COVID-19 Update No.3 - Moving in the Right Direction.

Moving in the Right Direction

Since the announcement of the Lockdown way back in March, we have been working hard behind the scenes ensuring we are prepared to return to our DofE expedition operations as soon as Government guidance allows.

It is currently impossible to know when we will be able to return to full operations. We are monitoring Government updates and any emerging outdoor industry best practice, in order to ascertain when it will be possible and safe to be operational again. 

In order for this to happen, there are many factors which will need to be in place, not least:

  • Government to ease restrictions enough to allow small groups from different household to collect together for overnight trips.
  • Campsites to be open and accepting camping bookings for tented groups.
  • For accommodation providers, bunkhouse and B&B’s to be allowed to accept bookings for groups from different households.

Due to current restrictions, Programmes due to commence on the 6th July are now postponed. 

We hope that ‘Stage 3’ of the Government’s Road Map (from the 4th July), will enable DofE Expeditions and to re-start our operation, but due to the proximity to the Programme’s start date, there would not be enough time for us to have everything in place. Therefore, if you have a booking for the 6th July expedition, we would ask that you contact us to reschedule to a later date (we would recommend later July onwards).

To view our COVID-19 Rebooking Policy, please view our previous post by clicking HERE.

Potential Re-opening date

We are hopeful that Stage 3 will enable the Programme commencing on the 13th July to take place, but it looks as if we will not be able to guarantee this until 4th July.

We will keep in close contact with all participants booked on this date, and inform you, with as much notice as possible, if we are required to postpone the expedition. We are allowing all participants booked onto our expeditions to move their booking to another date during 2020/2021 with out penalty.

To view our COVID-19 Rebooking Policy, please view our previous post by clicking HERE.

Invoice Balance Payments

Many of you will have received, or will shortly receive, an invoice balance payment request from our automated booking system. These were pre-scheduled, to be sent 8 weeks before the commencement of your original booking. 

Please ignore the request for now, and we will re-issue an invoice for final payment at a later date. 

The deposit you have paid confirms your place on an expedition and will only be resold to another participant should you wish to cancel your booking.

What Happens Next?

We are all still in challenging times and we want to reassure our clients that our overriding principle is to work within Government guidelines and respect everyones safety. We are mindful that health guidelines can be, and are being interpreted in different ways. Therefore, we do not want to rush into operating again with out having clear guidance and plans which we and our clients are comfortable with.

The measures we are considering introducing to keep everyone safe

In order to ensure we are ‘Covid-19 Safe’, we will introduce additional safety measures. These are yet to be finalised, but may include:

  • Single tents for all participants (excluding those from the same household). Participants will not be required to carry a whole tent but will share the components of a tent with others. Additional tents will be delivered to the campsite.
  • Single stoves for everyone’s use. There will be no group cooking.
  • Everyone issued with their own map and compass for the duration of the expedition.
  • All participants will be asked to supply their own face covering and hand sanitiser. 
  • All staff will ensure social distancing during training exercises.
  • All participants will be monitored to ensure they are following social distancing guidelines.
  • Following an expedition, all equipment will be decontaminated and/or placed in quarantine for a minimum of 72 hours. 

Thank you for your continued flexibility and understanding. We are offering all clients the opportunity to change bookings to a later date in 2020 or to place bookings on hold in to 2021, if preferred. Details of the conditions can be found in a previous update. CLICK HERE TO VIEW.  

I realise this is very frustrating for many, as I know you will all want to be completing your programmes with us as soon as possible. Likewise, we are desperate to be operational again. Flexibility is the key and I really appreciate the patience and understanding you have all shown so far.

We are all moving in the right direction and remain positive for the future.

Kindest regards,

Ben Keen
Managing Director

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