Corona Update #7

Special update on PUERTO RICO and the COVID19:

Over the last 2.5 weeks, The Governor of Puerto Rico has increased health and social

measures for residents and visitors in order to combat Covid19. The island now has the strictest stay at home rules of any US territory and 50 states.

The National Guard has been stationed at the San Juan International Airport in order to handle quarantine stations. Moreover, new thermal cameras now screen every passenger’s body temperature upon arriving to the airport.

Since March 15th, the island began a curfew and a full lockdown, which was now extended until April 12, and a new executive order taking place today includes the following:

  • Supermarkets will be closed on Sundays
  • New Curfew will be from 7pm to 5am
  • Vehicles will be allowed to transit streets only according to the last number of the vehicle’s license plate

Other measures and announcements by the Governor:

  • All travelers arriving to Puerto Rico during the lockdown (residents and visitors) must be in a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
  • Asked the House of Representatives to approve the economic measures’ package approved by the Senate.
  • Increase legislation to authorize more health professionals to practice telemedicine.
  • A web page will be created so that citizens can access the information and statistical data related to the coronavirus on the Island
  • Government is supporting private hospitals in their infrastructure.

As of today, Puerto Rico has the fewest number of reported Covid19 cases of all states with a population of two million people or more.

Please review the most updated information for the US and Puerto Rico at:

  1. CDC Coronavirus Page
  2. State Department Coronavirus Page
  3. World Health Organization
  4. Discover Puerto Rico

For further information, contact your client relations representative or email us at: info@vamonostours.com

Sincerely,

Jorge Pardo
President, Vamonos Tours Inc.
888.366.6121


Coronavirus Update #6

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak, we are currently experiencing high call and email volume. Should you require assistance, we encourage you to be patient and contact your group leader. We need time to process an unprecedented amount of cancellations. This process takes time as we must contact vendors and partners regarding upcoming reservations that will be canceled. We will be communicating directly with your group leader.

Please read the specific sub-sections and FAQ below and let us know how we can best help you as you plan your student tour.

Update on Puerto Rico:

From March 16th until April 3rd, the Governor of Puerto Rico issued a serious executive order that shut down businesses and imposed mandatory curfews and a national lockdown. This order also indicates that tours should be stopped everywhere on the island. Therefore, we have stopped our tour operations on the island until further notice.

As of this week, Puerto Rico is the first and only US airport that is now monitoring all travelers’ temperatures (via wireless sensor cameras) upon arriving to SJU. The island is also asking all incoming travelers to quarantine themselves upon their arrival.

Suggested COVID19 sources:

  1. CDC Coronavirus Page
  2. State Department Coronavirus Page
  3. World Health Organization

FAQ: 2020 Booked Groups

  • 1. What is Vamonos’ position regarding the Coronavirus?

    Covid19 is now a global pandemic. We have been monitoring the spread of the virus globally and most importantly in our destinations. We are closely watching all travel alerts and Covid19 news. We have stopped all travel to Europe until further notice.

    For the safety of our travelers and staff, we have stopped all tours to all of our destinations as of Wednesday March 18th for three weeks or until further notice. We urge travelers and staff to stay safe and to adhere to local and national guidelines and precautions as it pertains to the Coronavirus and influenza.

  • 2. How does Vamonos handle global viruses and natural disasters during and after a tour?

    Our number one priority is to keep our groups safe and together. We take natural disasters and global viruses very seriously. We’ve already experienced multiple situations over the last years such as the Zika virus, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the Dengue virus. Our travelers have always been safe and well-cared for. Since day one, we initiated our crisis and emergency protocol and increased our sanitization practices on tour. While on tour, we will monitor the spread of the virus both in the US and in our destination.

  • 3. Will you offer groups any tour itinerary, date, or destination flexibility?

    We are offering groups the opportunity to move their tour dates to a later date in 2020. Groups can also investigate changing their 2020 tour to another destination. All tour funds will be applied to new itineraries.

  • 4. Are there any additional costs associated to changing a group tour date?

    Our main goal is to avoid extra charges as much as possible. We urge groups to keep their tour destination and simply postpone their tour for later in 2020. If new dates or destinations are considered, we need to know immediately. Travelers may expect some additional charges such as airline change fees, higher airfare costs, and/or other associated vendor charges. However, we will work hard to keep these to a minimum.

