Travel precautions in response to coronavirus
Dear Travelers and Partners,
As we continue to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on travel, we want to share with you how our team is responding and also how we are preparing for each potential scenario that could arise in the future.
On March 11th, President Trump announced travel restrictions from the Schengen zone (continental Europe) to the United States for thirty days. Following the announcement, we immediately contacted our groups traveling in the Schengen zone and secured their safe return home within 48 hours.
We have been in contact with the Group Leaders of all spring and summer 2020 trips regarding the options available to their group based on our terms and conditions and the terms and conditions of our suppliers. We are providing Group Leaders with the best guidance and support our staff can offer given this unprecedented situation.
For groups due to depart in May or June that have requested to postpone their trip, we are in the process of confirming their rescheduled dates and booking new travel arrangements for them.
For groups due to travel in summer 2020 with confirmed flights that elect to cancel and not reschedule their trip, we have informed them of the amount that will be reimbursed by Forum Language Experience (by cashable check, not a travel voucher) per our terms and conditions.
Our Leadership Team continues to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations of the US Department of State, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization. We encourage schools and families to also stay informed through the following sources:
1. What safety precautions does Forum recommend our group take when traveling?
We recommend and remind our groups when traveling with us to follow the preventive actions recommended by the CDC which include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Carry tissues when traveling. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Clean your hands regularly and disinfect frequently touched objects using regular household cleaning wipes.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.
2. If the situation in a destination country changes, how can I stay updated regarding my group’s specific travel plans?
We will reach out directly to Group Leaders whose program may be affected. We will work on a case-by-case basis with Group Leaders traveling to affected areas to address their concerns and determine the best option for their group, including providing travel alternatives if needed. Travelers should contact their Group Leader to discuss options available to them.
3. What is covered in the student protection plan provided by Travel Insured International?
According to Travel Insured International, coverage will be afforded due to “travel delays, missed connections, or trip interruptions that may occur as consequences of the coronavirus outbreak.” Please note there is no insurance coverage for canceling a trip specifically due to fears of the coronavirus. To read the detailed insurance policy by state, please click here.
Travelers who have purchased the Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) during the trip enrollment process are able to cancel their trip up to 48 hours prior to departure and receive up to 75% of the tour cost. Travelers have 72 hours to open a claim with Travel Insured International from the moment the cancellation form is submitted to us. To review the Student Protection Plan with CFAR, please click here.