Dear Ride and Seekers
With the COVID-19 -coronavirus still dominating the headlines I wanted to reach out to let you know our thoughts on the situation and attempt to assuage any concerns you have. Like you we have been watching closely to determine what impact the new virus means for our families, friends, and businesses.
From our perspective, we are committed to running any of the tours on the Tour Schedule in 2020 that we are permitted to, and our medical committee deems it safe to do so. At this point in time, we have given the green light to 3 tours in 2020 – Hannibal – Across the Alps, Marco Polo – Venice to Athens, and Strzelecki – Sydney to Melbourne. We decided to defer the iron Curtain and Conquest of the Moors Tours to 2021 under advice from the committee.
With regards to the tours due to run we appreciate that this is a dynamic situation that is changing daily though. After months of changing plans, we are not naive about the changing nature of this pandemic and are fully accepting that we might still need to cancel these tours. Indeed, our revised terms & conditions are geared to provide flexibility to change plans up until 14 days prior to departure this year and beyond.
In terms of proactive measures we have taken, the points below relate to tangible changes we have made to the tours. Our COVID19 ‘On Tour Health And Safety Protocol’ also provides more details about some of the specific measures we have in place and the references we have used to put it together.
- Creating new route options for bypassing the most ‘at risk’ areas that the tours travel through if required.
- Taking provisional hotel bookings along the ‘new’ routes until we can make a definitive call on the situation.
- Putting in place clear protocols on tour to reduce the risk of contamination with a particular focus on snack and lunch stops.
- Revisiting our risk assessment strategies in terms of dealing with illness on tour and the emergency procedures we have in place.
- Researching the information available from health authorities about COVID-19 and keeping abreast of updates from governments, airlines, and insurance companies.
In regard to the tours that will run in 2020 and into 2021 we believe that offering increased booking and cancellation flexibility is key and we invite you to read our updated Terms and Conditions that designed to this end.
At this point, it feels like we need to take some time to see how the situation will play out, and hopefully, our revised terms provide both reassurance and a practical approach in this context. My ‘glass half full’ side also believes that the upcoming tours will benefit from fewer crowds in the places we visit, as was found by our cyclists on the Maori tour in New Zealand back in February.
For now, it is important to keep abreast of the information from our most trusted sources. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)- https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/ – and World Health Organisation are a good place t0 start – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
I hope this position doesn’t come across as making light of this serious situation but rather offers a practical approach for both those who wanted to both postpone tours and those determined to be on the tours they are already booked on.
This situation is very much top of mind for all of us at Ride and Seek, as well as yourselves, so I invite anyone who wishes to tee up a chat with me to send me an email to [email protected]. Please do not hesitate to reach out anytime.
Here’s hoping that this situation will calm down sooner rather than later and we can all go back to doing what we enjoy most and ride our bikes in amazing places!
Kindest regards to you all,
Founder & Director at Ride and Seek
P +33 66 696 3431 (Office GMT+1:00)
E [email protected]