  • 5. What if a group or traveler cancels their participation on the tour?

    Enrolled travelers agreed to our Terms and Conditions upon enrollment. Vamonos has offered groups and travelers tour flexibility plus itinerary, date, and destination alternatives. Travelers were also given the option to purchase optional travel insurance, which includes a cancel for any reason policy.

    Vamonos will do its best to help the school and the group travel to their destination or to a different one later this year. We will also help travelers receive as much of their deposited funds as we can retrieve from vendors and partners. However, Vamonos cannot be held responsible for tour cancellations imposed by institutions, schools or boards or by force majeure.

    In addition, Vamonos will give individual and group travelers that choose to cancel the option to apply any unrefunded funds to a future trip with Vamonos.

  • 6. Is it too late to purchase travel insurance?

    Our optional travel insurance partner, Roam Right, does not consider cancelling out of fear of the coronavirus a covered reason. Therefore, purchasing travel insurance for this reason will not reimburse you if you cancel.

    If you purchased insurance but did not buy the cancel for any reason option, the insurance company will not reimburse you should you choose to cancel for fear of the virus as they don’t consider it a covered reason. In order to purchase the cancel for any reason upgrade, Roam Right establishes that it must be purchased within 21 days of your first deposit.

    Travelers who purchase the cancel for any reason option may be able to get up to 75% of their cancellation fees back as determined by the insurance company. We cannot guarantee that.

    For insurance questions such as coverage, which policy you purchased, and relate questions, please contact Roam Right directly at 866-891-6614. We also urge you to read Roam Right’s Travel Alert that contains helpful Coronavirus FAQ.

Our Covid19 Protocol: We will closely follow our Vamonos safety protocol:

  • Keep the group safe and together.
  • Create itineraries that keep the group outdoors as much as possible.
  • Eat as often as possible in open air establishments.
  • Be ready to make any itinerary changes always for the welfare of our groups.
  • Increase our extra precautionary measures, along with local vendors, hotels, buses, and governments, to sanitize surfaces and diminish any spread of germs. Urge travelers not to share foods or drinks with anyone else.
  • Advise travelers to purchase optional travel insurance upon enrollment in order to avoid unforeseen issues that may cause them to cancel their tour and lose their deposits.
  • Urge individuals to stay home if they are sick prior to tour departure.
  • Encourage the use of hand sanitizer and masks as needed.
  • Offer hand sanitizers and ask students to wash their hands multiple times a day.
  • Follow CDC, and the WHO guidelines periodically.
  • Inform group of any affected flight changes through group leader and the tour portal.
  • Urge group leaders to encourage travelers to use good hygiene practices, such as:
    • NO TOUCH: Keep your hands out of your nose, eyes, and mouth.
    • COVER and turn away when you or others are coughing or sneezing.
    • WASH hands thoroughly before eating anything.
    • AVOID shaking hands or touching handles especially in large public places

—————————————————————————————————————-

 

For further information, contact your client relations representative or email us at: info@vamonostours.com

 

Sincerely,

 

Jorge Pardo

President, Vamonos Tours Inc.

888.366.6121


Coronavirus Update #5

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak, we are currently experiencing high call and email volume. Should you require assistance, we encourage you to be patient and contact your group leader. We need time to process an unprecedented amount of cancellations. This process takes time as we must contact vendors and partners regarding upcoming reservations that will be canceled. We will be communicating directly with your group leader.

If you are not due to travel within the next 3-4 weeks, we recommend that you wait before contacting us to ensure we have the latest policy information for your travel. The health and safety of our travelers are paramount to our business. Please read the specific sub-sections and FAQ below and let us know how we can best help you as you plan your student tour.

Update on Puerto Rico:

On March 15th, the Governor of Puerto Rico issued a serious executive order that shut down businesses and imposed mandatory curfews and a national lockdown. There are currently only five confirmed coronavirus cases on the island. This order also indicates that tours should be stopped everywhere on the island. Therefore, we have stopped our tour operations on the island until further notice.

 

Suggested COVID19 sources:

  1. CDC Coronavirus Page
  2. State Department Coronavirus Page
  3. World Health Organization

FAQ: 2020 Booked Groups

  • 1. What is Vamonos’ position regarding the Coronavirus?

    Covid19 is now a global pandemic. We have been monitoring the spread of the virus globally and most importantly in our destinations. We are closely watching all travel alerts and Covid19 news. We have stopped all travel to Europe until further notice.

