Safety and Experience | EF Ultimate Break
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Your safety matters most

As the world opens and we all get ready to travel again, your health and safety will continue to be our top priority.

Our safety measures

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A worldwide presence

EF has the largest worldwide network of support teams and in-country experts to monitor the COVID situation as well as other world events such as Ukraine. EF has staff on the ground, 365 days a year, in over 50 countries to assist you in times of need. Our Safety & Incident Response team is available 24/7 and we have a resource network of industry experts, healthcare professionals, and government personnel who liaise with local embassies, government authorities, and health providers.

In addition, EF is following the COVID protocols and recommendations established by the WTTC. These include health, hygiene and social distancing guidelines. We have strong, long-established relationships with some of the largest airline, hotel, and transportation companies. These partnerships, along with our leadership roles in major industry organizations, mean that we are actively shaping new worldwide cleanliness and safety standards.

Traveler health

Given the evolving COVID situation, we are currently requiring all travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID. As of June 1, 2022, U.S. tours (only) will not require vaccination. Full vaccination is defined as 2 weeks (14 days) after the second/only dose of an FDA emergency-approved vaccine.

In addition, all travelers regardless of vaccination status must receive a negative COVID test in accordance with the country requirements or if the destination does not require testing, at least 24 hours prior to departure.

Travelers should monitor their online account for specific country requirements such as vaccine validity and exact testing requirements. Some countries may require a specific test to enter and/or require that travelers last dose of vaccine and or booster was received within a certain timeframe of arrival in order to enter country and or venues such as restaurants and museums. Please note that country and EF requirements can change at any time based on changing conditions.

Travel preparation

All travelers will receive information about local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations expected to be in place during their tour by 45 days before departure. Travelers are expected to comply with safety measures outlined in our Safe Traveler Agreement 30 days prior to departure as well as all local guidelines and regulations. See the current version of the agreement here.

On-tour experience

Portions of your tour may be adjusted for COVID or other world events as we continuously work with our local partners such as tourist sites and restaurants to provide as safe an experience as possible. Examples may include avoiding crowded locations at peak times as well as itinerary alterations to follow local guidance and recommendations.

Hotels

We partner with hotels that practice enhanced cleaning measures such as frequent cleaning of common areas and thoroughly disinfecting guest rooms between customers.

Private motor coach

Your private coach will be thoroughly cleaned daily and high touch areas will be wiped down throughout the day. Our bus drivers will be trained in best practices to provide the safest possible environment.

Hand sanitizer & face masks

Hand sanitizer will be provided on the bus, but we recommend travelers bring their own personal hand sanitizer. We require all travelers to wear a mask on tour when required by local law, other relevant authorities, or at the direction of their Tour Director or EF staff. Vaccination status or recent COVID recovery does not exempt travelers from wearing masks.

Tour Director & local staff

All our local staff, including your expert Tour Director, will be ready to explain guidelines in the destinations you are traveling to. Your Tour Director and EF Global Emergency Support team are trained how to support travelers should you feel ill during your trip.

EF COVID Care Promise

If your trip is postponed due to travel restrictions, COVID or other safety concerns, we’ll notify you by 45 days before departure. You can reschedule to a different trip or a later date for free, or receive a future travel voucher for 100% of the money you’ve paid.

If you are either diagnosed with COVID or required to quarantine on account of COVID while on tour through 2023, EF will provide or arrange for the following, consistent with local requirements, at no additional expense throughout the duration of any on-tour quarantine period:

  • Lodging and meals
  • EF representatives available to support the traveler and to coordinate with local authorities on their behalf where necessary
  • Assistance connecting with local health care providers*
  • Translation services
  • Communication between the traveler and the traveler’s family back home
  • EF arranged flights home, based on existing itinerary, for the traveler once cleared to return
  • Voucher for missed time on tour

*Travelers are responsible for their own medical costs; we highly encourage travelers to confirm their current health insurance includes coverage while traveling domestically or internationally or purchase trip protection that includes medical coverage through EF or another provider.

Safety first, national parks second.

See highlights from our recent national parks trip—new safety guidelines were in place, but it was the same awe and wonder you'd expect. We're ready for 2021 to continue doing what we do best: helping make your dream trips as stress-free as possible.

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“I feel like EF Ultimate Break staff did a phenomenal job at keeping us all protected by enforcing masks, sanitizers, and antiseptic wipes. As a Registered Nurse who has worked with COVID patients in the Intensive Care Unit, I can say from a professional standpoint that EFUB did everything to keep the health of their travelers as a top priority.”
—Macie S., EF Ultimate Break traveler

World Events Update

(Updated April 1, 2022)

We continue to closely monitor the COVID situation and as well as events in the Ukraine. We are in constant communication with our offices around the world. Given the evolving nature of both situations‚ we will continue to follow guidance from the U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization and respond quickly to any new developments.

We are currently running tours to most destinations. We are notifying travelers whether their tour is able to run at least 45 days before departure. If a tour is able to run, we will notify travelers of the requirements and current local conditions for that tour when the tour is confirmed. If a traveler does not want to travel at that time, they can reschedule their tour to a late date or tour or receive a Future Travel Voucher for 100% of their money paid.

If a tour is unable to be run due to travel bans, governmental orders, public health advisories or other local conditions, travelers have the option to reschedule their tour to another tour or a later date or receive a Future Travel Voucher for 100% of their money paid. If travelers choose not to rebook or receive a Future Travel Voucher, they can call us at 1-800-766-2645 to request a refund for monies paid minus cancellation and other non-refundable fees.

