— 1 Sep 2021 08:20:13 by Kate Moore
This guide explains the current travel advice and summarises the options for school groups with an upcoming booking.
Parents please note that we are in contact with all the groups booked to travel this term and so please talk directly to the school if you have questions about your child's specific trip.
On 19 July the Department for Education clarified its advice on school trips abroad to confirm that, subject to domestic and international travel advice, English schools can take trips abroad in the autum term 2021.
Our French centres have been open throughout 2021 to domestic visitors and local French school groups which means that we are more than ready to host school groups from the UK.
We have updated our group safety and wellbeing protocols, in line with French and English government advice, so that you can still enjoy an incredible school trip, with the same activities and quality learning experiences, but with extra COVID-19 precautions.
Please visit our COVID-19 resources centre to find everything you need to confidently plan your return to Normandy.
We take our lead from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the government authority on safety, security and entry requirements for British people travelling overseas.
At time of writing, the UK is on France's amber list. This means that fully vaccinated adults, and children travelling with fully vaccinated adults, can visit France for non-essential purposes such as school trips.
Under current rules, unvaccinated children aged 12 years old or more travelling with a fully vaccinated adult are required to present a negative test result (PCR or antigen) to enter France. Further COVID-19 tests might also be required for certain unvaccinated children depending on the trip's length. Requirements are subject to change and you can read the current rules for people travelling to France on the FCDO website.
France is currently on England's amber list which means all travellers are subject to certain re-entry requirements. You can read the current rules relating to groups entering the UK from amber countries here. Note that different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If testing is required when you are due to travel, then we will organise a private testing company to conduct the necessary tests at our Normandy centres so you trip is not disrputed.
Government travel advice is under constant review and so we are in regular contact with all the groups due to visit us in the autumn to keep them updated. If you would like to postpone your trip, please contact us to discuss the options.
If, when your group is due to depart, the FCDO advise against travel to France, then we would work with you to postpone the trip to a later date or find you a suitable alternative. If that proves impossible, we will cancel your trip and your group will be eligible for a refund. The same is true if travel rules dictate that you are required to quarantine on arrival in France.
If the FCDO allows travel to France at the time of your planned departure, then your group is free to travel and we will honour your booking. However, we understand that some groups might still be reluctant to travel at this time and so we are offering schools the chance to transfer their booking to 2022. Not only does this remove any uncertainty about the upcoming trip, but also means that parents need pay nothing more until next year.
If you are unable to postpone to 2022 you could consider cancelling your trip, but this option hinges on your school's insurance because your group will incur cancellations charges as per our booking conditions. Please note that if you cancel your booking, we cannot guarantee to hold your preferred dates next year. At the moment, we are giving first priority to groups who have transfered their group booking to the following year.
We appreciate that this is a complex decision and so if you have any questions, or would prefer to talk through the options by phone, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Our COVID-19 travel resources hub provides all the information you need to plan your return to Normandy such as COVID-19 travel insurance, booking flexibility and information to support an enhanced risk assessment for your next trip.
Our full terms and conditions regarding accommodation for your trip can be found at: https://www.the-chateau.com/safety/the-company/class-tours-limited-booking-conditions/
Our full terms and conditions regarding transport for your trip can be found at: https://www.the-chateau.com/safety/the-company/castaway-school-travel-booking-conditions/
Information is subject to change and correct as at 1 September 2021.