    For the safety of our travelers and staff, we have stopped all tours to all of our destinations as of Wednesday March 18th for three weeks or until further notice. We urge travelers and staff to stay safe and to adhere to local and national guidelines and precautions as it pertains to the Coronavirus and influenza.

  • 2. How does Vamonos handle global viruses and natural disasters during and after a tour?

    Our number one priority is to keep our groups safe and together. We take natural disasters and global viruses very seriously. We’ve already experienced multiple situations over the last years such as the Zika virus, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the Dengue virus. Our travelers have always been safe and well-cared for. Since day one, we initiated our crisis and emergency protocol and increased our sanitization practices on tour. While on tour, we will monitor the spread of the virus both in the US and in our destination.

  • 3. Will you offer groups any tour itinerary, date, or destination flexibility?

    We are offering groups the opportunity to move their tour dates to a later date in 2020. Groups can also investigate changing their 2020 tour to another destination. All tour funds will be applied to new itineraries.

  • 4. Are there any additional costs associated to changing a group tour date?

    Our main goal is to avoid extra charges as much as possible. We urge groups to keep their tour destination and simply postpone their tour for later in 2020. If new dates or destinations are considered, we need to know immediately. Travelers may expect some additional charges such as airline change fees, higher airfare costs, and/or other associated vendor charges. However, we will work hard to keep these to a minimum.

  • 5. What if a group or traveler cancels their participation on the tour?

    Enrolled travelers agreed to our Terms and Conditions upon enrollment. Vamonos has offered groups and travelers tour flexibility plus itinerary, date, and destination alternatives. Travelers were also given the option to purchase optional travel insurance, which includes a cancel for any reason policy.

    Vamonos will do its best to help the school and the group travel to their destination or to a different one later this year. We will also help travelers receive as much of their deposited funds as we can retrieve from vendors and partners. However, Vamonos cannot be held responsible for tour cancellations imposed by institutions, schools or boards or by force majeure.

    In addition, Vamonos will give individual and group travelers that choose to cancel the option to apply any unrefunded funds to a future trip with Vamonos.

  • 6. Is it too late to purchase travel insurance?

    Our optional travel insurance partner, Roam Right, does not consider cancelling out of fear of the coronavirus a covered reason. Therefore, purchasing travel insurance for this reason will not reimburse you if you cancel.

    If you purchased insurance but did not buy the cancel for any reason option, the insurance company will not reimburse you should you choose to cancel for fear of the virus as they don’t consider it a covered reason. In order to purchase the cancel for any reason upgrade, Roam Right establishes that it must be purchased within 21 days of your first deposit.

    Travelers who purchase the cancel for any reason option may be able to get up to 75% of their cancellation fees back as determined by the insurance company. We cannot guarantee that.

    For insurance questions such as coverage, which policy you purchased, and relate questions, please contact Roam Right directly at 866-891-6614. We also urge you to read Roam Right’s Travel Alert that contains helpful Coronavirus FAQ.

Our Covid19 Protocol: As with any crisis, we will closely follow our Vamonos safety protocol:

  • Keep the group safe and together.
  • Create itineraries that keep the group outdoors as much as possible.
  • Be ready to make any itinerary changes always for the welfare of our groups.
  • Increase our extra precautionary measures, along with local vendors, hotels, buses, and governments, to sanitize surfaces and diminish any spread of germs. Urge travelers not to share foods or drinks with anyone else.
  • Advise travelers to purchase optional travel insurance upon enrollment in order to avoid unforeseen issues that may cause them to cancel their tour and lose their deposits.
  • Urge individuals to stay home if they are sick prior to tour departure.
  • Offer hand sanitizers and ask students to wash their hands multiple times a day.
  • Follow CDC, and the WHO guidelines periodically.
  • Inform group of any affected flight changes through group leader and the tour portal.
  • Urge group leaders to encourage travelers to use good hygiene practices, such as:
    • NO TOUCH: Keep your hands out of your nose, eyes, and mouth.
    • COVER and turn away when you or others are coughing or sneezing.
    • WASH hands thoroughly before eating anything.
    • AVOID shaking hands or touching handles especially in large public places

Covid19 and young people (from www.syta.org)

One ray of light in this crisis is the fact that young people appear to be less prone to get infected with the Coronavirus. It is more apt to affect adults between the ages of 49 and 56. You may want to read these recent articles about young people, which may help to allay fears when you are talking with your clients, especially parents and teachers.

