Traveling together, safely

With tours back up and running, your students’ health and well-being continues to be our top priority. We are taking the necessary steps to help keep EF groups as safe as possible, and our thoughtful approach to travel means you can once again explore the world with confidence.

We’re proud to have earned the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp—the world’s first-ever global safety and hygiene stamp for Travel & Tourism, designed specifically to address COVID-19 and similar outbreaks.

Tourcare Logo

Additionally, we received a TOURCARE stamp from the United States Tour Operators Association, an international travel and tourism association and fellow recipient of the Safe Travels stamp. This TOURCARE stamp further recognizes the proactive measures we’re taking to protect the well-being of our travelers.


Preparing for your tour

All travelers and parents will receive information about local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations expected to be in place during their tour. Travelers should closely monitor their health in the time leading up to their tour.



COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement

In order to maintain as safe of an environment as possible, all travelers will be required to complete a COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement. You will have access to the agreement at 30 days prior to departure on your traveler secure site.



Pre-tour testing

All travelers are required to bring proof of their negative result from a COVID-19 antigen or PCR test*, completed using a sample taken no more than 72 hours prior to their scheduled flight departure. Any costs associated with testing are the responsibility of the traveler; however, many states and local communities offer free testing resources. Travelers will need to be prepared to show proof of their negative test as required throughout tour.

*Under certain circumstances, a PCR test may be required, and COVID-19 antigen tests will not be accepted. If your tour requires a PCR test, we will notify you.



Vaccines

At this time, the only pre-departure requirement that EF is necessitating is the completion of a COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement closer to a group’s scheduled departure, which includes a certification that you will receive a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to your group’s scheduled flight departure. Under certain circumstances, a PCR test may be required, and COVID-19 antigen tests will not be accepted. If your tour requires a PCR test, we will notify you. There may also be situations in which the destination a group is traveling to requires travelers to be fully vaccinated prior to travel. EF will notify travelers in advance should this be the case. Note that some airlines may have additional requirements in order to travel. Our offices around the country are continuing to monitor destination-specific information, and we will provide guidance on what may be required much closer to a group’s departure date, since regulations are changing so rapidly.


medical symbol logo EF

EF COVID Care Promise

Provided to all groups departing through Sept 30, 2022

If a traveler develops symptoms of COVID-19 while on tour, we will help to facilitate medical attention and testing for the traveler. If, ultimately, the traveler tests positive, our exclusive EF COVID Care Promise will cover the cost of hotel and meals during the isolation period, as well as support from an EF representative.

If a traveler is diagnosed with COVID-19 while on tour, EF will provide or arrange for the following, consistent with local requirements, at no additional expense to the traveler throughout the duration of any on-tour quarantine period:

  • Lodging and meals
  • EF representatives available to support the traveler and to coordinate with local authorities on their behalf where necessary
  • Assistance connecting with local health care providers
  • Translation services
  • Communication between the traveler and the traveler’s family back home
  • EF-arranged flights home, based on existing itinerary, for the traveler once cleared to return
  • If the diagnosed traveler is a minor, flights for their parent or guardian to join them at the tour location

If a traveler or group is not diagnosed with, yet is required to quarantine on account of, COVID-19 while on tour, EF will provide or arrange for the following, consistent with local requirements, at no additional expense to the travelers throughout the duration of any on-tour quarantine period:

  • Lodging and meals
  • EF representatives available to support the traveler or group and to coordinate with local authorities on their behalf where necessary
  • Assistance connecting with local health care providers
  • Translation services
  • Communication between the traveler or group and their family or families back home
  • EF-arranged flights home for the traveler or group once cleared to return

Your on-tour experience

We do everything we can to maintain the integrity of our tour experiences, and our travelers’ safety comes first. If we need to adjust an itinerary to, say, avoid a crowded location at a peak time or follow local health and safety guidance, we’re able to do so quickly and easily. Our on-the-ground presence in the areas where we travel means we’re continuously working with our local partners, such as special sites and restaurants, to provide as safe an experience as possible.



Traveler health

We have policies in place to support traveler health before and during our tours. Depending on destination guidelines, travelers may be asked to complete a self-administered, pre-departure health screening that could include things like a temperature check. While on tour, travelers should closely monitor their health.

If a traveler feels ill during their journey, they can take comfort in knowing EF provides access to trusted telehealth service providers for easy and convenient medical attention. These third-party providers make it possible for travelers to obtain medical advice over a phone or video call. If this service is not covered by a traveler’s primary medical insurance, they can submit a claim under the medical insurance benefits already included in their EF tour program fee.

Included in all EF Explore America travelers’ cost is our Illness and Accident coverage. This coverage helps travelers cover any hospital and doctors’ fees as well as medical transportation for illnesses or injury sustained on tour.



Global partnerships

We have strong, long-established relationships with some of the largest airline, hotel, and transportation companies, global governmental agencies, and health organizations. These partnerships, along with our leadership roles in major industry organizations, mean that we are actively shaping new worldwide health and safety standards.



Masks & hand sanitizer on tour

Masks must be worn if required by local regulations, including on coach busses and COVID-19 testing sites if required. We do ask that travelers bring their own face masks on tour, as well as their own personal hand sanitizers. However, Tour Directors will have a supply of disposable face masks and hand sanitizer available should someone in the group need them. In addition, hand sanitizer will be available in hotels and restaurants, and on your group’s motorcoach.



Dedicated motorcoach

Your coach will be thoroughly cleaned daily, and high-touch areas will be wiped down throughout the day. Bus drivers will be trained by vetted suppliers in best practices to provide the safest possible environment.



Tour Director & local staff

All our local staff and your expert Tour Director will be ready to explain guidelines in the destinations you are traveling to. Your Tour Director and our Safety and Incident Response Team are trained on how to support travelers should any member of your group feel ill during your trip.



Hotels

We partner with hotels that practice enhanced safety measures such as frequent cleaning of common areas and thoroughly disinfecting rooms between guests.


Looking ahead

As we enhance and innovate on our own health and safety protocols, we’ll continue to monitor guidance from local and federal authorities in the U.S. and internationally. We will incorporate new procedures where appropriate as part of the comprehensive safety measures that are standard on every EF tour.

Still have questions? Ask away.

Contact our Traveler Support Team at 888-333-9756, or browse our “How it works” pages for more on our policies around safety, flexibility, and support.

See how it works

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