COVID-19 Updates

Walking England

Update

June 11, 2020

These are certainly intense and challenging times we are living through, and we could all use the solace of the hills and open spaces. Countries around the world are continuing to lift restrictions, but it still remains a question who will be able to hit the trail where and when.

Travel warnings and advisories from our CDC and Department of State remain in effect strongly discouraging all but essential travel, but there are glimmers of positive change on the horizon. In Europe, hotels, shops, restaurants, and mountain huts are starting to open and public transportation is beginning to run more frequently. Most European countries are set to open their internal borders to tourism by June 15 and there is talk of starting to lift restrictions on non-European travelers starting in July.

We have canceled all of our trips through the end of July. It is still difficult to predict with any certainty when our trip areas will be open to US travelers, but we seem to be moving closer to getting a clearer picture.

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.

Rescheduled Trips

To date we have canceled all of our trips through the end July and have rescheduled the following trips:

  • England Coast-to-Coast, May 20 - June 6 is now August 11 – 25
  • Hadrian's Wall, June 18 - 27 is now August 13 - 22
  • Colors of Provence, June 26 – July 5 is now August 27 – September 5

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 guided 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
  • Some border crossings on major routes are open for limited traffic (foreign nationals with properties or boats in Croatia, or close family).
  • No date announced for borders reopening to other tourists.
  • Some international and domestic flights operating and transit permitted.
  • Parks, shops, museums, hotels and outdoor restaurants and bars are open
  • Some public transport is operating.
France

France has divided the country into two zones according to the concentration and control of the virus. The green zone, where the spread of the virus is under control and cases are significantly declining, covers most of France. The orange zone, where rates of the virus are still high, covers the greater Paris Ile-de-France regoin.

  • June 2 - In the green zone restaurants, bars, beaches, some parks, and museums are allowed to open with guidelines. Hotels,B&Bs, campsites, gites, and refuges are allowed to open with guidelines.
  • June 15 - borders restrictions and travel into France from European countries will be lifted, allowing tourism to resume.
  • June 22 - In the red zone restaurants, bars, beaches, some parks, and museums are allowed to open with guidelines. Hotels,B&Bs, campsites, gites, and refuges are allowed to open with guidelines.
  • Public transport is starting to run more frequently.
  • Masks are mandatory on public transportation.
  • Some shops have reopened.
  • No decision has been made as to when travelers from outside of the greater European community will allowed to enter the country for tourism. A possible indication may be given by June 15th.
Iceland
  • June 15 - the government expects to start easing restrictions on international arrivals.
  • A coronavirus test will be required on entry, with the alternative of 14 days’ self -isolation.
  • Arrivals will also have to download the country’s tracing app.
  • Some flights are operating, including Icelandair, as are some buses and taxis.
Italy
  • Most parks, shops, restaurants are now open.
  • June 3 - borders are due to reopen to European tourists.
  • Parks are open and restaurants can sell takeaway food.
  • Some hotels are open, depending on bookings.
  • Trains are operating with reduced services, and some flights are operating.
Norway
  • Restrictions to non-essential travel will remain in place until August 20.
  • 10-day quarantine is required for everyone entering the country.
  • June 15 – will consider opening travel between Nordic countries.
  • July 15 – will consider opening travel between nearby European countries.
  • Some hotels, shops and restaurants are open.
Slovenia
  • Borders and airports are open to international travel, with restrictions, but flights are limited.
  • All arrivals from outside the EU must self-isolate for 14 days and provide proof of accommodation.
  • Shops, galleries, some smaller hotels, and bars and restaurants are allowed to open.
  • Some public transport and taxis operating.
  • Mountain activities are being discouraged and mountain huts remain closed.
  • Travelers may be subject to health screenings and may be required to show a negative COVID-19 test at border crossing points.
Switzerland
  • June 15 – Allowed entry of residents from all EU countries and the UK
  • Hotels, shops, restaurants, museums are open.
  • Hotels, shops, markets and restaurants are open.
  • No mandatory quarantine in place.
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.
  • June 22 – some pubs and restaurants will open
  • July 1 – open some of the hospitality industry
  • 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.