OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE

EduTravel’s Promise

EduTravel remains committed to providing updates on health and safety protocols prior to (and/or during) the trip.

EduTravel/Experience School’s top priority has always been the health and safety of all trip participants, including staff and driver(s). We will provide documentation to passengers of what to expect on their trip, specific to the trip and destination.

Safety Procedures and Protocols for Travel

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

EduTravel will enforce the mandatory usage of face masks (a 3 layered mask is recommended) at all times on the trip. 

EduTravel will ensure that hand sanitizer will be provided to all participants throughout the trip (on flights, motor coach vehicles, at accommodations and attractions). All participants will apply hand sanitizer upon boarding and disembarking the motorcoach or bus. 

EduTravel will provide small bottles of hand sanitizers and disposable mask(s)  for each participant (comes with your fanny pack).

If requested, EduTravel can provide pre-made packages to include masks that could be distributed daily to all participants. 

All participants must have refillable water bottles with their name clearly visible.

EduTravel strongly encourages individual travellers to bring their own masks. There will always be extra masks available should a participant need a new one.

 

Physical distancing

EduTravel will operate in accordance with the Government of Canada physical distancing standards.

According to the Government of Canada, physical distancing means keeping a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approximately 2 metres) from others as much as possible. When physical distancing is not possible, use of a face mask will be strictly enforced.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has created this infographic, which will be made visible to all participants throughout the duration of the trip. 

https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/publications/disease

s-conditions/coronavirus/social-distancing/physical-distancing-eng.pdf

 

Transportation: Pre-Screening and Screening Measures 

At EduTravel, we will limit our motorcoach and school bus capacity to allow for only 1 person per seat, per row on the vehicle (no one will be sharing a row with side by side seats unless from the same household).

Participants who need to sit closer to the front and/or need to be closer to a friend could be accommodated as a seating plan will be sent out to participants ahead of time. These requests must be communicated and approved prior to trip departure.

The American Bus Association (ABA) recommends loading from the back of the bus to the front and unloading from the front to the back, so travellers do not have to pass others. EduTravel will implement this recommendation. As well, all seats will be assigned with names on the seats. Latecomers may be reassigned to the front of the bus in order to not break physical distancing rules.

When boarding the bus initially, students will listen for their name by the EduTravel staff member, then approach the vehicle. A designated EduTravel staff member will conduct screening protocols which may include: temperature check and/or a written questionnaire. Participants may be asked to submit their pre-screening written questionnaire as an additional screening measure when initially boarding the bus. Participants will receive their pre-screening questionnaires 48 hours prior to departure.

Prior to boarding the bus throughout the trip, all participants will undergo screening by an EduTravel staff member. This screening may include: temperature check and/or a written questionnaire.

At least 48 hours prior to departure, all EduTravel staff (guides, teacher(s), TA(s) and Administrator(s) will undergo screening and/or testing if possible. 

Drivers will also undergo prescreening and screening measures in accordance with OMCA Covid-19 Motor Coach Measures.

Protection Procedures on a Motor Coach from the Ontario Motorcoach Association (OMCA) — Infographic

https://www.omca.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/COVID-19-Protection-Procedures-on-a-Motor-Coach-OMCA.pdf

OMCA’s COVID Safety Video highlights the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on a motorcoach. https://youtu.be/YMt2eVpRwTI 

 

Airlines and Airports

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) issued guidelines that include mock training for all cabin crew members, relating to health and safety to mitigate the spread of germs during COVID-19. IATA recommends cabin crew members and travellers wear masks/face coverings during travel. All EduTravel trip participants will be asked to wear a mask/face covering throughout the duration of the flight.

Airports have taken precautions that include increased cleaning and sanitation protocols, social distancing enforced with signage, and the requirement for both travellers and employees to wear masks/face coverings. Sneeze guards and contactless TSA and boarding checks are being enforced to limit contact between individuals.

Before flying, EduTravel guarantees to check and communicate the following to all trip participants:

  • What the protocols are for wearing face masks in the airport and on the flight. Although each airline has different requirements, we strongly encourage the use of masks in the airport and on the flight;
  • If the outbound airport and airline carrier is conducting temperature checks or any other screening, we will inform our travellers accordingly; and
  • If The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is allowing each traveller to carry up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in their carry-on bag. Currently, they are.

