Travel Advice

 

Acorn statement- Coronovirus- 23rd March 2020

 

“The health and safety of the children and adults travelling with Acorn are always our number one priority. Our full sympathies go out to all of our schools who are facing extreme challenges at this time and we thank all the dedicated teachers out there for all their hard work and support in these extreme circumstances. We also thank our staff who have been working very hard to support our customers and care so much about what we do and the people we work with. 

We have had a number of emails sent to us in recent days and weeks. The one that captured us the most was one asking us if their trip is still going ahead because so many of their year 6 pupils had expressed real concern that it wouldn't. The children desperately want their summer adventure with Acorn to go ahead. This has highlighted to us how important these trips are to so many and how important it is for us to keep planning forward, as much as we can. 

Boris Johnson announced on the 12th March 2020 that the Government advises against UK schools travelling overseas on school trips until further notice. Full details can be found on the Government’s website.

As you will now be aware, schools are closing this Friday, until further notice. This is an unprecedented time for the whole country, all industries, communities, families and the world. As a small family business with 80% of our operation overseas, we are working hard to obtain information to help support customers and our staff at this difficult time for everyone. 

Our UK Centres open at the end of April and our overseas centres open on the 4th May 2020. As our trips remain in the future and there are no imminent trips organised, we are still planning to operate our trips this season as normal. We understand that some customers may wish to cancel their future trips in light of this situation. If you choose to cancel your trip now, our terms and conditions apply and you will incur cancellation charges.

A joint statement from ABTA and the School Travel Forum has been released. They state that schools should decide how to react upon this advice and should they wish to cancel any upcoming trips then the tour operator’s normal cancellation terms will apply.

They continue to state, “Schools should contact either their own general insurers or the Department for Education as they may have some financial cover in place for this scenario.”

The Association of British Insurers website states, “Travel insurance may cover non-refundable cancellation costs, in specific circumstances. These may include medical advice against you or a member of your group from travelling or government advice against travelling. Check your travel insurance policy for the scope of cover.”

Where trips are more imminent or have recently been cancelled due to FCO advice for recent travel departures, Tour Operators are being advised by lawyers to await further clarification from the Government and not to provide refunds at this time – other countries such as Italy and France have removed the requirement on Tour Operators to refund monies in these extraordinary circumstances and ABTA are asking our government to do the same.

All Acorn Family holidays this summer are expected to operate as normal and you should refer to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), whose advice we follow. Should you choose to cancel now, you will lose your deposit, which is in line with our terms and conditions and industry regulations.

We are regularly monitoring the situation and will keep updating our statement as this situation develops. Should there be any changes expected regarding your trip, we will be in touch with you immediately. In the meantime, please monitor our website and contact your Tour Organiser for any support you require.

Should you wish to cancel your 2020 booking, please notify us in writing as soon as possible.

Following recent Government advice, we have made the decision to close our Head Office for the time being and our staff are working from home. We are answering emails as normal, so if you have any questions, please email your Tour Organiser or info@acornadventure.co.uk and we will respond as quickly as we can.””

 

 



Passport / Visas

For overseas holidays, please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that your child has his/her own passport and (if necessary) visa documentation. Holders of non-UK passports should check with their embassy whether a visa will be required. All UK citizens travelling abroad need to be in possession of a valid passport. Please allow plenty of time for the application process, as we are unable to allow guests to travel without a valid passport.

Foreign Travel

For further information on the country to be visited, please check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website or visit ABTA’s website www.abta.com.

European Health Insurance Card

For holidays within Europe, it is essential that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card for your child. You can obtain an EHIC online at www.ehic.org.uk, by calling 0845 605 0707 or from your local Post Office. Should medical attention be needed whilst within the European Community, an EHIC can save both time and money.

 

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01384 398 870

info@acornadventure.co.uk

Acorn Adventure

22 Worcester Street,

Stourbridge,

West Midlands DY8 1AN

Licenced ATOL Operator Adventure Mark Adventure Activities Licensing Authority British Safety Council Institute for Outdoor Learning Association of British Travel Agents BCU-01