Update from Bellbird Tours Pty Ltd – 14 January 2023
Welcome to our health and safety information page. The page is regularly updated and the date of the last update is shown above. Please use the links above to navigate around the page. As a minimum, please read the FAQ section carefully.
We are experiencing staff shortages. If you phone us on 1800-birding, we may not be able to take your call immediately, but please leave a message and we’ll get back to you. And we will continue to monitor emails and are always available to respond to any questions or issues that you email to us on birds at bellbirdtours dot com.
Risks, Safety and Health While on Tour
There are inherent risks with traveling in general. Travel may include going to locations that are far from medical care or that have different cultural standards that may feel/appear less safe than at home where certain things can be expected. Bellbird Tours makes every effort to notify participants, mainly through the General Information for a specific tour as well as directly when our group meets up with our guides, of anything in particular they should be aware of in order to help our clients feel more comfortable while on tour. Tour participants are also encouraged to research their area of interest and where their tour is going in order to have a better understanding of the location, terrain, cultural standards, etc. During a trip to a destination such as this and on a tour of this nature, certain risks and dangers may be involved, including but not limited to riverboat travel, hiking over slippery, muddy trails and rocky trails and underdeveloped areas, the forces of nature, and accident or illness in remote areas without means of rapid evacuation or availability of medical supplies and facilities. You are voluntarily participating in these activities with the knowledge of the element of risk dangers involved and agree to assume any and all risks. The enjoyment of a trip of adventure travel is derived in part from the inherent risks incurred by travel and activity beyond the accepted safety of life at home or work and these inherent risks contribute to such enjoyment, being a reason for your participation.
Terms and Conditions of Booking http://www.bellbirdtours.com/terms-and-conditions/
Bellbird Tour Calendar 2023-2024 http://www.bellbirdtours.com/calendar/
((( for thisWe know Our health-conscious tours
Bellbird Tours is committed to reducing the spread of contagious diseases such as colds, flu and covid-19. We have all had to change the way we interact with others and have had to comply with health directives from experts in their field. Bellbird Tours has amended some aspects of our operation permanently. Bellbird Tours is an Australian Government accredited Covid-safe Practicing Business and has set in place the South Australian Tourism Industry Covid-Safe Plan and has implemented a number of approved options. All our guides are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. If you are suffering from a contagious disease at the start of your tour we request that you contact us to discuss your options.
What we ask of you to:
- Complete our Covid-19 form 24 hrs or less prior to your tour
- Complete a self (RAT) test 24 hrs or less prior to your tour
- Prior to, or on the day of, the tour if you feel unwell or have flu like symptoms we ask you not to attend the tour. Please consider others.
- Comply with our Covid-Safe requirements. We will maintain the right to refuse entry if we think it may endanger other guests. We know it’s a hard line, but it’s necessary for your and others’ safety.
- We require all tour participants to be fully inoculated against Covid-19 with a vaccine recognised by the Australian Government, unless you have a medically approved exemption that you can show us.
- We may take, or ask you to take, Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) and/or body temperature readings of any or all participants and staff at the start of the tour and/or during the tour. Please bring your own RAT(s) for this purpose, and be familiar with its use.
We have implemented the following actions to ensure guests have a Covid-safe experience:
- Hand sanitiser available at all times. As always, we provide alcohol based hand sanitiser in vehicles and at meal stops.
- Clean hands. Encourage guests (and staff) to wash hands frequently with soap or hand sanitiser.
- Cleaning and disinfecting equipment. We do a pretty good job at cleaning the vehicles normally, but we’ve stepped it up to include disinfecting of all customer and staff touch points in vehicles and tour equipment every day and during the tour.
- Use disposable/single use cups, plates and cutlery. We will use eco/recycled materials where possible. We may provide you with your own personal re-usable coffee cup to use during the tour, for you to keep as a souvenir.
Health and Safety:
- We have to gather information about you – this is a mandatory requirement – but it will remain confidential, unless specifically required by the Government regarding a Covid-19 case, and will be destroyed after 2 months.
- Face masks are optional inside tour vehicles. Please bring your own. We have limited stock available should you run out.
- For your safety, our staff will not guide your tour if they are ill or show flu like symptoms.
- Our staff have undertaken additional training to enable us to provide a Covid-safe experience.
- All our guides are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
- We require all tour participants to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with a vaccine recognised by the Australian Government, unless you have a medically approved exemption that you can show us.
Covid-19 response while on tour (for tours 3 days or more):
- In the very unlikely event that someone in the tour party shows Covid symptoms while on a tour, your guide will implement the following protocols:
- Ask the symptomatic guest(s) to take a Rapid Antigen Test.
- If the result is positive, the guide, in consultation with the group, will assess the risk based on such factors as:
- Distance from civilisation
- Severity of symptoms
- Medical status e.g. compromised immune system
- Age of the unwell person
- From 14 October 2022 there is no longer a mandatory self-isolation period for covid-positive persons. However if you test positive during the tour and are too sick to continue you may be required to leave the tour. The leader or guide will make contact with the Bellbird Covid-19 Contact Person and / or local Public Health officials for guidance as needed. We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover the possible consequences of any such event.
