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COVID-19 Safety Protocols

Updated October 25, 2023


As worldwide travel has resumed, the well-being of our guests and staff members on tour will continue to be our highest priority.

To that end, we continue to take steps to maintain a healthy environment for travel, with protocols for all facets of our tours, as outlined below. And while we know that some aspects of travel look different now, we also want to ensure that you will still enjoy an engaging and enlightening experience with opportunities for spontaneous activities and events.

We look forward to welcoming you on tour.

Safety Protocols for Our Small Group Tours – 2023 Travel

We will establish and adhere to a detailed set of health and safety protocols to ensure your well-being while traveling. The following represents a brief look at what we expect to be in place at the time of your 2023 tour. Our travel and health policy for 2024 tours can be found here.

Should you have any questions, we can be reached by email: [email protected] or toll-free at (888) 370-6765, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

COVID-19 Vaccination

For tours departing in 2023, we require that all Odysseys Unlimited guests, Tour Directors, and long-distance coach drivers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to the start of their tour. We consider "fully vaccinated" to be when all required primary doses have been received, as per CDC guidelines. COVID-19 vaccination will no longer be required for tours departing in 2024.

While most countries have relaxed the health-related entry requirements that were imposed early in the COVID-19 pandemic, additional entry requirements related to COVID-19 may still be imposed by foreign governments. Odysseys Unlimited will notify guests of any entry requirements for their specific tour at approximately 25 days prior to departure. Please read more about Odysseys Unlimited’s policy pertaining to global entry requirements here.

Prior to Your Tour

We strongly recommend that guests purchase a travel protection plan for protection in the event that they fall ill prior to departure and need to cancel, for medical coverage while on tour, and for trip interruption in case it is necessary to miss part of the tour because of illness.

Also, we require that all guests traveling on 2023 tours read and acknowledge the following three documents related to global travel during the COVID-19 pandemic: COVID-19 Guest Health and Safety Protocols, COVID-19 Liability Waiver and Release, and Travel Protection Acknowledgement. These documents will be provided to you prior to departure. Guests traveling on 2024 tours will no longer be required to acknowledge the above-listed documents.

Airline Travel

In April of 2022, the United States’ federal mask mandate for public transportation and airline travel was rescinded. While masks are no longer required by federal law on flights within the United States, mask wearing may still be enforced by individual airlines at their discretion. Furthermore, guests traveling to international destinations where mask mandates remain in place will still be required to wear a mask for the duration of their flight. Please check with your airline for more information on the mask policy for your specific routing. Regardless of airline policies or country regulations, Odysseys Unlimited continues to recommend that guests wear masks on all flights in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.

While on Tour

While local conditions may vary based on the destination, timing, and nature of the tour, the protocols below will be followed on all Odysseys’ tours departing in 2023 (with additional safety protocols implemented where necessary):

  • The use of face coverings will be required throughout the tour when appropriate and dictated by local regulations. Face coverings may be required on international and domestic flights, in transportation hubs such as airports, and on forms of public transportation. Based on the epidemiological situation at the time of travel, some destinations may also require face coverings at indoor sites. We strongly recommend that guests at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 due to age or underlying medical conditions wear a face covering at all times while in public, regardless of local regulations.
  • Regulations regarding the use of face coverings onboard coaches and other motor vehicles will vary by destination. Please note that motorcoaches are often considered public transportation and face coverings may therefore be required on board, even in destinations where other masking requirements have been lifted. As these regulations change frequently and with little notice, your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director will advise as to whether face coverings will be required on the coach.
  • Wherever face coverings are to be worn, all guests, tour directors, and drivers will be required to wear medical-grade masks; acceptable masks include flat surgical masks, KF94, KN95, N95, and equivalent. Cloth masks will not be acceptable. In some countries, flat surgical masks may not be accepted on public transportation, including motorcoaches, and more highly protective KF94, KN95, and N95 masks will be required. Guests must provide their own masks and are encouraged to bring a supply that can be rotated throughout the tour.
  • While requirements for masking will vary by destination as noted above, in order to reduce the risk of COVID infection on tour, Odysseys Unlimited does encourage all travelers to wear a medical-grade mask when indoors and onboard motorcoaches.
  • Airlines may have their own mask regulations and guests should check their airline’s website to determine if masks must be worn on board and, if so, which grade of mask is required for their flight. Please note that airlines may not be able to provide passengers with masks on site and may deny boarding to any passenger without a mask that meets their requirements.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the tour.
  • On tours that utilize headsets (“Whispers”), your individual headset will be thoroughly sanitized prior to the tour and sanitizer will be provided to allow for regular cleaning.
  • Guests who develop cold or flu symptoms while on tour will be required to immediately seek professional medical care.
  • Any guest who tests positive for COVID-19 while on tour will be required to isolate and may only rejoin the group once a minimum of five days have passed and once the guest has been able to produce a negative COVID-19 antigen test.

Your Tour Director

To ensure proper leadership for the duration of your tour, each tour director will be required to adhere to the following protocols:

  • Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to the beginning of your tour (for 2023 travel)
  • Be screened for good health, including mandated self-reporting of any symptoms of illness prior to joining our group (for 2023 travel)
  • Be fully trained in Odysseys’ health and safety protocols to follow for the duration of the tour
  • Provide 24-hour availability to all guests on tour, as always
  • Assess local conditions and be prepared to alter the itinerary if deemed necessary

Motorcoaches and Safari Vehicles

All transportation vehicles will be cleaned and all surfaces sanitized regularly throughout the tour, and drivers will have hand sanitizer available for guests.

Accommodations and Local Restaurants

While specific protocols may vary by destination, we will utilize only those establishments that commit to maintaining a high level of cleanliness and sanitation.

Odysseys Guests

In order to provide a safe travel experience for our guests, we need your help as well. Hand hygiene, the wearing of face coverings when appropriate, and monitoring your own health symptoms will go a long way toward creating a healthy environment on tour.

Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

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