The safety of our passengers, leaders and operators is a major priority of Intrepid.
With this in mind, we monitor world events very closely. Intrepid makes operations decisions based on informed advice from a number of sources.
1. The Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT)
For any Intrepid-operated trip, if DFAT’s advisory is at ‘Do Not Travel’ then Intrepid will either cancel the trip or reroute the itinerary to avoid the areas concerned.
2. Staff on the ground
With over 400 leaders on the ground in operational destinations and subsidiary companies in our main hub cities, Intrepid has access to an up-to-the-minute flow of information regarding the mood and feeling within the countries we work in. We are also in regular contact with the various operators we use. Their in-depth knowledge and understanding of their various areas is vital.
3. Other government travel advisories
Most countries’ governments provide their own travel advice. See below for links to some of the larger ones:
As of February 25, 2020, no COVID-19 cases have been found in Mongolia, but the country's health system continues to be taxed by normal seasonal illnesses. Hospital capacity in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, continues to decrease. The government of Mongolia has announced precautionary measures including limiting flights to and from Asia, preventing intra-provincial travel, closing all schools and prohibiting public gatherings. We do not currently have any customers in Mongolia.
As it is uncertain how long these measures will continue, the following departures have been cancelled:
We are currently in the process of notifying and assisting affected customers. As per our booking conditions, customers booked on these departures can hold funds on file, transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure or receive a full refund.
We are currently seeking alternatives for the below departures to continue travelling within Russia only, and will provide updates to affected customers as soon as possible:
It is our still our intention that Trans-Mongolian trips (CBSU, WBSB, CBSQC) will continue to operate in May and June with the start/finish point changed from Beijing, China to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, as with warmer weather in Mongolia should come improved local conditions. Trips will still start and finish on the same dates as the original trip booked. As per our booking conditions, customers may choose between accepting this changed itinerary, obtaining a refund of money paid on the land portion of the trip only or transferring to an alternative tour.
Trans-Mongolian departures from July onwards will also still be running, wiith the following conditions:
- Should the Do Not Travel advice level remain in place we will reroute all Trans-Mongolian itineraries to avoid Beijing and instead start or finish in Ulaanbaatar.
- Should the Do Not Travel advice level be lifted, our Trans-Mongolian trips will return to Beijing as intended
Further updates on these departures will be communicated in the coming weeks.
Due to DFAT advice regarding a heightened risk of sustained local transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iran and airlines cancelling flights in and out of Tehran, we have made the decision to cancel all trips until 30th June 2020 to Iran. We are currently in the process of notifying and assisting affected customers. As per our booking conditions, customers booked on these departures can hold funds on file, transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure or receive a full refund. Travellers booked on 2020 Iran departures in other months may hold funds on file or transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure. Updates on any further cancellations will be made in the nearest future.
We currently have 1 group travelling in Iran. All travellers are in good health and are being assisted by our local team in Iran with their departure arrangements from the country.
There have been confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Israel and entry restrictions are in place. The overall travel advice for Israel & the Palestinian Territories has not changed and remains at Level 2 - Exercise a high degree of caution, however the increased entry restrictions may affect many travellers. Currently, if you have visited China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, South Korea or Thailand in the last 14 days, you’ll likely be denied entry to Israel. These restrictions don’t apply if you’ve only transited one of these territories.
Visitors will be quarantined for 14 days if you enter the Palestinian Territories, including Bethlehem and have travelled from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan or Thailand. This applies even if you have only transited one of these destinations and even without showing any virus symptoms. While our trips in Israel are continuing as normal with no changes, should this apply to you you will not be able to take part in the day trip to Bethlehem instead will need to stay in Jerusalem on this day.
The most up to date information on travel to Israel and the Palestinian Territories can be found here. If you are booked to travel to Israel & the Palestinian Territories in 2020 you may choose to continue on your trip, hold your funds on file for a future booking, or transfer the amount you have paid to an alternate departure.
Italy has confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), including deaths. Authorities have introduced measures to restrict the use of public spaces and limit travel in some parts of northern Italy where cases have occurred. The overall DFAT advice for travel to Italy has not changed and remains at Level 1 - Exercise normal safety precautions. Our itineraries are currently not affected and are continuing as normal. If you are booked to travel to Italy in 2020 you may choose to continue on your trip, hold your funds on file for a future booking, or transfer the amount you have paid to an alternate departure.
Please be aware that some countries may have increased screening or entry conditions for travellers arriving from Italy. You should check the relevant foreign travel advice for any destination you will be travelling to, including your home country, to see if this may affect you.
Based on advice from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, DFAT are now recommending travellers "exercise a high degree of caution" (Level 2) in South Korea & Japan due to the heightened risk of sustained local transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). The advice level for both destinations was previously " Exercise normal safety precautions" (Level 1). For further updates, see the DFAT travel advice for South Korea here and Japan here.
DFAT also advise to reconsider your need travel to Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea due to significant outbreaks of COVID-19 in those cities. Intrepid does not visit or travel through these cities on any of our itineraries.