 Covid19 and warm weather

According to experts (read NPR’s Can Coronavirus be Crushed by Warmer Weather?), this virus may be sensitive to UV irradiation and temperatures above 80 degrees. All our Caribbean and Central American destinations, plus Miami, have annual temperatures that fluctuate on average between 77-86 degrees. We encourage groups to keep traveling to these destinations.

—————————————————————————————————————-

For further information, contact your client relations representative or email us at: info@vamonostours.com

Sincerely,

Jorge Pardo
President, Vamonos Tours Inc.
888.366.6121


Coronavirus Update #4

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak, we are closely monitoring the situation in all of our destinations as we care for our present and incoming groups and travelers. We are currently experiencing high call and email volume. Should you require assistance, we encourage you to be patient and contact your group leader. We need time to process an unprecedented amount of cancellations. This process takes time as we must contact vendors and partners regarding upcoming reservations that will be canceled. We will be communicating directly with your group leader.

If you are not due to travel within the next 3-4 weeks, we recommend that you wait before contacting us to ensure we have the latest policy information for your travel. The health and safety of our travelers are paramount to our business. Please read the specific sub-sections and FAQ below and let us know how we can best help you as you plan your student tour.

Trustworthy sources on COVID19

  1. CDC Coronavirus Page
  2. State Department Coronavirus Page
  3. World Health Organization

CDC states the following on its Covid19 main page under “Current risk assessment:”

For most of the American public, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low risk of exposure.

Airports across the world have implemented enhanced health screenings for travelers, which travelers may see when they travel. Regardless of the destination, we encourage all to follow standard hygiene practices to stay healthy.

FAQ: 2020 Booked Groups

  • 1. What is Vamonos’ position regarding the Coronavirus?

    Covid19 is now a global pandemic. We have been monitoring the spread of the virus globally and most importantly in our destinations. We are closely watching all travel alerts and Covid19 news. We have stopped all travel to Europe until further notice.

    For the safety of our travelers and staff, we have stopped all tours to all of our destinations as of Wednesday March 18th for three weeks or until further notice. We urge travelers and staff to stay safe and to adhere to local and national guidelines and precautions as it pertains to the Coronavirus and influenza.

  • 2. How does Vamonos handle global viruses and natural disasters during and after a tour?

    Our number one priority is to keep our groups safe and together. We take natural disasters and global viruses very seriously. We’ve already experienced multiple situations over the last years such as the Zika virus, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the Dengue virus. Our travelers have always been safe and well-cared for. Since day one, we initiated our crisis and emergency protocol and increased our sanitization practices on tour. While on tour, we will monitor the spread of the virus both in the US and in our destination.

  • 3. Will you offer groups any tour itinerary, date, or destination flexibility?

    We are offering groups the opportunity to move their tour dates to a later date in 2020. Groups can also investigate changing their 2020 tour to another destination. All tour funds will be applied to new itineraries.

  • 4. Are there any additional costs associated to changing a group tour date?

    Our main goal is to avoid extra charges as much as possible. We urge groups to keep their tour destination and simply postpone their tour for later in 2020. If new dates or destinations are considered, we need to know immediately. Travelers may expect some additional charges such as airline change fees, higher airfare costs, and/or other associated vendor charges. However, we will work hard to keep these to a minimum.

  • 5. What if a group or traveler cancels their participation on the tour?

    Enrolled travelers agreed to our Terms and Conditions upon enrollment. Vamonos has offered groups and travelers tour flexibility plus itinerary, date, and destination alternatives. Travelers were also given the option to purchase optional travel insurance, which includes a cancel for any reason policy.

    Vamonos will do its best to help the school and the group travel to their destination or to a different one later this year. We will also help travelers receive as much of their deposited funds as we can retrieve from vendors and partners. However, Vamonos cannot be held responsible for tour cancellations imposed by institutions, schools or boards or by force majeure.

    In addition, Vamonos will give individual and group travelers that choose to cancel the option to apply any unrefunded funds to a future trip with Vamonos.

  • 6. Is it too late to purchase travel insurance?

    Our optional travel insurance partner, Roam Right, does not consider cancelling out of fear of the coronavirus a covered reason. Therefore, purchasing travel insurance for this reason will not reimburse you if you cancel.

