Updated March 10, 2020 at 09:00/
We’re closely following the Coronavirus situation in Europe. Travels with Audrey will be updating this page with current developments and precautions for travelers as events develop. We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty and concern right now, but please rest assured that our team is diligently monitoring the public-health situation. We will keep you up to date about any changes in travel regulations and the spread of the virus. Our guests’ well-being is our top priority and we are proactively working to share helpful information with you.
Travels with Audrey’s Cancellation Policy
Upon acceptance by Travels with Audrey of the 30% deposit (Initial Tour Payment), the signed Liability Waiver and the completed Guest Registration form, dates for the private tour are considered fully purchased and are not subject to cancellation. Trip cancellation and interruption insurance is highly recommended to protect you and your investment in the event of the cancellation, postponement, or discontinuation of the Tour.
If you or your clients have confirmed bookings (that are paid in full or with balances due) regardless of the date of travel in 2020, we will work with you to reschedule your trip (based on availability) or we can issue you a credit for future travel. This credit is equal to the amount already paid, minus non-refundable items.
Rescheduled trips need to be booked and completed by 12/31/2021 and are subject to rate changes based on your new travel dates. If you wish to postpone or keep the credit, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bookings that are deposited and not paid in full will still require payments for balances due and remain non-refundable as per our cancellation policy.
Effects on Travel
The situation is in flux across the globe, including within the United States.
Early Sunday, Conte signed a decree attempting to lock down 16 million people in Italy’s prosperous north — including the entire Lombardy region and 14 provinces in the Piemonte, Veneto and Emilia Romagna regions — until April 3. On Monday, to limit the potential spread of the virus, the Italian government has preemptively introduced restrictions and locked down the country until April 3, 2020. Italy’s prime minister said the quarantine ordered by Rome in the north over the weekend was not enough and so it was extended to the whole country, impacting the country’s 60 million residents. The new decree only prevents people travelling for non-essential reasons.
Italian doctors celebrated one small victory after the first patient diagnosed with the illness, a 38-year-old Unilever worker, was moved out of intensive care and began breathing on his own. But the virus’ rapid spread was forcing them to operate like war-time medics, triaging patients to decide who would receive access to scarce ICU beds.
Travel within the country has been suspended. Public gatherings and organized events of any kind (including sporting events) have been suspended. Communal and social spaces (including gyms, sports centers, pools, wellness centers, pubs, dance schools, gaming halls, bingo rooms, clubs) have been suspended and museums, archaeological sites and cultural spaces are closed. Limitations have been imposed on bars and restaurants. Anyone who wishes to travel is now required to fill out a standardized form justifying their reasons and submit it to authorities at train stations and airports, as well as at major roads between cities.
Please monitor your relevant airline websites for news regarding specific flights, cancellations or fee waivers. Policies may vary from airline to airline. Airports remain open throughout Italy. Air and rail passengers may be subject to medical checks before travelling, so if you have symptoms of fever, difficulty breathing, coughing or sneezing be prepared to be examined.
The US is recommending anyone who has been to Italy to self-isolate for 14 days after returning to the US, and anyone with flu-like symptoms to call ahead before seeking medical help.
Travels with Audrey continues to welcome future bookings to the countries we specialize in.
Precautions For Travelers
Italy has expanded temperature screening to all air travelers upon arrival on all international (including European) and domestic flights arriving in Italy’s major airports as well as upon departure for most non-Schengen countries.
According to the latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control, especially elderly travelers with chronic pre-existing conditions (ex: asthma, heart disease, cancer) should avoid travel to the most affected areas. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.
Travelers should undertake extra precautions similar to flu prevention, including the thorough washing of hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouths with unwashed hands and using alcohol-based hand sanitizers or disinfecting wipes on commonly-touched surfaces.
Travel Warnings & Restrictions
The situation is changing rapidly around the world. During this time, it is important to ensure that you have accurate and up to date information to base your decision on choosing to travel or rescheduling your vacation. When consuming news and updates on the situation in Italy, and elsewhere in Europe, please be sure to consider the source of the information. Here are some excellent sources to consider for up to date information and continue to monitor as well as following me on FB as I regularly post interesting articles for you:
Centers for Disease Control: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/coronavirus-italy
US Center for Disease Control (CDC) Provides information and how to proactively stay healthy: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
World Health Organization: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19
European Centre for Disease and Prevention Control: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/ecdc-statement-rapid-increase-covid-19-cases-italy
US Embassy in Italy: https://it.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/