Coronavirus Preventive Measures, Protocols and Standards
We, at Active Albania, make the safety, health and security of our travellers a highest priority.
We envision travel with safety and security procedures while providing an authentic and meaningful experience to the traveller across the journey, and in a manner that supports the livelihoods of local people by enabling sustainable economic growth, and provides nature-based development.
The following protocols have been made in accordance with The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Protocols For The New Normal and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) draft Adventure Travel Covid-19 Health And Safety Guidelines, and they take into account the Albanian, North Macedonian, Kosovo and Montenegro Governmental measures and recommendations for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19; the World Health Organisation, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control guidelines.
The borders are open for all citizens, however for those coming from a COVID-19 high-risk country a test or a 14-day quarantine is required.
Please check if your country is on this list with the appropriate Albanian / North Macedonian, Kosovo, Montenegro Embassy for your country.
We will update this protocol as new information arrives and the situation changes.
An activity that takes place in a popular area may pose a greater risk of social interaction with visitors or activity participants, thus increasing the chance of virus transmission. This is why Active Albania tours are organised off-the-beaten-path destinations. While our team is working hard to mitigate risk, you too have an important role in keeping yourself and others safe while you travel.
How you can prepare when planning a holiday to Albania and for cross boarder tours:
→ Prior to booking travel, you may consult with your primary care provider and consult local and official advice to determine whether you fall into a vulnerable or high-risk group and should travel or not.
→ It is recommended that you have valid travel insurance for the destination and trip type on which you are embarking. The pandemic has added additional complexities surrounding insurance as no policy covers all COVID-19 travel risks so check your policy carefully and ensure you understand who will pay for additional costs if incurred.
→ Don’t you have an insurance? Do not worry. Active Albania is collaborating with World Nomads and you can but it directly here: https://activealbania.com/travel-insurance/
→ Check our COVID-19 Refund Commitment here: https://activealbania.com/book-and-travel-with-confidence/
→ Be sure to pack your own face coverings, such as masks, a well tied synthetic or cotton face mask, neck gaiters, or Buffs.
→ Don’t forget to bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer to keep close to you at all times.
Disease prevention protocol for staff and your local hosts:
→ Regular health checks for staff especially prior tours are recommended.
→ Stay home policy for anyone displaying any symptoms as per World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines;
→ Obligated 14 day quarantine for anyone that has been in contact or potentially exposed to SARS-CoV-2.
→ No office rule / work from home (whenever possible) for non guiding activities;
→ Maintaining physical distance and obligatory mask wearing (except during physical activities).
Disease prevention protocol during tours:
→ Online payment, whenever possible is requested.
→ Groups are kept in smaller numbers, up to 10 people.
→ Groups with more than 10 people, whenever possible are considered as two groups, and treated as such.
→ COVID-19 health check for guides and travellers prior tours are recommended.
→ Choice of venues are made based on availability of open-air facilities.
→ Check on COVID-19 prevention protocols with partners and suppliers is made prior tours and activities, for which a checklist is made to facilitate this.
→ Open buffet meals and self-service meals are avoided.
→ Choice of rural households is prioritised over restaurants.
→ Checking in at accommodation is done ahead of arrival by e-mail and with a scanned copy of your passport (room changes are not made possible).
→ Choice of sites and places to visit is on open-air locations.
→ Guide replacement and/or traveller exclusion and enforcing stay home policy if displaying any symptoms as per World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
→ Participants are screened for high temperature using a contactless thermometer on a daily basis, and/or prior activity.
→ Maintaining physical distance at all times.
→ Communication between guides and travellers is done via radio devices.
→ Face protective masks are made available for every participant (if available FFP2/N95 masks).
→ Face protective mask wearing recommended when not pack rafting, biking or hiking.
→ Obligatory face protective mask wearing is when closed to other people and when residing in closed areas.
→ There is no obligation to ware face protective masks while pack rafting, biking and/or hiking.
→ Obligatory physical distancing between riders is minimum 2 meters, but recommended 20 meters to avoid cloud droplets.
→ Face protective mask wearing is recommended when riding in urban areas.
→ All equipment is personal and it is not intended to be exchanged among guides or travellers.
→ Sanitising liquid is made available to the participants.
→ Participants are requested to wash their hands with soap or the disinfectant regularly, in particular prior meals.
→ Protocols and standards are shared and made known during every briefing of the activities and tour.
→ COVID-19 prevention procedures are included in the briefing checklist.
→ Clean and disinfected equipment tool set is made available for self servicing of the equipment for outdoor activities during tours.
→ Routes are chosen in a manner that will minimise exposure to other people, and to traffic.
→ Sites and locations where stopping are chosen on the basis of the size of the group, to be able to accommodate the number.
→ Loading and unloading of luggage and equipment is best done by a designated person using face protective mask and gloves.
→ External people should be considered as unfamiliar with COVID-19 prevention measures, and treated as such.
Equipment (pack rafting, white water rafts, camping, neoprens, cags, life jackets, helmets, etc) cleaning and disinfection protocol:
→ Equipment returned from rental is treated as contaminated material.
→ Equipment is washed with soap and water after every use, where each piece is soaked in soap for at least 30 seconds prior rinsing.