Future Travel Vouchers issued through 2022 can be applied to any travel booked prior to 12/31/2022, for departures before 9/30/2024. EF Future Travel Vouchers can also be used with any other EF travel or language product.

Furthermore, we have adjusted our rebooking and cancellation policies through August 31, 2022:

Any 2022 traveler who purchased Travel Protection can rebook to any other departure date and/or tour itinerary at no penalty up to 60 days before departure.

Travelers who cancel will be refunded the balance paid minus the below updated cancellation fees and any other non-refundable fees such as Travel Protection.

• 365+ days before departure = $150
• 61-364 days before departure = $450
• 60-31 days before departure = $2,000
• 30 days or fewer before departure = Full balance paid
• If travelers rebook from one trip to another, they are subject to the higher of what the original cancellation fee on their original trip would have been or the current cancellation fee.

FAQs

What options do I have if I want to change my tour due to COVID or world events?

To support travelers and provide more flexibility, we are amending our rebooking policy through August 31, 2022. Travelers who purchased Travel Protection can rebook their 2022 tour up to 60 days before departure to another date or trip in 2022 or 2023 with no rebooking fee.

Do I have to be vaccinated to travel?

Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID pandemic around the world, all travelers must currently be fully vaccinated for all trips. As of June 1, 2022, U.S. tours (only) will not require vaccination. Full vaccination occurs two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. In addition, some countries may require that travelers last dose of vaccine and/or booster was received within a certain timeframe of arrival in order to enter.

Do I need to get a COVID test before traveling?

Yes, all travelers must receive a negative COVID test before departure. Travelers must meet the country requirements or if none, must test within 24 hours of departure. Travelers should monitor their online account for tour specific entry requirements.

What if I’m booked but not planning on being vaccinated?

We understand that vaccination is a personal decision. EF wants you to have a choice in when and how you are comfortable traveling. Therefore, if you prefer to rebook to a later date or to a U.S. tour due to current vaccination requirements, give us a call before 60 days before departure at 1-800-766-2645 and we can review all your flexible rebooking options.

Will I need to wear a mask on tour?

We require all travelers to wear a mask on tour when required by local law, other relevant authorities, or at the direction of their Tour Director or EF staff. Currently travelers who have been vaccinated and/or recently recovered from COVID are not exempt from wearing masks.

Who is responsible for finding, facilitating and paying for COVID tests required by the CDC for re-entry into the U.S. or to travel between countries on tour?

EF Ultimate Break will assist travelers in scheduling with local testing facilities. Travelers will be responsible for covering the cost of the COVID-19 test. We recommend budgeting $100.

Should a new COVID testing requirement arise while on tour, who is responsible for finding, facilitating and paying for the test?

EF Ultimate Break will assist travelers in scheduling tests with local testing facilities or telehealth providers. Travelers will be responsible for covering the cost of the COVID test. We recommend budgeting $100.

What other safety guidelines should I be aware of on tour?

Travelers are expected to comply with safety measures outlined in our Safe Traveler Agreement 30 days prior to departure as well as all local guidelines and regulations. See the current version of the agreement here. Our global team has worked hard to make our trips the safest way to the see the world. See how we do it here.

What else may be different about my trip?

Some aspects of your tour experience might be impacted by local restrictions such as businesses operating at reduced hours and/or reduced capacity. In some rare cases, we may need to adjust the itinerary. Restrictions and itinerary adjustments will be communicated to travelers at least 45 days before departure.

What if I am exposed to COVID and need to quarantine/miss part of my tour?

If you are either diagnosed with COVID or required to quarantine on account of COVID while on tour in 2022, EF will provide or arrange for support including lodging, meals, translation services, and more at no additional cost. EF will also provide a voucher for missed time on tour.

Do I need travel insurance?

We believe it’s important to be protected while traveling and encourage all travelers to purchase travel insurance. That’s why we offer affordable Travel Protection, designed specifically to meet the needs of EF travelers, which can be purchased during checkout or through your online account.

I purchased Travel Protection; can I file a claim due to COVID?

EF Ultimate Break travelers are offered insurance through a plan provided by Academic HealthPlans and underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. The primary benefits of the policy prior to tour are a refund of your trip price less non-refundable fees if a traveler needs to cancel due to reasons that can include but are not limited to serious injury or illness requiring hospitalization and involuntary employer termination or layoff. On tour the policy provides coverage for incidents such as lost baggage and flight delays as well as coverage of hospital bills, doctors’ fees and medical transportation for illnesses or injury. Based on the circumstances, travelers who are diagnosed with COVID prior to tour may qualify for cancellation coverage. For a full explanation of benefits provided under this policy or to submit a claim click here. We recommend you reach out to Academic HealthPlans directly if you have additional questions regarding your specific circumstances.

EF Ultimate Break has also extended our flexible rebooking benefit included in the Travel Protection to enable all 2022 customers who purchase this plan to rebook to a different date and/or destination without re-booking costs up to 60 days before departure through August 31, 2022.

What if my trip gets postponed due to COVID?

If your trip is unexpectedly postponed due to travel restrictions or COVID safety concerns, you can reschedule to a different trip or a later date at no penalty, or receive a future travel voucher for 100% of the money you’ve paid. We are currently notifying travelers by 45 days before departure if their tour is being postponed due to travel restrictions or COVID concerns.

What if I have more questions?

If you have more questions, give us a call at 1-800-766-2645 or chat live with a Trip Expert during these hours:
Monday–Thursday, 9am–7pm ET.
Friday, 9am–5:30pm ET.

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