Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advice

— 8 Jul 2020 08:20:13 by Kate Moore


Now that travel restrictions to France have been lifted, what are the options for schools with upcoming bookings? 

The information below is based on advice from a broad range of experts, in particular the School Travel Forum, ABTA, the DfE and the Association of British Insurers.

If you are a parent concerned about your child's specific trip, please talk to the school directly as we are in direct contact will all schools due to visit in the coming months.

France is now exempt from the Foreign Office (FCO) essential travel ban

On 3 July, the FCO exempted France from its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel. From 10 July, travellers returning from France will not be required to self-quarantine under the government's air bridges agreement. You can read the latest advice for people travelling to France on the FCO website.

Even though France is now exempt from the FCO travel restrictions, we understand that some groups will be reluctant to travel and so we are offering schools the chance to transfer their 2020 booking to the same week next year. To find out how this would work, please give us a call.

If your group would prefer to cancel the booking completely, then normal cancellations charges will apply, but you may be able to claim for loss of deposits against your school’s insurance or risk protection arrangement. We will provide you with a cancellation statement to support your school’s claim. Please also see the insurance section below for more about claiming for lost deposits.

We are expecting to cap the number of groups staying at the Chateau at any one time which means that if you cancel your 2020 booking, we cannot guarantee to hold your preferred dates next year. At the moment, we are giving first priority to groups who transfer the booking to 2020.

What if the FCO change their travel advice for France? 

If the FCO exemptions change, and they advise against travelling to France at the time you are due to depart, we will do our best to transfer your booking to the equivalent week in 2021. If that proves impossible your group is eligible for a refund for the cost of the trip. 

We are making arrangements to reopen the Chateau to school groups 

We are making arrangements to reopen the Chateau to school groups now travel restrictions have been eased. The safety of our school groups and staff is our utmost priority and the protective measures we put in place at the Chateau will cap the number of schools groups we can accommodate and so availability will be limited, at least in the short term.

 

Need help?

We appreciate that this is a complex decision, and it's difficult to communicate with colleagues and parents at the moment. So if you have any questions, or would prefer to talk through the options by phone, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Contacting your insurer

The Outdoor Advisors Panel (OEAP) and The Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) has been working to help groups claim on their school's insurance insurance for trips which can't go ahead due to school closure. They issued the following statement which has been signed off by the Department for Education:

For domestic visits and visits abroad, which have had to be cancelled as a result of government advice, the advice from the DfE is to contact your insurer.

For those schools who have committed to educational visits which can now not go ahead, the government’s advice issued is sufficient and will allow schools to make an insurance claim against their policy. This includes more complex overseas expeditions, where the duration of school closure and the subsequent lack of organisational and preparation time with the students may mean that a future expedition has become unviable for a school to undertake safely even after the school re-opens.

Outdoor Advisors Panel and the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom 

Joint statement published 25 March 2020

Academies and state maintained schools with RPA

The RPA includes cover for school trip cancellation and the DfE has confirmed that members of the RPA can claim for trips cancelled due to government advice. For more information click on the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-risk-protection-arrangement-rpa-for-schools 

Further information

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced information on travel insurance and school insurance implications following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. If you have any further questions about your cover or would like further reassurance, you should contact your travel insurance provider.

FCO coronavirus travel advice:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus#exceptional-travel-advisory-notices

The government’s travel guidance for educational settings can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-for-educational-settings/coronavirus-travel-guidance-for-educational-settings

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/

 

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