    If you purchased insurance but did not buy the cancel for any reason option, the insurance company will not reimburse you should you choose to cancel for fear of the virus as they don’t consider it a covered reason. In order to purchase the cancel for any reason upgrade, Roam Right establishes that it must be purchased within 21 days of your first deposit.

    Travelers who purchase the cancel for any reason option may be able to get up to 75% of their cancellation fees back as determined by the insurance company. We cannot guarantee that.

    For insurance questions such as coverage, which policy you purchased, and relate questions, please contact Roam Right directly at 866-891-6614. We also urge you to read Roam Right’s Travel Alert that contains helpful Coronavirus FAQ.

Our Covid19 Protocol: As with any crisis, we will closely follow our Vamonos safety protocol:

  • Keep the group safe and together.
  • Create itineraries that keep the group outdoors as much as possible.
  • Be ready to make any itinerary changes always for the welfare of our groups.
  • Increase our extra precautionary measures, along with local vendors, hotels, buses, and governments, to sanitize surfaces and diminish any spread of germs. Urge travelers not to share foods or drinks with anyone else.
  • Advise travelers to purchase optional travel insurance upon enrollment in order to avoid unforeseen issues that may cause them to cancel their tour and lose their deposits.
  • Urge individuals to stay home if they are sick prior to tour departure.
  • Offer hand sanitizers and ask students to wash their hands multiple times a day.
  • Follow CDC, and the WHO guidelines periodically.
  • Inform group of any affected flight changes through group leader and the tour portal.
  • Urge group leaders to encourage travelers to use good hygiene practices, such as:
    • NO TOUCH: Keep your hands out of your nose, eyes, and mouth.
    • COVER and turn away when you or others are coughing or sneezing.
    • WASH hands thoroughly before eating anything.
    • AVOID shaking hands or touching handles especially in large public places

Covid19 and young people (from www.syta.org)

One ray of light in this crisis is the fact that young people appear to be less prone to get infected with the Coronavirus. It is more apt to affect adults between the ages of 49 and 56. You may want to read these recent articles about young people, which may help to allay fears when you are talking with your clients, especially parents and teachers.

 Covid19 and warm weather

According to experts (read NPR’s Can Coronavirus be Crushed by Warmer Weather?), this virus may be sensitive to UV irradiation and temperatures above 80 degrees. All our Caribbean and Central American destinations, plus Miami, have annual temperatures that fluctuate on average between 77-86 degrees. We encourage groups to keep traveling to these destinations.

—————————————————————————————————————-

For further information, contact your client relations representative or email us at: info@vamonostours.com

Sincerely,

Jorge Pardo

 


Coronavirus Update #3

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak, we are closely monitoring the situation in all of our destinations as we care for our present and incoming groups and travelers. We are currently experiencing high call volumes. Should you require assistance, we encourage you to email your tour representative.

If you are not due to travel within the next 3-4 weeks, we recommend that you wait before contacting us to ensure we have the latest policy information for your travel. The health and safety of our travelers are paramount to our business. Please read the specific sub-sections and FAQ below and let us know how we can best help you as you plan your student tour.

Trustworthy sources on COVID19

  1. CDC Coronavirus Page
  2. State Department Coronavirus Page
  3. World Health Organization

CDC states the following on its Covid19 main page under “Current risk assessment:”

For most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated, though still relatively low risk of exposure.

Airports across the world have implemented enhanced health screenings for travelers, which travelers may see when they travel. Regardless of the destination, we encourage all to follow standard hygiene practices to stay healthy.

FAQ: 2020 Booked Groups

  • 1. What is Vamonos’ position regarding the Coronavirus?

    Covid19 is now a global pandemic. We have been monitoring the spread of the virus globally and most importantly in our destinations. We are closely watching all travel alerts and Covid19 news. We have stopped all travel to Europe until further notice.

    For the safety of our travelers and staff, we have stopped all tours to all of our destinations as of Wednesday March 18th for three weeks or until further notice. We urge travelers and staff to stay safe and to adhere to local and national guidelines and precautions as it pertains to the Coronavirus and influenza.

  • 2. How does Vamonos handle global viruses and natural disasters during and after a tour?

