, if we find we can’t operate your challenge then you will have the option to transfer to a new date, a new destination or receive a refund.
What if I have booked on a ground only basis and have booked my own flights?
If you have booked as a ground only participant, you are responsible for your international travel arrangements to and from the destination country. If your challenge is cancelled, you will need to liaise with your airline over any changes that need to be made. If official travel advice is given against travel to that country, or the destination country refuses to accept flights from the UK, the airline is likely to be flexible over changes to dates and routes.
If, however, you cancel of your own accord despite there being no advice against travel to the destination country, the airline is likely to be less flexible. Each airline will have different policies, but you must discuss the situation with them to see what they can and cannot do.
My fundraising is being impacted by not being able to raise the minimum sponsorship?
In the first instance we would strongly recommend you speak to your charity about any concerns you have – as they may be able to offer some advice or help. We are able to offer two options:
- In agreement with your chosen charity, you are able to change payment option and self-fund. This means you pay the cost of your challenge yourself and you have no minimum sponsorship target. Any sponsorship you have raised should still be sent to your charity.
- You can transfer your place free of charge to the same challenge on a different date, or a completely new challenge of your choice.
What if I am a participant on a bespoke charity or corporate challenge?
We are in regular contact with our charity and corporate partners and are giving updates as required. We would ask that you contact the charity or corporate partner in the first instance, however the advice given above and below will still be relevant.
Is my travel insurance policy likely to cover me if I am affected by Covid-19?
Every travel insurance policy is different. You must read your policy wording carefully, and contact your insurer if you have any questions or concerns. You should also travel with copies of your travel insurance documents. The ultimate responsibility for having the correct and adequate coverage is your own. We always recommend bringing a contingency fund for emergencies that may arise.
Travel insurance companies are updating their policies due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you organised travel insurance at the time of booking (and this was before the COVID-19 outbreak) which we always strongly recommend as per our website and welcome pack then you should be covered for certain elements. However, you do need to speak to your travel insurance provider to fully confirm if this is the case.
If you have taken out a travel insurance policy through our affiliate partner Campbell Irvine please use the link below to get an update on any changes to the travel insurance policy that they offer
Protection against COVID-19
We have released our Travel with Confidence policy outlining the steps we and our suppliers are taking to make sure that you are safe. Just click on the link above to explore our policy, and if you need to know more then don't hesitate to get in touch.
What happens if someone in my group show symptoms whilst on the challenge, or the group gets infected?
If you or another member of your group displays symptoms of COVID-19 we will work with our leaders and local team to ensure that you and the rest of your group are safe. This would likely involve the affected participant being isolated from the group and transferred to a medical facility to receive the appropriate treatment, and if necessary, the cancellation of the rest of the trip.
If you suspect you are ill on a challenge, or if you believe that you have come into contact with a known COVID-19 case, we advise the following steps:
- Stay indoors if possible and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu.
- Call your GAC leader to inform them of your unwellness.
- Call your travel insurance company to discuss what you should do.
- Follow local public health guidance (if available)
What happens if I am put into quarantine in my challenge destination and who will cover the cost of this?
You must check your travel insurance policy to see whether you are covered – as mentioned above this may depend on when you purchased the policy.
We always recommend bringing a contingency fund for emergencies for circumstances such as this.
Whilst we will assist you in coordinating with our team on the ground, medical facilities, and other partners, with deep regret we cannot cover costs associated with being quarantined in-country – typically the local authorities organise this.
A message from GAC to you…
Undoubtedly it is still a turbulent time for all concerned but the pandemic will end and the charity challenge / adventure travel market will bounce back…it is already happening and we always do! We have been humbled by the fact so many participants have transferred to a future date, bookings are on the increase again for both UK and overseas challenges – we have introduced various schemes and will continue to introduce more, so your challenge dreams can become a reality!
Our final word is that our thoughts remain with our amazing participants, fantastic charity and corporate clients and our fabulous local ground teams and airlines who help us deliver amazing challenges all over the world. We hope you all stay safe, be sensible, follow advice given, remain calm and most of all please try to keep a positive outlook until the pandemic ends.
If you do have any further questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Customer Care team on 01244 676454 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.