We have now run two expeditions (Azores and Sweden) successfully without Covid incidences. As a result we are suspending, with immediate effect, all of our Covid restrictions and processes except these:
- We still require expeditioners to be fully vaccinated, including a booster vaccination. There is no time limit on when the vaccinations must have been received, as long as expeditioners are fully vaccinated and boostered with a vaccine that is either approved by or under the assessment of the WHO.
- We will still require you to perform a rapid Covid self-test at the beginning of each expedition group (test supplied by Biosphere Expeditions).
- We will still require expeditioners to bring some additional self-test kits and masks, just in case. How many of each depends on the expedition and this will be communicated to members of each expedition about six weeks in advance.
If this situation changes, we will notify everyone here.
Please also note that our normal terms & conditions now apply again to all expedition signups.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What constitutes “fully vaccinated”?
You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after you get your second dose of a two-dose or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. Currently, there is no time limit after vaccination on your fully vaccinated status, but this is likely to change soon in most countries.
What type of proof of vaccination do you accept?
Any reasonable type. This may be a vaccination certificate on a national app, a letter by a doctor or vaccination facility, an entry in a vaccination booklet or on a vaccination card. All proofs must show your full name, the date of the vaccination and which vaccine you have been given. If your proof is a hardcopy, please bring the original with you, not copies or photos. If you are in any doubt, please send us a scan or photo of the proof for verification first.
I will need to provide a negative test to get into the expedition host country. Do I still have to perform a lateral flow test immediately before the expedition departs?
Yes, you do. Everyone will have to undergo a lateral flow test when the expedition first assebles. The reason is that travelling will have exposed you to an increased risk of infection and we want to make sure – as much as this is possible – that we start the expedition infection-free.
Do I need to bring my own flow tests and masks?
Yes, you do. They are easily available from pharmacies, supermarkets etc. and not expensive. Exactly how many tests and masks you need to bring, will be announced at least six weeks before the expedition starts.
What happens when I or someone else on the expedition tests positive?
This will depend on the regulations of the country we are in. It may be enough to isolate the person who has tested positive and the rest of the expedition team can continue under a strict and frequent testing regime (this is where the home test kits you will bring with you will come into play, for example). Where isolation within the expedition base is possible, we will offer you the option of doing this. This is at the easy end of the scale. At the other end of the scale is stopping and disbanding the expedition with de-central isolation of the whole expedition team, if local regulations require this or if this is the prudent thing to do. We will always try our best to help you avoid additional costs and hassle, but you must come prepared, adequately financed and/or insured for eventualities and additional costs. For example, as soon as an expedition is stopped or when you are leaving an expedition (voluntarily or because you are required by local regulations to do so), then you must cover all costs yourself. This may include hotel or hospital stays for quarantine periods required by local laws, additional Covid tests, health care costs, missed flights due to quarantining etc. It is impossible for us to predict what the regulations in each expedition host country will be in the future. Suffice it to say that we will have a plan before each expedition starts (and communicate this to you), but you must also think about eventualities yourself and make sure you come on the expedition adequately financed/covered/insured for the example situations described above, as well as any others that may arise. In this context, insurances vary widely and it is up to you to decide what cover, if any, you want to purchase. Because policies vary widely and change frequently, we have no partner insurers or recommendations.
What about getting into the expedition host country?
This is still your responsibility. The host country requirements for entry (there is a good worldwide overview on https://infopages.traveldoc.aero/information/coronavirus) will differ from our requirements for expedition participation. It is your responsibility to make sure you fulfil both so that you can firstly get into the expedition host country and secondly take part in the expedition once you have arrived in-country.
Why are you creating all these rules?
The end goal is to run expeditions in a safe and responsible environment, especially whilst the pandemic is still with us, and empower all those who are not anti-vaxxers to be able to attend.
Are these rules set in stone?
No. The pandemic situation is fluid and changes likely. When we do make changes, we will let you know. The further away in time your expedition is, the more likely changes are. At the moment these are likely to be relaxations, but who know what other surprises the virus has in store for us. We will keep you updated.