On this page we discuss our Protocols and Guidelines as a Tour Operator.
For information from the DC CDC, click here
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Safety while on Tours:
While group leaders, parents, and travel partners continue to navigate the uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and its disruption to education and travel, we at TourDCwithUS have been working hard to develop new protocols around health and safety on our student tours.
Whenever you're ready to plan your next custom-tailored student travel experience, we'll be standing by to guide your every step.
Our new approach includes:
Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for all participants.
Updated guidelines for motor coach, hotel, and restaurant safety.
Revising itineraries to adhere to new requirements at each destination.
TOUR POLICIES & PROCEDURES
What if a participant tests positive for COVID-19?
If a participant feels ill with symptoms of COVID-19 (which include fever, chills/aches, shortness of breath, coughing), our team will immediately facilitate movement of the participant to a location where they can safely be separated from others, while simultaneously engaging our On-Call Physicians or a local medical facility to consult on the next steps, testing, and treatment. Next steps would be:
Establish and coordinate communication with the participant and the family
Facilitate transportation for the participant to a local medical facility
Coordinate quarantine arrangements for the participant, in consultation with local health authorities
Arrange for transportation for a family member to join the ill traveler
Provide guidance to the group to reduce the risk of additional exposure and coordinate testing
Initiate thorough and proper cleaning of all necessary areas, such as hotel rooms, and motorcoaches
We will provide the resources necessary to facilitate the recommended treatment, including an isolated, chaperoned location for the participant to recover and arrangements for a new itinerary to return home.
Will we need to wear masks?
TourDCwithUS will provide disposable masks for our participants, as well as reusable masks for our staff. All participants will need to follow any local, state, or national guidelines, and also follow any site-specific requirements for face coverings, including on the airplane and inside any cultural site or venue that requires a mask.
New Health and Safety Guidelines
At The Airport:
Each airport, and airline, will have its own rules regarding your flight travel, and we recommend you check the website of your airport and carrier now, and at least 72 hours before departing. Temperature checks and face coverings will very likely be a requirement at the airport and on the plane.
Some destinations may require health forms or additional testing/screening prior to arrival, including requirements based on your home state or city. We will make every effort to communicate these requirements in advance.
TourDCwithUS will provide disposable face masks for participants traveling.
Many airport restaurants may not be open, and in-flight food service will not be available, so we recommend packing a meal and snacks for your journey if you are traveling by air.
TSA will allow you to bring hand sanitizer in a container up to 12 ounces in your carry-on.
Your Tour Director:
Your group will be met by a dedicated Tour Director who has been specially trained in specific protocols to help keep the group safe.
Your Tour Director(s) will provide a safety briefing specific to your group to help set expectations for your travel experience.
On the Motor Coach:
We will work with each group and each motor coach company to establish specific loading and unloading procedures to minimize unnecessary touching and passing. Masks will be required while seated in the bus.
The motor coach will be cleaned frequently.
Other changes you might see include plexiglass or empty rows around the motor coach drivers and drivers may be wearing masks.
Hand sanitizer will also be available on the motor coach.
Our moto coach partners may have company' based rules above and beyond our own. We expect our guests to follow such guidelines.
At the Hotel:
Our check-in process will be modified to limit interaction with other guests at the hotel. This may mean private entrances, fewer people in the lobby, and fewer people in the elevator.
We’ve worked with our hotel partners to ensure the highest standards in cleanliness in the hotels prior to your arrival, which will include disinfection of surfaces inside rooms and extra cleaning on high contact areas such as light switches, doorknobs, and TV remotes. Once the room has been expertly cleaned, hotel staff will not enter unless specifically requested.
Hotel guests should expect limited food and beverage options inside the hotel and limited or no property amenities (e.g. pools, gyms, etc.).
TourDCwithUS will offer upgrades related to room occupancy. We will also work with families traveling together to encourage rooms based on family units, and limit roommate switching on programs that travel between cities.
Our team is working closely with our contacts at museums, landmarks, and other sites we visit. Together, we will define specific (and evolving) protocols for groups to make sure the experience is both safe and fun.
Based on what we learn, we may make changes to your itinerary to ensure we have plenty of time to accommodate the new way of doing things. We will also make sure to focus your time on places where you have the most freedom to explore.
We will take plenty of breaks for washing hands.
Many of the sites we visit will require face coverings and have new rules for security and group management. You should be prepared to follow the instructions of your Tour Director and staff at all locations you visit. We recommend you bring a clear purse or backpack or a gallon-sized ziploc bag, as some sites will not allow traditional bags.
We will use our local knowledge and strong relationships to select restaurants following strict hygiene practices to keep participants safe.
Where possible, we will arrange for private or separate seating.
Pre-orders may be required in some situations, particularly when we provide box or carry-out meals in order to allow the group to eat outside or in a location where additional social distancing is possible.
TourDCwithUS LLC, a family based company in Washington, DC. is continuously monitoring the coronavirus with the support of our medical and risk management partners. We understand you have questions so we have created some Frequently Asked Questions to better help you stay informed.
What will flying be like?
If you are flying to your destination, each airline we work with has slightly different processes and protocols to respond to COVID-19. We recommend you check the website of your airline for the most up-to-date information. Airlines are deep cleaning between flights, some are reducing flight capacity, and some require passengers to wear face coverings while on board. Additionally, food service on the plane is either not available or pre-packaged, and so we recommend packing a meal and snacks, particularly if you are flying around a meal time.
What will you be doing to keep students safe on tour?
For programs in process and when our tours and events resume, we are working to refine some of our procedures to prevent the spread of germs and to be ready for any emergencies.
We have implemented additional training for our staff to encourage best hygiene practices to prevent the virus.
We’ve been in touch with motor coach and hotel partners, and they are educating their staff about additional cleaning to prevent the spread of germs. In addition, we have asked them to have extra supplies of hand sanitizer available for our travelers to use during their trip. We are following news closely from cities and other local officials about efforts to improve cleanliness in many of the destinations where we travel.
We’ve revised our health and safety protocols, outlining how to immediately engage our resources if corona-virus is suspected.
Safe practices for Motor-Coach and Tour Guides:
Bus company will clean, wipe every seat before meeting the Group
Bus company will make sure the drivers have not shown any symptoms of COVID-19 and appear in good health for at least two weeks before the tour
Disinfectant wipes will be on the bus for group to use
Hand sanitizers will be available at the entrance of the bus.
These are safe practices we are implementing on all of our Tours:
Students will wipe their seats, surrounding areas, including their cellphones every single time we load the bus
We will avoid mixing with other groups while we are out at Monuments and Memorials
While on tour students will always stay with their chaperones. This will help minimize student contact with other schools and strangers. It will also help chaperones monitor that best practices are in place
Please be aware of what you and your students are touching: handrails, trays, exchanging money, souvenirs, etc. Always carry your hand sanitizer and wash your hands constantly
These are a few of the guidelines we are implementing on all of our tours to make sure your students stay safe and healthy. We will still carry on with our normal Itinerary mixing fun and learning and making sure your kids have an unforgettable trip to Washington, D.C.
What can I do to stay healthy?
To keep yourself and others safe and healthy:
Comply with special instructions issued by local officials.
Adhere to known, effective best practices to minimize your chance of catching respiratory infections:
Do not touch any part of your face without first washing your hands.
Avoid contact with persons who are already ill.
Avoid unnecessary touching of other persons (e.g. shaking hands in greeting) and limit touching publicly-shared surfaces where possible.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Carry hand sanitizer (60-95% alcohol) and use it for situations where hand washing might not be possible.
When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue or in your elbow.
Any Questions? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org