COVID-19 (Coronavirus) travel update
Updated Thursday 30th April 2020
Firstly, we wanted to thank you for your patience. We apologise that we may not have been able to provide our usual levels of service whilst we have made arrangements for a number of our staff to work from home.
During this time, we have been working hard to determine how best we are able to support and advise our customers.
Schools travelling from the Republic of Ireland
On the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team the Government is advising against all non-essential travel overseas until further notice. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. For more information click here
Schools travelling from Northern Ireland
We have engaged with a number of professional, trade and other organisations within the youth and educational travel sector to understand the impact of the guidance issued by the UK Government, including specific restrictions imposed by the Department for Education (“DfE”). We have also researched the position with the Association of British Insurers (“ABI”) who represent the UK insurance industry.
If the current advice from the UK Government means your group will be unable to travel, and this therefore has resulted in the cancellation of your trip, we are very pleased to advise the following:
- The ABI advises that schools should be able to make an insurance claim against their policy where government advice has prevented the trip from going ahead. https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/coronavirus-hub/insurance-for-schools/
- The School Travel Forum (“STF”), also has confirmation from the DfE, that schools who are members of the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) scheme will be able to claim for trips cancelled in this academic year https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-risk-protection-arrangement-rpa-for-schools#full
- The STF together with the Outdoor Education Advisors Panel (“OEAP”), the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (“CLOtC”) and the Association of School and College Leaders (“ASCL”) are all working closely with schools and school travel operators to provide clarity and they have issued joint advice confirming that the government actions will allow schools to make an insurance claim
- For schools and groups who are not members of the Risk Protection Arrangement, the ABI advice would suggest that you will be able to claim on your General Liability Insurance where government advice has prevented the trip from going ahead, but we recommend that you check with your insurance provider.
Transfer to a new date
If you have chosen to defer your trip, then confirmation of this new booking will follow shortly, if you have not already received this.
Travel After 01 June 2020
We do understand that there is considerable uncertainty about when and how restrictions on school travel will be lifted. We are monitoring Government advice closely and we will be in touch should we be forced to make any changes to your trip.
We will of course reopen our office as soon as it is safe to do so, and we will be in touch to plan the specifics of your future trip.
We thank you for your support at a time we know has been uncertain and challenging for schools and organisations working with young people and we look forward to looking after you and your groups as soon as government advice allows.