Some suggestions for flight travel:

  • Arrive at your gate earlier than usual. Some airlines may take your temperature and not allow you to board if they believe you have a fever. Hurrying to your gate or rushing groups through the airport is stressful and can raise internal temperatures, making it appear you are running a temperature;
  • Bring an empty water bottle through security and then fill it once you have cleared the area. This ensures you have water and limits the need to buy it or drink water served by flight attendants;
  • Suggested by the TSA: travellers bring their own food. Keep in mind: Carry-on food should be carried in a clear plastic bag or container and should be pulled out while going through security, as it can cause an alarm during x-ray screening.

 

Overnight Trips: Accommodations (Hotels & Student Residences)

The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), endorsed by Hospitality Leaders in Canada, issued “Stay Safe” Guidelines that include social distancing measures such as remaining 6 feet apart, contactless check-in when possible, and keeping housekeepers out of occupied guest rooms until after the participant has checked out. Hand sanitizer stations and health and hygiene signage must and will be placed in high-traffic areas in and around the hotel.

EduTravel will work with the hotels to develop a luggage and equipment handling procedure to ensure minimal handling of tour participants’ luggage.

In lieu of daily housekeeping, EduTravel will ensure that rooms are equipped with ample toiletries and towels/face cloths, etc. for the length of the stay. EduTravel staff and teachers will remind students about good hygiene practices regularly.

As guidelines continue to evolve, EduTravel guarantees to remain informed and updated on each hotel’s individual policies.

All rooms will accommodate double occupancy, and there will be no shared beds under any circumstances.

Under no circumstances may anyone other than you and your roommate enter your room.

EduTravel or hotel/residence staff may be permitted into the room in case of an emergency.

 

Meals

When groups dine at restaurants, EduTravel will practice the following safety measures:

    • EduTravel staff will send the list of participants to the restaurant 24 hours prior to the group arrival;
    • EduTravel will confirm the designated trip Point of Contact (POC) and the Tour Guide contact information the day before the group arrival;
    • All trip participants will remain outside the restaurant unless stated otherwise while 1 tour guide informs the restaurant of the group’s arrival;
    • All participants will sanitize their hands upon entering the restaurant;
    • All participants must wear a mask prior to entering the restaurant, and the mask will remain in place until the food is served;
    • All participants will remain seated with their meal bubble.

When booking meals at restaurants, EduTravel staff will ensure that the restaurants agree to the following safety measures:

    • All employees at the restaurant wear appropriate personal protective equipment;
    • Make sure that all employees respect health and safety measures implemented in the restaurant by asking for detailed accounts and information;
    • Ensure that frequently touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected multiple times daily;
    • Request to redesign the layout of a restaurant to respect physical distancing measures.

 

Preventative measures & contact tracing

All participants are strongly encouraged to download the Covid Alert App. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html

When requested, all participants are required to provide contact information at attractions to allow for contact tracing.

EduTravel will require that all booked vendors must contact EduTravel in the event they are notified of positive cases on dates we are there.  

All participants may be required to sign waivers prior to the trip.

 

What if I or someone on my trip contracts Covid-19?

If a participant feels ill during the trip, the following protocol will be followed:

Isolate that passenger from the rest of the group. If the participant feels ill before getting onto the bus, EduTravel staff will ensure participants travel via taxi or Uber to limit contact with other participants.

Basic screening of participant(s) done by an EduTravel staff member, a designated Point of Contact (POC). There will always be 2 POCs, the trip’s administrator and another EduTravel staff member. If the participant(s) are displaying any symptoms as outlined by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) participant(s) will be brought to a medical facility to get tested.

    • According to PHAC, symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from person to person. They may also vary in different age groups. Some of the more commonly reported symptoms include:
      • New or worsening cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Temperature equal to or over 38°C
      • Feeling feverish
      • Chills
      • Fatigue or weakness
      • Fuscle or body aches
      • New loss of smell or taste
      • Headache
      • Gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting)
      • Feeling very unwell

The designated POC will ensure that parents/guardians are notified. Communication between parents/guardians and EduTravel staff will continue regularly as participant(s) conditions evolve.

EduTravel will ensure that all staff, including the driver, have the locations of medical facilities and testing centres and their protocols on hand.

While participant(s) await testing results, the participant will remain quarantined in isolation at the hotel/residence until test results are confirmed. (Timing of test results may vary). The designated POC will remain in close and safe proximity to the participant(s) to bring meals, check-in, and relay any updates to parents/guardians.

If a participant tests positive for Covid-19, they will follow local jurisdiction and protocols. Depending on the destination, a parent/guardian may be able to pick the participant up, however, please be advised that participant(s) may need to remain in the destination for up to 14-days.

EduTravel will ensure that all trip staff are aware of local protocols for the different destinations and this information will be communicated to parents/guardians prior to trip departure.