We would like to reassure our travellers and potential travellers that we are monitoring the advice of the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) for all of our destinations, and we are following guidelines closely.
- To learn more about the FCO advice for the country you are visiting, please check the FCO travel advice website
- You may also like to follow the UK government information
- To learn more about the Novel Coronavirus, we advise factual information on the WHO website
What happens if the FCO travel advice advises against travel to my destination / changes for my destination?
We remain hopeful that future trips will go ahead as planned. Any immediate travel has already been rescheduled with our participants. If you have not rescheduled and would like to, please get in touch, this is free of charge to any of our participants travelling at any time.
In the event that the FCO advice changes for your future trip, we shall be in touch with you to discuss options closer to the time of departure. In accordance with travel industry practice, it should be assumed that your trip is going ahead as planned up until at least 3 weeks before departure. At this point we will review recommendations from the FCO. If the advice remains the same, we would encourage you to postpone your trip to a later date (free of charge) or switch you to another trip (trip change free of charge) .
What happens if I no longer wish to travel to a destination which is not considered to be a risk to travellers?
We shall continue to follow the advice of the FCO closely, and will only cancel trips to destinations where we are advised to do so. If you decide not to travel to your destination when it is considered safe to do so, please contact us to discuss your concerns. Where possible, we will do all that we can to reassure you by either postponing your trip or changing your project destination. We would ask for at least 7 days notice if you are thinking about changing your plans.
What happens if I travel and the coronavirus situation changes in my destination?
If the FCO travel advice changes whilst you are away, rest assured that we will be monitoring the advice closely and will take any recommended actions necessary. We shall be in touch with you to help and support you in making a sensible decision about your individual situation.
Is my trip financially protected if I postpone?
Oyster have always used the best financial protection available for our customers. For those who book flights with us, the trip is fully ATOL bonded. For those who book their own flights, the trip is covered by International Passenger Protection. This means that your payments are 100% protected, so if Oyster were to become insolvent, you would get all that you paid to Oyster back through the ATOL or IPP financial protection scheme.
The plight of the travel industry, airlines and hospitality sector is much in the news right now and I would understand if you feared Oyster might soon cease to exist and you that would lose your money. Please be rest assured, we have every intention to continue trading for years to come, however if you chose to postpone your trip and we were to become insolvent, you would receive all payments made to Oyster back.
How can I stay safe when I travel?
The WHO (World Health Organisation) has provided excellent advice for protecting yourself and others from the coronavirus.
I am desperate to book. How can I protect myself when the travel situation changes?
All experts reassure us that life will return to normal. We want to support our partners around the globe so that they can keep their worthwhile and vital projects going. Please continue to support them and get in touch today to start planning your adventure.
As the situation regarding the coronavirus is evolving all the time. We suggest that travellers take these steps to give maximum peace of mind:
- Book a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Read through the policy carefully to make sure that it covers you for the eventualities that you are most concerned about.
- Book flights that can be changed easily, or delay booking your flights until closer to your departure date. If the travel situation evolves, this should not come at a great cost to yourself if you need to change your travel destination.
- Book early to benefit from our guidance and advice where possible. We are well placed to have a thorough understanding of the situation on the ground at our projects, and can guide you towards the best resources to help you make the right decision for you.
We look forward to supporting you and welcome any questions that you might have.
Roger, Anne, Georgie, Jess and Aimee
The Oyster Team
Updated 31st March 2020