    Our number one priority is to keep our groups safe and together. We take natural disasters and global viruses very seriously. We’ve already experienced multiple situations over the last years such as the Zika virus, hurricanes, earthquakes, and the Dengue virus. Our travelers have always been safe and well-cared for. Since day one, we initiated our crisis and emergency protocol and increased our sanitization practices on tour. While on tour, we will monitor the spread of the virus both in the US and in our destination.

  • 3. Will you offer groups any tour itinerary, date, or destination flexibility?

    We are offering groups the opportunity to move their tour dates to a later date in 2020. Groups can also investigate changing their 2020 tour to another destination. All tour funds will be applied to new itineraries.

  • 4. Are there any additional costs associated to changing a group tour date?

    Our main goal is to avoid extra charges as much as possible. We urge groups to keep their tour destination and simply postpone their tour for later in 2020. If new dates or destinations are considered, we need to know immediately. Travelers may expect some additional charges such as airline change fees, higher airfare costs, and/or other associated vendor charges. However, we will work hard to keep these to a minimum.

  • 5. What if a group or traveler cancels their participation on the tour?

    Enrolled travelers agreed to our Terms and Conditions upon enrollment. Vamonos has offered groups and travelers tour flexibility plus itinerary, date, and destination alternatives. Travelers were also given the option to purchase optional travel insurance, which includes a cancel for any reason policy.

    Vamonos will do its best to help the school and the group travel to their destination or to a different one later this year. We will also help travelers receive as much of their deposited funds as we can retrieve from vendors and partners. However, Vamonos cannot be held responsible for tour cancellations imposed by institutions, schools or boards or by force majeure.

    In addition, Vamonos will give individual and group travelers that choose to cancel the option to apply any unrefunded funds to a future trip with Vamonos.

  • 6. Is it too late to purchase travel insurance?

    Our optional travel insurance partner, Roam Right, does not consider cancelling out of fear of the coronavirus a covered reason. Therefore, purchasing travel insurance for this reason will not reimburse you if you cancel.

    If you purchased insurance but did not buy the cancel for any reason option, the insurance company will not reimburse you should you choose to cancel for fear of the virus as they don’t consider it a covered reason. In order to purchase the cancel for any reason upgrade, Roam Right establishes that it must be purchased within 21 days of your first deposit.

    Travelers who purchase the cancel for any reason option may be able to get up to 75% of their cancellation fees back as determined by the insurance company. We cannot guarantee that.

    For insurance questions such as coverage, which policy you purchased, and relate questions, please contact Roam Right directly at 866-891-6614. We also urge you to read Roam Right’s Travel Alert that contains helpful Coronavirus FAQ.

Our Covid19 Protocol

As with any crisis, we will closely follow our Vamonos safety protocol:

  • Keep the group safe and together.
  • Be ready to make any itinerary changes always for the welfare of our groups.
  • Increase our extra precautionary measures, along with local vendors, hotels, buses, and governments, to sanitize surfaces and diminish any spread of germs. Urge travelers not to share foods or drinks with anyone else.
  • Advise travelers to purchase optional travel insurance upon enrollment in order to avoid unforeseen issues that may cause them to cancel their tour and lose their deposits.
  • Urge individuals to stay home if they are sick prior to tour departure.
  • Offer hand sanitizers and ask students to wash their hands multiple times a day.
  • Follow CDC, and the WHO guidelines periodically.
  • Inform group of any affected flight changes through group leader and the tour portal.
  • Urge group leaders to encourage travelers to use good hygiene practices, such as:
    • NO TOUCH: Keep your hands out of your nose, eyes, and mouth.
    • COVER and turn away when you or others are coughing or sneezing.
    • WASH hands thoroughly before eating anything.
    • AVOID shaking hands or touching handles especially in large public places

 

Puerto Rico Groups

For those traveling to Puerto Rico, please know that San Juan, despite being one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean, has no incoming flights from Asia, the Middle East, or Italy. Fortunately, more than 90% of flights are domestic. There have been no reported cases in Puerto Rico at this time, and there is no CDC alert for Puerto Rico related to coronavirus (COVID-19). There has been no change to flights or cruises arriving in Puerto Rico, and events on the Island have been continuing as planned.

As a precautionary measure, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and the CDC have implemented enhanced screening measures at all gateways on the Island, and funds have been made available on the Island to help our hospitals prepare to treat anyone with symptoms.

