Intrepid Travel Statement on removing vaccine mandate
Today, Intrepid Travel is taking a necessary step to remove our global vaccination mandate, effective December 31, 2022. This means that as of January 1, 2023, travellers and team members will no longer be required to present their proof of vaccination to travel on Intrepid tours or work in one of Intrepid’s 30 global offices.
Intrepid was one of the first global tour operators to introduce a mandatory vaccination policy in August 2021, and I am incredibly proud of the leadership our organization has shown in not only protecting communities and our travellers, but in helping advocate and democratize access and education for vaccines through our vaccine equity work, and on-going Intrepid Foundation campaign.
Our decision to remove this mandate does not mark the end of the pandemic or negate the importance and efficacy of vaccines and boosters, rather, it recognizes the significant challenges we are facing as a business in restarting our operations, many of which I have seen first-hand.
Over the past several months, I have travelled all over the world talking to our travellers, leaders, and host communities across 5 continents in 10 countries, and I am lucky to have witnessed the incredible joy travel is bringing back into people’s lives. But over this time, I have also consulted with colleagues across our 26 DMC (Destination Management Company) offices and have come to really understand the impact and complications the elimination of global travel restrictions and mandates have had on our daily operations.
The removal of programs like ArriveCAN, Thailand Pass, Australia and New Zealand’s Traveller Declaration are just a few examples from the 100+ countries that make up the global community of Intrepid travellers. With the removal of these mandates along with the elimination of border restrictions and other certifying protocols, governments at all levels have made it clear that the level of protection you have against COVID-19 is a personal choice. And the inability for Intrepid to verify travellers' vaccination status accurately and independently at a global scale, is a reality that we must confront.
Changes to this policy have not been taken lightly, and as an organization, Intrepid will remain staunch supporters and advocates for vaccines. We recognize the immense privilege that it is to travel right now and will continue to act on our moral obligation and duty of care to the communities we visit. Even when our policy ends on December 31st, 2022, our protocols designed to ensure the health and safety of our travellers and communities will not.
We will continue to uphold our enhanced health, safety, hygiene, and sanitation protocols on our trips. We will still request testing for symptomatic travellers as well as mandatory isolation and the requirement to disembark from the trip in the instance of a positive case. The full list of unchanged health and safety measures can be found here.
The pandemic is not over, and the virus is still circulating widely. Vaccination rates around the world, specifically amongst vulnerable communities, remain low and the removal of this policy should not indicate or insinuate otherwise. I am proud knowing that even before this mandate, 97% of Intrepid travellers were already vaccinated. Our travellers truly understand the vital role vaccines play in protecting people from the risk of severe COVID. I urge you all to please continue doing your part to protect yourselves and each other by ensuring your vaccines are up to date and that you receive your boosters as soon as they become available.
Thank you for your support.
For full details and FAQ’s visit Intrepid Travel’s Safe Travel Hub.