As you know, Sights and Soul Travels has always put the safety of our travelers first. Like all of us, we are very concerned about the unprecedented spread of Coronavirus / COVID-19, and are monitoring the development of travel conditions around the world. We have been evaluating the conditions on a daily basis, starting in mid February, but the situation is unfolding rapidly, and nobody can predict how it will change in the coming days and weeks.
Our decisions are guided by information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html as well as the US State Departent's travel information page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html which give information about travel restrictions and provide other guidance. We recommend checking these trustworthy sites for latest updates.
Following the March 11, 2020 White House announcement restricting travel from Europe to the USA for 30 days, on March 12, 2020, the CDC has issued a Level 3 travel advisory for most of Europe, excluding the UK and Ireland. They recommend that Americans avoid nonessential travel to continental Europe. On March 14, 2020, this travel ban has been extended to also include UK and Ireland. Meanwhile, several countries around the world have closed their borders or are requiring that visitors quarantine on arrival. On March 19, 2020 the State Department issued a Level 4 Travel Warning for any international travel. Level 4 Travel Warning, before applicable to countries like Syria or Afghanistan, means Do Not Travel. On March 29, 2020, the travel warning has been extended for another two weeks, until April 30, 2020. In addition, there have been significant flight cancellations which can affect getting to the tour's starting point. If this travel warning remains in effect past 14 days before your scheduled departure, you trip will be cancelled, and 100% of all your payments will be refunded to you. However, we may cancel an affected tour even a month before your scheduled departure.
So far, we have cancelled all tours scheduled to depart before May 6, 2020. We may be also forced to cancel further tours which start after May 6, 2020 and going into the month of May or even June, and if/when this happens, we will announce it here and will contact each tour guest with the details for refund. If a tour is cancelled, 100% of all payments will be refunded to tour guests who are registered for that tour.
If you are scheduled to travel with us, please check this page for further daily updates, as the situation is very fluid and changes by the hour. Starting March 24, 2020, we are working from our home offices with limited hours, so we appreciate your patience and will call you back or email you back if you leave us a message.
When would a tour be cancelled?
We would cancel a tour as soon as the destination is deemed unsafe to travel (avoid non-essential travel to that country) and the tour’s starting date falls within 14 days of such CDC or US government announcement. We will also cancel any tour to a country whose borders are closed or to a country which requires a quarantine of visitors.
What about other tours?
As of March 31, 2020, all tours starting on May 6, 2020 and beyond are operating, although we may have to cancel further tours, as well, if the situation does not improve by mid-April. Both the CDC and the State Department do not recommend any travel right now, but the conditions may change. Please check the State Department, WHO and CDC web sites (links above) for updated information. Should the circumstances change, we will update the information here, and if a tour that you are scheduled to travel on is cancelled, you will be contacted by the Sights and Soul Travels staff.
Should I cancel my tour?
The decision is ultimately yours. We are trying to cancel as few tours as possible, but we understand that every traveler needs to decide for herself how comfortable she is with the risk. The situation is extremely fluid and we are evaluating conditions on a daily basis. We will provide 100% refunds for tours that we cancel. If you are cancelling a tour that we are still running, where no travel restrictions exist for the period when the tour is scheduled, you may either transfer all your payments to another tour until the end of 2021 or choose to cancel the tour completely in which case the regular Terms and Conditions regarding the cancellation will apply.