Managing Suspected or Confirmed Respiratory Illnesses

Holbrook and our field partners have protocols in place to manage instances where a traveler has a suspected or confirmed respiratory illness. This policy is designed to protect the health and well-being of sick travelers, as well as fellow participants and staff. Your participation in a Holbrook Travel program indicates that you are in agreement with these protocols.

Protocols for Sick or Symptomatic Participants

If a traveler develops symptoms of respiratory illness — such as a new and persistent cough, persistent runny nose and/or prolonged nasal congestion, sore throat, fever or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or new loss of taste or smell — our staff has been advised to implement the protocols below. These protocols will go into effect regardless of whether the symptoms are self-reported, observed by the group leader, local guide, or other program staff, or assessed by a local medical professional.

1. If you become sick or symptomatic, you will be immediately required to put on a mask.

Note: If a sick or symptomatic participant has a roommate, the roommate is welcome to continue participating fully in the program. However, as a precaution, the roommate will be required to immediately put on a mask and wear it at all times when in public for no fewer than 5 days (excluding when actively drinking and eating), even if they are and remain asymptomatic. To reduce the risk of exposure, the roommate will be encouraged to wear a mask as much as possible while in the room with the sick participant.

2. If you become sick or symptomatic, you must isolate immediately or as soon as practically possible, and remain isolated for no less than 24 hours. The purpose of a minimum mandatory 24-hour isolation period is to rest, obtain medical care if necessary, and see if symptoms improve or worsen.

Your roommate will not be required to isolate unless they too feel ill and/or have symptoms of illness.

If your isolation period coincides with a transfer to the next location on your itinerary, in most cases you will be expected to remain behind to continue isolating, and arrangements will be made for you to meet up with the group later.

If a minor becomes ill, an adult companion, preferably the adult companion rooming with the minor, will be required to remain in isolation in the same room as the minor.

3. Upon request, your local guide can help make arrangements for you to see a medical professional to evaluate your symptoms and provide guidance for treatment and care.

4. Getting tested for COVID-19, influenza (flu), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or other respiratory illness is not a requirement, and there are no special COVID-specific protocols.

You may choose to get tested, and your local guide can help make arrangements if needed. However, the protocols outlined here will be followed regardless of test results. A negative test does not exempt you from the minimum mandatory 24-hour isolation period, permit you to rejoin the program if you still feel unwell, or eliminate the need for you to wear a mask if and when you do return to the program.

5. If someone on the program develops symptoms, though not required, the rest of the participants will be encouraged to consider wearing a mask when indoors and in public settings as a precaution.

6. If you develop symptoms, you are responsible for any additional costs that may be incurred due to illness or isolation (e.g. medical expenses, additional room costs, meals, ground transportation costs, airline change fees, etc.). For this reason, we strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation and medical insurance.

While an in-person evaluation by a local medical professional is always preferable, telemedicine services offer real-time telehealth video consultation with a medical practitioner for individuals with symptoms of illness, and depending on the severity of the illness, can provide reports with diagnosis of illness which may qualify for insurance coverage.

Participants are responsible for paying any associated fees and making all necessary arrangements for their telehealth visit.

7. If you are asked to isolate, you will not be permitted to rejoin the program if, after the mandatory 24-hour isolation period, you continue to exhibit symptoms of moderate/severe illness, and/or do not feel well enough to participate fully in the day's activities.

Requirements to Rejoin the Program

After isolation, you will be permitted to rejoin the program only if the following FOUR conditions are met:

1. You have isolated from the group for at least the required 24-hour isolation period; AND

2. Your symptoms have improved and you are now either asymptomatic, or exhibit very mild symptoms of illness; AND

3. You feel and appear well enough to participate fully in day-long activities, and are willing and eager to do so; AND

4. You wear a mask at all times when in public for no fewer than 5 days, including:

  • during all indoor group activities;
  • outside when proper social distancing (less than 6 feet) can’t be maintained;
  • on all forms of group transportation;
  • in public settings (e.g. when visiting a museum, transiting a hotel lobby, etc.);
  • at meals, you must wear a mask unless seated at your table, actively drinking and eating

You will only be permitted to rejoin the program if you meet all four of these requirements, to be determined at the discretion of the local guide. If the local guide determines that you do not meet all requirements, you must remain in isolation until you do meet the requirements or choose to leave the program. All arrangements and expenses related to departure from the program will be your responsibility.

The local guide has the authority to enforce these policies to protect the health and safety of all program participants.

After Rejoining the Program

Upon rejoining the program, you will be welcome to participate in all activities, provided you adhere to the rules regarding mask-wearing. You will be expected to notify your local guide if at any time you feel ill or experience a recurrence of symptoms.

You will be permitted and welcome to participate in group meals and to take group transportation, but must remain masked while traveling.

Additional Requirements

Please be aware that your trip’s host organization, group leader, or the authorities in your destination may choose to impose their own additional health-related requirements, above and beyond those listed here.