We are excited to travel with you soon! And we are thankful you’ve chosen us for your adventure in Italy. The well-being of our community of travelers, guides, locals, hosts, and partners remains our priority. In light of COVID-19, we want you to clearly understand our COVID-related policies, as well as your responsibilities and commitment to our collective well-being.
Importantly, in choosing to participate, each of you must carefully review and sign a Supplemental COVID Addendum to the Terms and Conditions.
Although many of us want to leave COVID-19 behind, future conditions regarding COVID variants and infection rates are uncertain. The risk of contracting COVID or any other communicable or contagious disease is an inherent risk of social exposure and travel, regardless of vaccination status. Please see what the CDC is currently saying about the risks of international travel here. As we endeavor to manage these risks, we recognize that our participants are critical partners in this effort.
It is important that you respect and abide by these policies and procedures. Some of these policies we will plan and prepare for. In other cases, we will stay current with changing information and may amend these policies, as appropriate, or as required by authorities.
Here’s what we’re asking from you:
- Provide proof of being fully vaccinated according to current CDC guidelines for COVID both at the time of registration and the time of the trip.
- Familiarize yourself with Italy’s safety protocols and requirements before traveling. Since these are in a state of flux, the most up-to-date information can be found here.
- If you’re traveling to and from the U.S., stay up to date on requirements for travelers entering and leaving the US as well. You can find those here. If you are traveling from another country, stay abreast of requirements for your country as well.
- Familiarize yourself with our COVID-related trip procedures.
- Provide evidence of medical travel insurance that includes hospitalization and quarantine coverage for COVID.
- Should it be required, participants should be prepared to pay the cost of a COVID test.
- We strongly recommend booking your flights through a reputable travel agent so that you can be sure that your plans meet the shifting requirements for travel during this time. This includes being aware of the rules and requirements of any country you may be transiting through. Booking flights online through discount websites where there are few or no recourses for customers is definitely not recommended in this time of uncertainty.
Key to our success will be our partnership with our participants. The risks of COVID transmission to anyone, including you, can occur both in the trip community and in your home community as you move into, and then out of trip, even if you are fully vaccinated – with your actions potentially impacting both communities. As a result, participants share in the responsibility for their own and others’ well-being. In that regard, we ask that you make a commitment to honor the COVID precautions not only when you are on our trip, but also before you arrive. You are then partnering as an active risk manager in an effort to assist both communities.
We also ask you to disclose to us before the trip starts, whether, within the prior week, you have exhibited any COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms or been exposed to anyone known to have COVID-19.
We will work to maintain open lines of communication with you and will be updating you as to any modifications in our COVID trip policies before your arrival and upon arrival. Please contact Graseilah at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
We look forward to enjoying our Italian adventure together!
Laura & Graseilah
COVID-Related Trip Procedures
BEFORE THE TRIP:
- All participants must be fully vaccinated according to current CDC guidelines for COVID-19 both at the times of registration and of the trip.
- If you are at higher risk for complications related to COVID-19 or have other serious medical conditions, we strongly recommend that you consult with your medical provider to assess your risk and determine whether our trip is appropriate for you at this time. The Villa is located in the countryside, far from major cities, so immediate emergency medical intervention is not readily available. Please review the CDC resources regarding those at higher risk.
- In the weeks leading up to your departure to Italy, take extra precautions in your daily life to minimize your risk of coming down with COVID or any other illness that might prevent you from participating in our trip.
- Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 the morning of our first meeting will not be able to attend the retreat. Anyone who tests positive during the retreat will be required to leave the Villa and asked to quarantine at a safe location. Should it be necessary, we will assist anyone in this position in making this transition.
- All costs related to evacuation, quarantine, or changed travel arrangements will be the responsibility of the participant.
- Packing list to include a thermometer, two rapid tests, hand sanitizer you can carry in your bag, as well as an adequate supply of N-95 or KN-95 masks. Policies about mask wearing will be determined at the time of the trip, depending on changing conditions.
- You can order fun, colorful KN-95 masks here.
DURING THE TRIP:
- All staff and participants may be required to wear face masks in vehicles.
- All participants and staff are encouraged to wash hands as directed by the CDC. Due to the nature of our trips, there may be times when it makes more sense to use hand sanitizer rather than soap and water.
- When possible, dining will be al fresco at lodges and restaurants.
- If anyone experiences any flu-like symptoms during our trip, they will be physically distanced from the rest of the group and a determination will be made to seek definitive care. Symptomatic individuals will be required to wear a face mask at all times until reaching definitive care.
Travel Insurance & Covid
Travel Insurance is required for this trip. At a minimum, you need insurance to cover the standard $1,000,000 medical evacuation coverage, trip cancellation, trip interruption and trip delay coverage, $100,000 in medical coverage including hospitalization due to COVID-19, and if available in your state, coverage that will cover you should you need to quarantine.
You should not buy the add-on travel insurance offered when you buy your airline tickets. Also, do not assume that the travel policy that may be included as part of your credit card benefits will be adequate or provide everything you need.
It’s essential that you do your own due diligence because policy provisions vary by company, state, and depend on your age, and sometimes pre-existing conditions. You can have a travel agent arrange for your insurance or you can do your own research—but do your research.
These are some of the questions you’ll want ask:
- Under what circumstances can I cancel my trip and have it be fully refunded?
- Will the insurer refund the full cost of my trip and all travel costs if I have a positive COVID test before I embark? What documentation and evidence are necessary to claim this benefit?
- What if I have to quarantine in the country I’m visiting, am returning to, or are transiting through? What will and won’t I be covered for?
- What if a country I am traveling to, through, or from changes their policies immediately before or during my trip?
- If 70 or older, do you cover travelers 70 and older?
- What about my pre-existing conditions? What do I need to know?
Also, important to note:
- In most instances, insurance MUST be purchased within 14 days of your first booking date if you want the pre-existing exclusion to be waived.
- Some companies may treat COVID-19 like any other illness, but not all insurance companies do. Some companies exclude coverage for COVID-19—which will not provide adequate coverage for this trip. Please be sure to ask.
- If your country requires a mandatory test on return or departure, these are not covered by insurance, but will need to be paid out of pocket.
- Cancel-for-any-reason or interrupt-for-any-reason insurance is also available.
- Be sure to remain flexible with other travel arrangements. You should have the ability to change or cancel your hotel and airline reservations, if needed. Special internet deals, promotional airfares, or reservations from discounted online travel engines will not be appropriate.
- Your initial deposit for this trip is not refundable. After February 1, 2023, the only refunds offered for this trip will be through travel insurance. Trip protection insurance is the best way to protect your investment. Be sure you understand what your insurance will and won’t cover.