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Zephyr and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated September 26, 2022

Our COVID Experience

In 2021 we had outstanding success keeping COVID away from our tours. In 2022, with new more contagious variants combined with a relaxation on safety standards by most travelers, we have experienced cases of COVID on multiple tours. While you can choose to practice your own safety procedures at home, before and during a tour we ask you to follow our safety procedures to keep you from missing out on your tour and from infecting others.

Mandatory Vaccination or COVID Test

Vaccinations reduce the risk of infection, serious illness, and death. Because your risk of being infected declines if you are vaccinated, you present less of a threat to others. In addition, those who are vaccinated and get COVID are infectious for a shorter time period on average.

  • For 2022 public tours, we will require proof of full COVID vaccination, as defined by the CDC (currently two shots; booster is not required).

  • For 2022 private tours, we will require proof of full vaccination, a negative COVID PCR result, or a negative antigen test with a verifiable result within 48 hours of the tour start, or proof of recent (within 90 days) COVID infection and recovery.

This is for the protection of our travelers, our guides, and those we encounter on our tours.

Rapid Testing

We strongly suggest you do a rapid (antigen) COVID test prior to taking a plane flight to your tour location. If you will be traveling for more than two days prior to the start of your tour, we also suggest taking a test just before the tour. We also require you to bring two rapid tests with you on the tour, so you can immediately take a test if you feel ill. This is critical to not infecting others.

Airline Flights

Most of our tour participants fly to their destination. Studies have suggested the risk of contracting COVID on flights is actually fairly low if you keep your mask on throughout the flight, regardless of what your seat mate does. This has certainly been our experience and we strongly suggest you be that person who wears a mask in the airport and on the airplane.

Tour Safety Precautions

  • Our small-group tours are safer than larger bus tours or cruises and outdoor, active travel is by its nature safer since infections are much rarer outdoors.
  • We will provide an introductory briefing on the first day of your tour about precautions we should all take.
  • We will move as many activities (introductions, morning meetings, etc) outside as possible.
  • We ask all participants to have a face mask available. It will be up to individuals whether to wear their masks.

Hotels and Restaurants

Regarding COVID-19, spending time indoors is inherently less safe than spending time outdoors. Thus, we encourage you to continue to wear masks when entering restaurants or hotels, regardless of local laws. In addition, we will eat as many meals as possible outside or in sections of restaurants in which we can be separated from other diners. We have also reduced our Single Supplements to encourage solo travelers to book their own rooms.

Ground Transportation

We will ask you to have masks available and it is up to each individual to decide whether to wear masks in our vans.

Higher Risk Travelers

If you are at higher risk or just have a low risk tolerance, you are welcome to implement even stricter measures on tours. You can choose to drive yourself to a tour, including from hotel to hotel. You can choose to eat with your own travel party at dinner or take meals back to your room. You can choose to skip any group activities we have planned.

Summary

We have always been focused on safety, with our guides being trained in first aid and CPR. We are prepared to offer you small-group adventure travel vacations in as safe and responsible a manner as possible. Most importantly, we know you want to travel and we will be there for you when you are ready!

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