Coronavirus travel advice for schools with upcoming trips
27 Mar 2021, 08:49 by Nigel English
Information for schools with upcoming trips
The guide below explains current travel advice and summarises the options for school groups with an upcoming school trip booking. Please note that we are in contact with all the groups due to depart in the summer term and so parents should talk directly to the school about their child's specific trip.
If you are looking to postpone an existing trip or make a new booking, we have published information about our extra COVID-19 precautions and back-up measures. Follow this link to find out how you can book and travel with confidence.
The information below is based on advice from a broad range of experts, in particular the School Travel Forum, ABTA, DfE and the Association of British Insurers.
Department for Education (DfE) travel advice for educational settings
On 26 March the DfE updated its coronavirus operational guidance including indicative dates from when schools in England can expect to book and take educational trips once again. The guidance states that educational day trips could resume as early as 12 April and residentials could resume as early as 17 May. Click here to see the DfE roadmap for the resumption of school trips.
Foreign Office and Government travel restrictions
As an ABTA bonded tour operator, we take our lead from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the government authority on safety, security and entry requirements for British people travelling overseas.
The current advice is that non-essential international travel can not resume before 17 May 2020.
FCDO advice is under constant review and you can check the latest by clicking on this link.
School trips directly impacted by the FCDO's travel restrictions
If, when your trip is due to depart, the FCDO advises against travel to your destination, then we would work with you to postpone the trip to a later date or find you a suitable alternative. If that proves impossible, we will cancel your trip and your group will be eligible for a refund.
We are in contact with all schools who have an upcoming trip to keep them updated on the latest travel advice.
School trips to destinations excluded from the FCDO travel restrictions
If travel restrictions are lifted before your group's departure then we will honour your booking. However, we understand that schools might still be unable to travel due to DfE advice and so we are offering groups the chance to transfer their booking to the following school year. Please contact us for more information on how to postpone your trip.
Alternatively, you could consider cancelling your trip, but this option hinges on your school's insurance because your group will incur cancellations charges as per our booking conditions. We’ve provided some useful links for schools on how to claim for lost deposits below.
Information for schools looking to postpone their trip
We have updated our group wellbeing protocols so that you can still enjoy an incredible school trip, with the same activities and quality learning experiences, but with extra COVID-19 precautions. Follow this link to find out how you can book and travel with confidence.
Further travel and insurance information
FCO travel advice relating to coronavirus.
ABTA offers advice for customers looking to cancel a trip due to coronavirus on their website https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced information on school insurance following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you have any further questions about your cover or would like further reassurance, you should contact your school insurance provider.
Academies and other members of the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) can find advice about claiming for cancelled school trips here.
Our full terms and conditions can be found on: https://www.voyagerschooltravel.com/about-us/school-tour-booking-terms-and-conditions/
We understand there is a lot to consider and so please don't hesitate to contact us so that we can guide you through the process.
All information correct as at 28 March 2021.