COVID-19 Updates

Walking England


August 18, 2020

It's hard to believe that we're already on that downward slope heading toward fall. It's been a very different summer for us, with time well spent taking in all the beauty that Maine has to offer and planning for 2021.

After four months, the U.S. State Department, in coordination with the CDC, has lifted its Global Level 4, 'Do Not Travel', and has returned to their previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice (with Levels from 1-4 depending on country-specific conditions), which is intended to help travelers make more informed decisions. likewise, at present, most countries remain closed to US travelers. For Europe, Japan and Nepal, the Department of State has lowered their travel advisor to a Level 3, 'Reconsider Travel', while the CDC is still advising against any non-essential travel to these areas.

Nonetheless, most of the world remains closer to US tourists. As such, we have canceled all of our 2020 trips in Europe and Japan.

We understand that many of you will not be comfortable traveling internationally until there is a vaccine or effective treatment for the virus. Others of you may be concerned about possible trip disruption in the event of reimposed restrictions or due to possible quarantines. There is a lot to take into consideration.

We've all converged at Distant Journeys because we love to travel and have experienced the benefits of walking new landscapes. We'd like to do what we can to help you navigate back to the trail in a way and at a time that feels safest to you.

We hope the information and updates below will help answer some of your questions. We will do our best to update this page as the situation evolves.

Be well. Stay safe.

As always, you are welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns, and we will endeavor to get back to you as quickly as possible.

hiking japan

Final Payments

Going forward, we will not be asking for any final payments unless we are confident that there is a high likelihood a trip will be able to run as scheduled.

Will My Trip Run?

As the situation evolves, we will be assessing trips 60 days prior to departure. At that time, for guided trips we will either:

  • Cancel the trip
  • Reschedule the departure to a later date in 2020, if possible.
  • Wait until 45 days prior to departure to make a final determination, if there is a significantly positive trend.

For self-guided and private trips, we will be contacting hikers directly to discuss options.

Cancellation Policy for Guided Trips

Should we find it necessary to cancel a trip due to COVID 19-related issues, we will be offering the following options:

  • Transfer your deposit to the new departure or to another trip in 2020.
  • If you are unable to rebook with us in 2020, transfer your deposit as a credit, plus a 5% discount, to a future guided trip with no expiration.
  • Receive a full refund of your deposit.

Please note: Discounts will be applied to the base land cost of your future guided trip. Credits will be applied solely to final payments. Once you make a deposit for your next trip, the normal terms and conditions will apply, but the credit will be good until you use it for a final payment.

Cancellation Policy for Self-Guided Trips

Should you be unable to undertake your trip as planned due to COVID 19-related restrictions, you may:

  • Transfer any non-refundable payments as a credit to a future trip. No expiration date.

Please note: Credits will be applied solely to final payments. Once you make a deposit for your next trip, the normal terms and conditions will apply, but the credit will be good until you use it for a final payment.

Concerned about traveling and would like to cancel now?

We want everyone to be excited about their travel plans. Anticipation is part of the joy of traveling. With all the uncertainty around travel these days, it's reasonable to want to put your plans on hold. If you'd like to cancel your guided trip more than 60 days out from your trip start, we can offer these options:

  • Receive a refund of your deposit, less our usual $250 cancellation fee.
  • Transfer your deposit as a credit to a future trip with no expiration.

Please note: Credits will be applied solely to final payments. Once you make a deposit for your next trip, the normal terms and conditions will apply, but the credit will be good until you use it for a final payment.

lunch in Scotland

Status of Restrictions by Country

  • Croatia has opened its borders to visitors from the broader European community and the UK. Nationals from outside the EU may also apply online for an entry pass.
  • June 15 - France lifted travel restrictions for European Union Member States, United Kingdom, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and the Vatican.
  • July 1 - France opened its borders to Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Korea Rep.,Montenegro, Morocco, New-Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
  • June 15 - opened to EU and Schengen Area countries.
  • A coronavirus test will be required on entry, with the alternative of 14 days self -isolation. Beginning August 19, 2020, all passengers arriving in Iceland must be tested twice. The first test, for a fee of ISK 9.000, is administered at the border on arrival at Keflavík Airport. The second test is provided at no fee to the passenger by the primary healthcare service 4-6 days later. Passengers must enter and remain in quarantine during the time between tests.
  • Italy has reopened its borders to travelers arriving from the European Union/Schengen zone, Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
  • Japan has restricted entry of travelers from most countries until July 31.
  • Nepal has suspended all international flights until July 21.
  • Norway has lifted its travel restriction and quarantine requirements for travelers arriving from Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Faeroe Islands, and Denmark.
  • July 15 – will consider opening travel between nearby European countries.
  • Slovenia has reopened its borders; however special quarantine restrictions apply to travelers arriving from countries with high rates of COVID-19.
  • Countries for which no quarantine restrictions apply currently include: Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, or Switzerland.
  • June 15 – Allowed entry of residents from all EU countries as well as United Kingdom, Iceland, Norway.
  • Travelers returning from countries with high infection rates in the past 14 days must quarantine for 10 days.
United Kingdom
  • As of now, a 14-day quarantine requirement is in effect for all travelers entering the UK.
  • All arriving passengers will be required to fill in a contact locator form with contact and travel information.
  • July 1 – Opened the hospitality sector.
  • July 10 – The Uk will lift quarantine requirements on most of the broader European community, as well as other countries with low infection rates.
  • July 15 – Scotland's tourist sector may open.

For more information and updates, you may visit the World Health Organization , Center for Disease Control , Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center , the U.S. State Department , and COVID Update for Hiking in the Alps.