→ Equipment is maintained always using gloves and face protective masks.
→ Equipment is disinfected by spraying an alcohol based solution (minimum 70%, preferably 96%) at the point of delivery of the rented equipment.
→ Tools for maintenance are sanitised regularly after use.
→ The workshop is sanitised regularly after use.
Who travels on an Active trip?
How do I book flights?
- Professional Certified Guiding
- Top notch accommodation
- Meals and snacks (except on days specified in our itineraries where we have found people enjoy sampling the local cafes, eateries and bars)
- All your activities (although there are optional extras available if you want more)
- Transportation for the entire trip, starting from the airport where you will be arriving
- All you need to do is arrive and bring some pocket money for souvenirs, a few drinks here and there if you want them and for a few meals.
What is the accommodation like on Active Albania trips?
Who else will be on the trip?
Do I need any outdoor experience and what level of fitness do I need?
Will it be too active for me?
How much do meals and coffees cost in Albania?
How does Active Albania ensure proper safety and hygiene on its tours?
Anyone who travels with us also has a duty of care to other travellers and our team to continuously comply with local regulations and laws, in addition to the COVID-19 Health and Safety guidelines that we publish for touring with us in the destination. This ensures that everyone can enjoy their travels and still stay safe.
How does Active Albania ensure proper safety and hy-giene on its tours?
In line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation, we are implementing increased hygiene and sanitation standards, with a specific focus on the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travel protocols for tour operators and of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. Specific details of the hygiene, safety and well-being measures that will take place on your tour can be found in our COVID-19 Health and Safety guidelines.
Our Active Albania guides include detailed information on:
- Arrival health screening and monitoring
- Hand and respiratory precautions
- Social distancing on tour
- Sanitation of transportation and luggage
- Included meal arrangements
- Limiting contact/ physical touch
- If facemasks are required and where
Will I need to undertake any COVID-19 testing or screening when I arrive?
At the start of your tour you will be asked to report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has sus-pected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will assist you to seek medical advice and you will not be permitted to join the tour. All travellers are expected to continuously monitor their health throughout their travels and report any related symptoms to our team immediately.
Will I be refunded if I am unwell before my trip and unable to travel?
If you are unwell prior to travelling, please contact us to make alternative arrangements as you will need to stay at home. If you do opt to travel under these circumstances, you will not be able to join the tour and will be referred for medical care in-country. Please refer to our Booking Conditions for more details on our cancellation policy.
Will I be covered by my travel insurance if I get COVID-19 while travelling?
We recommend that you check directly with your travel insurance provider for more details about the specific cover, as many insurance companies are amending their policies to better accommodate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 on my tour?
If you or someone else on your trip has symptoms of COVID-19 while travelling with us, we will assist in seeking medical care. We will follow the advice of local health authorities on whether a COVID-19 test is required, whether there is a need to self-isolate or quarantine or whether there is a risk to other travellers in the group. Should COVID-19 be confirmed, full health and safety protocols will be followed, including informing local health authorities and the group of the potential exposure. Extensive sanitisation protocols such as deep cleaning and disinfecting accommodation and transport will then be undertaken. Please note that while we will assist to ensure that you get all the medical care you require but all expenses for testing, treatment or self-isolation will be at a personal cost.
If I test positive for COVID-19 on my trip, will I get my money back?
If you are unable to continue travelling with us due to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 we can offer you a credit for the unused days of your tour. Further we will assist you to get all the medical care you require in country though all expenses relating to your care including testing, treatment or self-isolation (in country or at home) will be at a personal cost.
Am I expected to wear a mask on tour?
In some destinations it may be compulsory to wear a mask in public or in certain places. If it is compulsory to wear a mask in public or elsewhere this information will be noted in our COVID-19 Health and Safety guide. Where a mask is required, you will need to source your own from home. Familiarise yourself with how to safely wear, handle and dispose of masks if wearing them when travelling. Your international carrier, departure airport or a transit airport may require that you wear a face mask, for information as to whether this is a requirement, please check with your airline.
Do I need to bring hand sanitiser?
Yes. We are working with our local teams to provide hand sanitiser though in some locations it is still in short supply. We recommend bringing your own personal supply for times when it is not available.
Will I need to bring cash on tour?
Yes. We recommend that all travellers have a contactless FX free debit or credit card to use whenever possible although there will be occasions where merchants do not accept credit/debit cards and you will need to use cash. In developing countries the need to use cash will be more frequent. When handling cash always use hand sanitiser afterwards.
As a solo traveller, can I share a room with another solo traveller?
We are no longer offering to match up solo travellers in twin share rooms. All of our tours now offer a Single room option. If you are travelling solo you will be required to purchase a single room for your personal use.
Will there be a limit to the number of travellers in a vechicle?
We will abide by the local laws or requirements regarding physical distancing on transport .
Will my itinerary be changed due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions?
We may need to make some changes to the activities or destinations included on your trip to comply with advice from local authorities or updated health and safety protocols. We will endeavour to keep travellers updated before departure as our local teams continue to keep abreast of regional developments, including any closures or changes to sights and attractions. Although an open mind and sense of flexibility will help you get the most out of your trip, we will always aim to operate our tours exactly as per the original itinerary.