- Tour safety briefing. At the start of every tour we provide a safety briefing but this will now include information on how we, as a group, can assist each other – clean hands, social distancing, ordered boarding and unloading of the vehicle etc. Just to make sure we are all on the same page.
- Third party providers plans. We visit other attractions on our tours so will work with those attractions to assist them to achieve their COVID-Safe plans. Our staff will understand the measures these third party providers are taking and will help you to transition from our bus to their environment seamlessly.
1. How do I book a tour?
The deposit required for new tour bookings is the usual 20%. Deposits are subject to our usual terms and conditions which can be found here. In summary, in almost all circumstances your deposit is fully refundable (minus a small admin fee) should you decide to cancel up to 60 days before departure.
2. Do I need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel?
You will be required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with a vaccine recognised by the Australian Government, to participate in our tours. In addition, all states & territories require travellers to be vaccinated to enter.
3. What else do I need to do before I can start the tour?
You will be emailed out a covid-19 declaration form which you will need to complete and submit no more than 24 hours prior to the start of your tour.
You will need to do a self (RAT) test no more than 24 hours prior to the start of your tour, and make a binding declaration of the result. This declaration forms part of the covid form we ask you to complete just prior to your tour. Some states may require a RAT or PCR test as a condition of entry. Of course we accept these instead of your own test, as long as they are not older than 24 hrs.
4. What if I get COVID-19 just prior to or during my trip?
Despite there not being a requirement to self-isolate any longer, if you contract covid-19 within 5 days of the start of the tour you are not allowed to participate. If you need to change or cancel a booking due to a medical issue such as contracting COVID-19, then standard cancellation fees apply (see below). We strongly recommend you purchase Travel Insurance to cover you for any unforeseen changes. From around 5 days after contracting COVID-19 you are generally considered “non-infectious”. If you test positive during the tour we will assess the situation and make a decision on your continued participation or otherwise, and comply with the relevant local health directions in force at the time. Any costs associated with your being unable to continue your tour will be at your own expense. Again, we strongly encourage you to take out appropriate travel insurance.
5. Where can I get my Travel Insurance?
More and more insurance companies offer policies that covers COVID-19 related expenses; these include Covermore, Travel Insurance Direct and Fastcover. However, there are more and we recommend you shop around to find a travel insurance policy that best suits your needs.
6. What if border closures or other government-imposed restrictions are in place at the time of travel that prevent my group from traveling?
If your tour can’t proceed due to government-imposed restrictions and we are unable to reschedule the tour, we are required to provide a credit voucher to the value of all of your payments to date. This will be valid for the next 2 years to use against re-booking the same tour or a different one. Credit Vouchers are non-transferable and will be emailed to you upon request. Please note that as of 2022 it appears that some accommodation providers have implemented non-refundable deposits and if your tour includes one of these and we are unable to extract a refund from them then we will have to deduct a proportional cost from your payment. In any case, we will always contact you to discuss your options.
7. How will I know if my tour is going ahead?
We will not cancel or postpone your tour bookings without telling you but if there is uncertainty we will assess whether or not your tour can go ahead from 4 to 2 weeks before you are due to start your tour and get in touch with you at that point, if not before. If roads, accommodation and cafes and restaurants are closed, there is a ban on all but essential travel or a ‘lockdown’ we will need to cancel or postpone your tour. We will however do our best to make your tour work if it’s possible for you to travel here and bird with us under the latest Government advice and instructions. We will implement certain practical changes to the tour to comply with social distancing requirements and other health where possible to do so. We will communicate with you about the status of your tour in the lead-up to the departure.
8. Will you take RAT tests of tour participants and staff?
You are required to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) 24 hours or less before the start of the tour and report on the result on an online form that we will email you at the time. Our tour leader(s) and/or guide(s) do the same. Should the need arise, we may take RATs during the tour. Please bring your own RATs, and be familiar with its use. We may also take body temperature readings with a non-contact scanner.
8. Are masks required on board the tour vehicle?
Masks are optional on board the tour vehicle. Please feel free to wear them for your and others’ safety and comfort. Should you choose not to wear a mask please respect the choice of those that do.
9. My balance is due, do I have to pay it now or can I wait until closer to departure?
Per the terms of your booking, your balance is due 60 days prior to departure. In order for us to continue to hold your arrangements, payment of balance must be made when due.
10. I don’t wish to proceed, can I cancel my booking?
If you wish to cancel your booking standard cancellation fees will apply per below:
More than 60 days before departure………………….No loss of deposit (admin fee will be charged)
60 days or less before departure………………..Loss of deposit
What we have seen throughout this pandemic is that advice and restrictions change on a regular basis, and we ask that you stay up to date with current travel advice via the the relevant government website, found here.
For full details on all of the above and more, please refer to our Terms and Conditions
Thanks for helping us keep our travel COVIDSafe and we look forward to welcoming you on board!
Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19), Bellbird Tours is doing everything we can to protect you, our guests and our staff and contractors. Bellbird Tours will be following the Australian Government Department of Health and relevant state Health Department guidelines with regard to social distancing and sanitation. So that we can best protect you, other guests and our staff and contractors, we ask that our tour participants disclose their relevant health history and follow safe sanitation and social distancing practices.