image-1594305270903 image

Posted: 26 February 2020

Covid-19 - Latest Information

Updated Monday 17th August 2020

We understand that if you are due to travel on a school trip soon, you may have some questions with regards to Covid-19 (coronavirus).

FCO Travel Advice

On 4th July, the government announced that travel restrictions would be lifted for certain countries. The countries affected by this can be found on the FCO website.

Trips Departing August 2020 - December 2020

We have contacted all groups due to travel in the autumn to discuss their options.

Trips to destinations with FCO travel restrictions

If the FCO advises against all but essential travel to the country you are due to travel to at the time of departure, we will work with you to postpone your trip to a later date or find an alternative destination. If this proves impossible then you will be eligible for a refund.

Trips to destinations without FCO travel restrictions

If you have a future booking with us and the FCO does not advise against travel to your destination, then we will continue to work on your tour making all the necessary arrangements.

Having said that, we understand that teachers and parents will have questions and concerns and we will work with each individual group to support you as best as we can.

FAQs for groups travelling between August – December 2020

If we decide to go ahead with our trip as planned, what precautions are being taken to ensure it will be safe for us to travel?

• The safety of our groups is our top priority. Over the summer we have been working closely, and will continue to do so, with hoteliers, coach companies and other suppliers to ensure that rigorous hygiene and health and safety standards compliant with COVID-19 guidelines are put in place.

• Your itinerary coordinator will discuss this in detail with you and will advise you on the local restrictions and guidelines in the destination you are visiting.

• Balance payments are expected as normal. However, if you foresee any issues with your upcoming payments, please contact us as soon as possible.

Can I postpone our trip to a later date?

• We understand that some schools may prefer to postpone their trip to a later date. Please contact your itinerary coordinator with your proposed new dates to enable us to check availability and pricing for the new dates. Where possible we will keep the pricing the same. Where there are additional costs incurred, such as booking new flights, we will discuss this with you before amending your booking.

• Should you decide to postpone your tour then the balance payment for the tour will move with the new tour dates (i.e. the balance payment will be due 10 weeks prior to the new departure date), which will also give parents longer to pay for the trip.

What happens if the school decides to cancel our trip?

• If your school takes the decision to cancel your trip and the FCO is not advising against all but essential travel at the time of departure, then our normal cancellation policy will apply. We would therefore strongly advise you to consider the possibility of postponing, rather than cancelling your trip, where possible.

• If you take the decision to cancel, we recommend you do so as soon as possible in writing to minimise any cancellation charges incurred.

Are cancellation charges covered by my school’s insurance or RPA?

• The Outdoor Advisors Panel (OEAP) and The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) have been working to help schools claim against their school insurance policy for trips which they are not able to take due to government advice.

On 25th March they issued a statement advising that ‘For those schools who have committed to educational visits which can now not go ahead, the government’s advice issued is sufficient and will allow schools to make an insurance claim against their policy.’

• For academies and schools with risk protection arrangement (RPA, an alternative to insurance), this specifically includes cover for school trip cancellation. The DfE has confirmed that members can claim for school trips cancelled due to government advice in this academic year. If you are a member, please visit the RPA claims website.

2021 and beyond

We are anticipating that school trips will be able to resume to all destinations in 2021, albeit a little differently for the time being. We will, of course, be offering additional support to our group leaders and are already working closely with our suppliers to adapt.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will be updating our advice, as the situation develops. The safety and wellbeing of our groups is our first priority and we will always work with our group leaders to support them in any way we can.

Are you taking bookings for future school trips?

Yes, we're very happy to quote for future tours and would welcome discussing your tour preferences. So, please don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like to request a quote.

A message from our founder, Keith Sharkey

"I founded Halsbury Travel to ensure that teachers had the support they need to provide students with the opportunity to enjoy the life-changing educational experience of a school trip abroad. That hasn’t changed, despite Covid.

We’re confident that school trips will continue to be an important part of the educational experience we offer our young people."