Our trips to Japan and South Korea are continuing to operate as normal. If you are booked to travel to South Korea or Japan in 2020 you may choose to continue on your trip, hold your funds on file for a future booking, or transfer the amount you have paid to an alternate departure.
Please be aware that some countries may have increased screening or entry conditions for travellers arriving from South Korea. You should check the relevant foreign travel advice for any destination you will be travelling to, including your home country, to see if this may affect you.
TRAVELLERS TO CHINA
Many of the official travel advisories for China, including Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs, are currently set at “Do Not Travel”. As a result, we’ve made the decision to cancel all Intrepid Travel trips to China up to and including 30 June 2020. We are currently in the process of notifying and assisting affected customers.
TRAVELLERS WHO HAVE RECENTLY BEEN IN CHINA
Some airlines and countries have applied travel restrictions to travellers who have been in mainland China. As a precaution, we’re asking that all travellers that have been in, or transited through, mainland China in the last 14 days to inform us of their situation. If this affects you, please contact us before you join your trip to discuss your arrangements.
TRAVELLERS TO OTHER DESTINATIONS
The experts at WHO say that coronavirus shouldn’t stop people from travelling. Their advice is to take all the same precautions to stay healthy as you would when you are at home. Unless the official advisories change, we will continue to run trips everywhere else in the world as we usually would.
Our recommendations for travellers
- Check with your airline and travel insurance provider regarding any potential changes in services.
- Read the advice provided by WHO on how to stay healthy
- As always, we recommend that you read the advice provided for your destination before you go from DFAT or other official government advisories.
Please do get in touch with your local Intrepid contact with any further questions.
Cases of novel coronavirus were first reported in Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. Since then, further cases of the virus have been confirmed in a number of countries in Asia and further afield. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade travel advisory for China remains at “Do Not Travel”.
We have cancelled all tours to China up to and including 30 June 2020. We are currently in the process of notifying and assisting affected customers. As per our booking conditions, customers booked on these departures can hold funds on file, transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure or receive a full refund. Travellers booked on 2020 China departures in other months may hold funds on file or transfer amounts paid to an alternate departure. Further updates on any cancellations or reroutes will be made in coming weeks.
Recent heavy rains in Peru have resulted in a landslide on the Inca Trek route on Thursday 23rd January, which has made trekking unsafe and closed off one of the campsites. The Peruvian Minister of Culture has declared that the route will remain closed until further notice.
No Intrepid groups were in the area of the landslide, and those that were on the trek are leaving the route and returning to the closest town.
Until the route re-opens, all trekking groups will be moved to our alternative trek, the Quarry Trek. Our ground operations teams in Lima and Cusco are working with the authorities and as soon as they advise the Inca Trek route is safe to operate again, we will continue the tours as planned. Machu Picchu itself remains open and we are still be able to visit the site as planned. Passengers who had booked the train option to Machu Picchu, will not be effected by these changes.
Should you have any questions, please contact your booking agent or speak to your Tour Leader.
The air quality in Bangkok has been reported as above the safe level of PM 2.5 for the past week. If you suffer from asthma or other illnesses that could be triggered by the current conditions, please consider purchasing a dust mask of N95 rating before you travel to Thailand. Intrepid has not cancelled or changed any current or future trips, however we will be closely monitoring the situation, which is largely dependent on local weather conditions.
There have been hundreds of large bushfires burning throughout the country. The state of Victoria has been declared a state of disaster, there is an ongoing state of emergency in NSW, and there have been thousands of people evacuated en-masse. Half of Kangaroo Island has been burnt, there are closed roads and many areas blocked off due to the fires.
A large fire has burnt through approximately a half of the island and the national park is closed, the fire continues to burn at this stage and much property has been lost. We have cancelled all departures until Saturday 18th of January 2020. We are offering date changes without fees for all customers departing on Kangaroo Island trips up until Saturday 18th of January and anticipate there may be further cancellations to come. We will continue to provide updates as often as possible. We are currently in the process of contacting all agents and customers. Please contact your booking agent if you have not heard from us and require further information.
SOUTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The PA9191229 was operated for the first 4 days of the trip and then had to be turned back to Perth, unable to continue.
We have made the decision to cancel the following departure: Perth to Adelaide Overland PA9200105 due to the closure of the Eyre Highway. We are hopeful the highway will be clear within the next 5 days and we will be able to continue running departures
NEW SOUTH WALES & QUEENSLAND
The M1 between Sydney and noosa, which is the main road that we use to travel on the East Coast is currently unaffected and all fires that are close are being monitored. Roads in and out of Dorrigo National Park are also currently open and unaffected.
We are not cancelling or rerouting any departures at this stage but will continue to monitor the situation closely.
All trips unaffected at this stage
All trips unaffected at this stage
ULURU / KAKADU
All trips unaffected at this stage
Some parts of Australia are also experiencing poor air quality due to the smoke from the fires, we recommend checking with your doctor before travel if you suffer any breathing problems or asthma.
If you have any questions please contact your booking agent.