COVID-19 Latest Information for Travellers
HEDONISTIC HIKING: COVID-19 LATEST INFORMATION FOR TRAVELLERS
Last updated: May 2022
With international travel around the world opening up once again our tours scheduled for 2022 will go ahead in both Europe and Victoria. In these changing times however there are new aspects to overseas trips which need to be considered by all travellers.
To join a Hedonistic Hiking tour it is mandatory for you to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with a vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This is so we can provide a safe environment (by mitigating health risks) for our staff, our contractors, our suppliers and their staff, and our other guests. It also assists to protect the communities we visit. We will ask you to provide us with evidence of vaccination (or exemption) at least 30 days prior to the start of the tour. As a further important step to protect the health and wellbeing of all involved, we will ask all guests to complete the pre-trip Health Questionnaire and hand it to us on Day 1 of the tour. Depending on your answers, a negative result for a Rapid Antigen Test taken within 48 hours of the tour may be required, so we strongly recommend that you travel with your own supply of testing kits. We will also carry test kits should guests start to feel unwell during a tour.
We have reviewed our Terms & Conditions in line with CATO guidelines (Council for Australian Tour Operators) for both European and Australian tours. These have been updated to include latest industry standards and can be viewed here.
Entry requirements for each European country are different and it is imperative that you have and read and understood what is mandatory. Check on your own government website for the latest details. If you have booked your trip through a Travel Agent they will be able to assist you.
In Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/italy
In the UK: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements
In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/COVID-19-Country-Specific-Information.html
Requirements for returning home also vary from country and country. It is your responsibility to understand the requirements of the country you are travelling to and to build in sufficient time to your travel itinerary after the tour is finished to take relevant tests and wait for results. If you need to show a negative test result for international travel, you should get either a molecular (PCR) or antigen swab test from a testing centre. Lab results for a PCR test usually take a day whereas results for antigen tests take around half an hour. Private tests can be carried out without a prescription at airports, labs, testing centres, or even at your accommodation via private doctors such as Med in Action or Medelit and prices vary from €20 to €100. If you do need to arrange a test during the tour please understand that you will miss part of the itinerary and you will need to organise your own transport to a testing centre. Find more useful information via this link.
It remains necessary to be fully vaccinated to enter Italy. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation advises that any traveller with a foreign vaccination certificate must ensure it contains the following information: the personal details of the holder, the details of the vaccine, the date(s) of administration of the vaccine and the identity of the certificate issuer. The vaccination certificate is valid in Italy indefinitely for those with a third dose booster, following a meeting of the Italian cabinet on February 2. The government decided on new measures including an extension of vaccination certificates beyond six months for those who have completed their booster dose (or have recovered from Covid after completing their initial vaccination cycle). We recommend you carry a paper copy of your vaccine certificate as well as a digital copy.
As of May 1 2022, the Green Pass (a proof of full vaccination) will no longer be required to access most services, including hotels, restaurants, bars, transport (including trains, planes, buses etc), museums and theatres. The exception to this is that the Green Pass (or equivalent) will be required to enter hospital and health services. This is a useful website about the Green Pass.
The wearing of masks is no longer required in hotels, restaurants, bars, shops and supermarkets, but is still be required on public transport and to enter museums, exhibitions, concerts, cinemas and sporting competitions. This ruling is due to be reviewed again on 15 June. Please note that you will need to wear the FFP2/N95 style medical masks. They are widely available and cost around €1.00
We strongly suggest you purchase travel insurance at the time you pay your deposit, as cancellation fees and charges are payable from that time. We recommend a policy from a reputable insurer with COVID-19 travel insurance benefits, such as this one from Covermore. Some airlines are making short-notice schedule changes, so make sure you have a policy which covers you for this disruption.
See our Health and Safety procedures to ensure the wellbeing of our guests, and give reassurance that they can travel with confidence.
Jackie and Mick Parsons