Tropical Birding Tours - Covid Policies
Updated 5 October 2021
Vaccines are now generally available to anyone who wants them, and all of our tour leaders have now been fully vaccinated. Due to this, we are changing our policies for anyone joining a Tropical Birding tour.
In order to maximize the safety of tour participants and tour leaders, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to join a Tropical Birding tour. Fully vaccinated means that you have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine (e.g. Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac), or have received a single-dose vaccine (e.g. Johnson & Johnson), and it has been at least two weeks since your final dose.
All Tropical Birding tour leaders and tour participants will be expected to follow existing CDC guidelines as well as any local governmental regulations on mask use. This generally means that you will be expected to mask up in indoor settings that include people outside of the tour group, except while eating or drinking. You must bring your own masks from home, they will not be supplied to you, though the tour leader usually carries some spares for emergencies.
Since we are now requiring participants to be vaccinated, Tropical Birding will not require a negative test. However, many destinations still require a negative PCR test in order to enter, and you are responsible for arranging that test and ensuring that you obtain the results in a timely fashion. Tropical Birding Tours will not make refunds if you cannot join a tour for failing to get a test, or if you cannot travel due to a positive test. Please keep that in mind during the time leading up to your departure, and consider taking typical precautions like avoiding large gatherings and masking up indoors in public places during the two weeks leading up to your trip.
The US and many other countries require a negative test to return home. While Tropical Birding will help make arrangements for these tests, this may require some adjustments to the published itinerary in order to accommodate them. These tests are not included in the tour fee. Please bring sufficient cash to cover the cost of the test.
We recommend that you bring at least one home antigen testing kit on every tour. These are available from most pharmacies. This way, if you think you may have been exposed or are experiencing symptoms you can quickly test yourself. Please make sure you bring the instructions as they can be quite different from kit to kit, and keep in mind that while these tests are quite good, no Covid test is 100% accurate. Even fully vaccinated folks can (and do) contract Covid, often asymptomatically.
It is strongly recommended that all participants joining a Tropical Birding tour have personal health insurance that covers any costs relating to Covid (or any other medical issue) as well as emergency evacuation. For some destinations, this is a requirement for entry. Please check the policy carefully to ensure it provides strong coverage and covers Covid-related expenses. Tropical Birding does not provide or arrange insurance; this is your responsibility. If you are uninsured and have a medical issue during the tour, the costs to you could be extremely high, especially if emergency evacuation is required.
COSTS RELATED TO COVID
All costs arising from any Covid-19-related issues are not included in the tour fee, and you are responsible for these. These include, but are not restricted to testing, medical fees, emergency room visits, ambulances, and transport, accommodation, and flight change fees required due to possibly quarantine or other Covid-related travel interruption.
If you are taking any critical medication, please make sure you have enough to last you for at least 14 additional days beyond the length of your tour. This is just in case a positive Covid test result at the end of your tour results in a delay in returning home.