Additional Resources

Two viruses perspective: By Z. Kerby, President & CEO of ASTA

Over the weekend, while driving my 11 year-old daughter to an ice skating lesson with her best friend, I overheard their backseat conversation: “Did you know that if you get the coronavirus, there’s a 70 percent chance you will die?” (As we know, the actual coronavirus mortality rate is between one and two percent.)

At that moment, I knew there were two viruses at work.  One – coronavirus, which is quite rare and hard to catch.  And two – fear, which is becoming more prevalent, and is easily spread.  At the risk of picking on our hometown newspaper, in this Saturday’s Washington Post, 14 out of 17 clickable stories on the home page were coronavirus-related – everything from stock market decline to political blame to personal experience from people with the virus. (My favorite: “I have the coronavirus. So far, it hasn’t been that bad for me.“)

Covid19 and young people (from www.syta.org)

One ray of light in this crisis is the fact that young people appear to be less prone to get infected with the Coronavirus. It is more apt to affect adults between the ages of 49 and 56. You may want to read these recent articles about young people, which may help to allay fears when you are talking with your clients, especially parents and teachers.

Covid19 and warm weather

According to experts (read NPR’s Can Coronavirus be Crushed by Warmer Weather?), this virus may be sensitive to UV irradiation and temperatures above 80 degrees. All our Caribbean and Central American destinations, plus Miami, have annual temperatures that fluctuate on average between 77-86 degrees. We encourage groups to keep traveling to these destinations.


Travel Insurance and the Corona Virus

If you have purchased travel insurance through us or are thinking about purchasing travel insurance, please take the time to read the FAQ in the link below. It was prepared by RoamRight, the travel insurance company we use. It will help you understand what is and is not covered in regard to the corona virus. If you have any further questions, we encourage you to reach out to the insurance company. We legally cannot answer questions on what the insurance covers as we are not insurance agents.

RoamRight FAQ

Corona Virus Update #2

February 29, 2020

We continue to monitor quite closely the progression of the COVID19 Corona virus across the world, and most importantly, in all of our student destinations. The health and safety of our travelers are paramount to our business. Our goal is to keep our groups safe and together. Vamonos is one of the only tour operators who accompanies groups with a 24/7 tour director, an assistant tour director, and at times, a tour manager. This further ensures the safety of the group.

To stay well informed, we use a full array of sources: Center for Disease Control (CDC-http://www.cdc.gov), World Health Organization (WHO-who.org), our partner association the Student Youth Travel Association (www.syta.org), the US Department of State, government sources, major media outlets and on the ground suppliers and partners.

The CDC has recently advised that the immediate health risk to the general American public is low. They have been explicit in stating that they are not advising against travel domestically or to other parts of the world (excluding Asia, Africa, Italy, and the Middle East), as the virus has been largely geographically limited, with nearly most of the cases occurring in Asia. Airports across the world have implemented enhanced health screenings for travelers, which travelers may see when they travel. Regardless of the destination, we encourage all to follow standard hygiene practices to stay healthy.

According to experts (read NPR’s Can Coronavirus be Crushed by Warmer Weather?), this virus may be sensitive to UV irradiation and temperatures above 80 degrees. All our Caribbean and Central American destinations, plus Miami, have annual temperatures that fluctuate on average between 77-86 degrees. We strongly encourage groups to keep traveling to these destinations.

At Vamonos, we’ve had plenty of experience running tours during regional or worldwide situations. As with any crisis, we will closely follow our Vamonos safety protocol:

  • Keep the group safe and together.
  • Increase our extra precautionary measures, along with local vendors, hotels, buses, and governments, to sanitize surfaces and diminish any spread of germs.Vtravelers not to share foods or drinks with anyone else.
  • Advise travelers to purchase optional travel insurance in order to avoid unforeseen issues/illnesses that may cause them to cancel their tour and lose their deposits.
  • Urge individuals to stay home if their immune system is compromised or they are sick prior to tour departure.
  • Offer hand sanitizers and ask students to wash their hands multiple times a day.
  • Work hand in hand with what SYTA, CDC, and the WHO suggest in terms of travel.
  • Inform group of any affected flight changes through group leader and the group’s secured web page.
  • Urge group leaders to encourage their groups to use good hygiene practices, such as:
    • NO TOUCH: Keep your hands out of your nose, eyes, and mouth.
    • COVER and turn away when you or others are coughing or sneezing.
    • WASH hands thoroughly before eating anything.
    • AVOID shaking hands or touching handles especially in large public places

For those traveling to Puerto Rico, please know that San Juan, despite being one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean, has no incoming flights from Asia, the Middle East, or Italy. Fortunately, more than 90% of flights are domestic.

