Holidaying During COVID-19

Most legal restrictions regarding Covid-19 have now been lifted in the UK, but as accommodation and restaurant owners look to protect their staff and customers, you should expect some of the now-standard measures to remain, including social distancing, revised check-in procedures, and mask requests.

Face coverings are no longer a legal requirement in most places, but individual businesses may request that you wear them if you are able to. At this time, face covering requirements are still in effect in some healthcare settings in the UK, so be sure to carry one on your person just in case.

As always, we are keeping a close eye on government plans, advice and guidelines at all times. Should major details change, we will contact all affected customers as soon as possible to discuss their options, otherwise any smaller changes will be updated on this page.

Below you will find more information on enjoying a Contours Holiday and what you can expect along the way.

While we are doing all we can to ensure all the involved parties are safe and informed, if you travel while the virus is still active in the general population, you must accept the risks associated with this and follow the appropriate course of action for your holiday group. The risks are of course elevated for vulnerable individuals; please consider these issues carefully before making the decision to travel.

At the current time, we require a minimum of six weeks' notice for all new holiday bookings. You will be unable to book a holiday to commence within six weeks of your booking date. Thank you for your understanding.

 

What will my holiday be like?

For the general outline of our tours, please refer to our FAQ page, but bear in mind the following changes. These measures are no longer legal requirements, but we encourage you to respect others and adhere to the requests of your accommodation hosts.

What are my responsibilities?

If you choose to walk, run or cycle on one of our tours, you must understand that you are taking a risk. You are increasing your contact with others, and this carries a responsibility to behave sensibly, taking appropriate measures to minimise the risk of transmission. You should carry hand sanitiser with you for use after touching gates, stiles and anything else that other members of the public might have touched, and use luggage with wipeable rather than fabric handles.

Most importantly, all customers should bear in mind the following responsibilities, which will be sent to you with your tour pack as well.

What if I have coronavirus symptoms?

If you display any symptoms of coronavirus, or test positive for Covid-19, within two weeks of your holiday commencing, you must check both your home and destination countries to determine whether you will be allowed to travel. The typical symptoms to look out for include the following from the NHS coronavirus advice page:

If you develop any of these symptoms prior to your tour and find that you cannot travel due to ongoing restrictions in your home or destination country, or that you feel too ill to travel, you must let us know immediately so that we can cancel your booking. You should take out a suitable holiday insurance policy for this scenario. If you have an existing annual policy, we recommend checking the terms and conditions: many pre-pandemic insurance packages specifically exclude pandemic circumstances, and will not cover you should COVID-19 prevent or interrupt your holiday.

If you develop any of these symptoms during your tour, you may need to end your tour depending on restrictions in your home or destination country. If you need to end your tour, please inform us immediately, and travel home as directly as possible. We realise this may be difficult and we are on hand to help you find the best options for travel in this worst-case scenario, but unfortunately we cannot accept responsibility for any costs incurred in such a situation.

Can I claim on my travel insurance?

We always highly recommend that you take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy that will cover any lost holiday costs in the event that you need to cancel or are unable to travel, whether you are a UK national or traveling in from abroad. We advise you check with your travel insurance provider to see if you will be covered for a cancellation due to Coronavirus.

Unfortunately, most travel insurers would not pay out if the policy was purchased prior to the general lockdown of 2020, but it is now possible to purchase insurance to cover a variety of circumstances. The specifics of your situation will heavily influence this; at time of writing, we are not aware of any policies which will cover you in the event of a government lockdown, but there are options that will pay out if you are unable to travel due to a positive COVID-19 test or a track-and-trace stay at home order.

What if the government plans change?

Guidelines and laws continue to change during these uncertain times, but the Contours Holidays team are constantly checking the guidelines and making all the necessary changes to our service.

By booking at this time, you accept the risk that a local lockdown or COVID-19 symptoms could prevent you from travelling. While we will do our best to postpone or rearrange your tour with enough notice, we will not be able to refund or postpone tours that cannot go ahead at short notice as a result of a local lockdown in your area preventing travel, because of a Track and Trace isolation order, or because you display COVID-19 symptoms prior to your tour. This is simply the risk involved in booking at this time. Specialised COVID-19 Travel Insurance is available from a number of providers, which will include cover in these circumstances. We recommend purchasing this.

If the situation changes and it becomes impossible for your tour to go ahead, we will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss the next steps. Please keep an eye on the email account you used to get set up with us, including your junk inbox, and contact us immediately if you have any questions.

How do I get to my tour?

While we do not take responsibility for your travel to the beginning or back from the end of your holiday, you obviously need to be able to make that journey, and we are keen to help.

Public transport is a difficult option right now; it can be challenging to stick to social distancing, or impossible on packed trains and buses. Therefore we would recommend travelling by car if possible. As always, we are happy to help you arrange parking at either end of your tour, but we must stress that we are not responsible for booking car parking, and can only provide information & advice.

You will still need to make one journey by public transport or taxi between the start and end points of your tour — either after leaving your car at the end of the route before you begin your adventure, or back to the start once you finish the holiday — and we will help you to find the best option for this journey. Circular tours avoid this problem, of course, so walkers can check out our list of circular walking holidays for some great options, while runners and cyclists can get in touch for suggestions.

Note that buses in remote areas of the country are often under capacity and therefore social distancing can still be adhered to, and the proper use of masks, regular hand washing and contactless payments will help you minimise the risk of transmission.

Travelling from Overseas

For full, up-to-date information on travel into the UK from overseas, keep an eye on the government website. Your home country may also impose additional restrictions on travel, and we recommend keeping up to date with your local rules and procedures through your government's website.

We understand if customers affected by this would prefer to postpone their tours until such measures are lifted, so please contact us to discuss your options. We also strongly recommend keeping an eye on the UK government guidelines, as they are subject to change.

Above all else...

If you travel while the virus is still active in the general population, there is a risk involved which you accept by travelling, and which your accommodation and transfer providers accept by taking your booking. While we will do absolutely everything we can to ensure all involved parties are safe and informed of the proper precautions, we cannot completely eliminate that risk.

If you have any concerns or worries, we are more than happy to discuss them and tell you more about how we intend to keep our tours safe, but we must emphasise: put your health first. To get in touch, find our details on our Contact page.