2020 Vamonos groups traveling to Puerto Rico and Central America:

We take things like hurricanes, earthquakes, and viruses very seriously and monitor these situations closely. We will not travel to areas that are unsafe for our travelers.

The U.S. Department of State, WHO, and CDC have not issued any travel warning or advisory for these warm destinations. All our partners, vendors, and hotels are fully operational and eager to serve our groups. There is no evidence of the destination being uninhabitable or of force majeure.

According to this evidence, we will not cancel or postpone any group at this point. We are confident that our warm destinations are low risk and  ready for safe student travel.

If groups would like to postpone their tour date or change their destination, we will help them and apply their funds towards the new tour date or destination. We will attempt to keep any additional airfare or change-related charges to a minimum. Cancellation will be subject to our terms and conditions. We will, however, give travelers that choose to cancel the option to apply any unrefunded money to a future trip.*

Thank you for your support and care. For further information, contact your client relations representative or email us at: info@vamonostours.com

Sincerely,

Jorge Pardo
President, Vamonos Tours Inc.
888.366.6121

 

*Offer is specific to traveler and cannot be transferred to another traveler.


Corona Virus Update #1

February 12, 2020

As many of you might be aware, there is an outbreak of a new strain of Corona virus originating from China. While most cases are in China, there are a few other countries that have reported some cases. None of the destinations or U.S. cities we travel to have reported any cases of the corona virus.

There have been 5 confirmed cases in the United States. As a safety precaution, the U.S. is now conducting health screenings in 20 airports across the country that handle about 90% of incoming flights from China.

As with any pandemic or crisis, we will closely follow our Vamonos safety protocol:

  • Always keep the group safe and together.
  • We urge travelers to wash their hands thoroughly multiple times a day; they should not share foods or drinks with anyone else.
  • If a traveler feels concerned about a virus or has a compromised immune system, or is sick prior to tour departure, they should stay at home and not travel.
  • Hand sanitizer – we will place hand sanitizers on each coach bus and ask students to wash their hands upon entering and exiting the bus.
  • We will work hand in hand with what SYTA, CDC, and the WHO suggest in terms of travel during the Corona virus.
  • In the event that your group’s flights are affected by the Corona virus, information will be posted on your group’s secured web page.
  • We ask group leaders to encourage their groups to use good hygiene practices, such as:
    • NO TOUCH: Keep your hands out of your nose, eyes, and mouth.
    • COVER and turn away when you or others are coughing or sneezing.
    • WASH hands thoroughly before eating anything.
    • AVOID shaking hands or touching handles especially in large public places

For those traveling to Puerto Rico, please know that San Juan, despite being one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean, has no incoming flights from Asia. Fortunately, more than 90% of flights are domestic.

Sincerely,
Jorge Pardo
President, Vamonos Tours Inc.
888.366.6121


Update #6: Earthquake, protests, and SYTA

Thank you again for your support and care. This is an update regarding the status of earthquake-recovery and the Old San Juan political protest.

Earthquake-Recovery: Below is a list of encouraging facts as of 8AM today:

  1. Aftershocks – Thankfully, the aftershocks that were so constant in the south have considerably decreased in strength and consistency.
  2. Power – Electricity has been fully restored, even in southern Puerto Rico. Our staff, including those in the south, already have power.
  3. Points of entry/exit – The SJU International Airport, the San Juan Cruise Port, the Ponce Cruise Port and Airport, the Puerto Rico Convention Center, attractions and hotels in northern Puerto Rico, including areas around San Juan, continue to be open and fully functional.
  4. No alerts/warnings – The U.S. Geological Service, as well as the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, have stated that there are no tsunami or any other warning, advisory, or travel watch in effect for the island. Airlines canceled travel warnings.

Old San Juan Protests: We are aware that some residents are unhappy with the Governor’s handling of the earthquake recovery efforts and with the discovery of a warehouse full of Hurricane Maria provisions that were never used. We are closely monitoring the protests around El Capitolio and Fortaleza in Old San Juan.

Our top priority continues to be to keep our groups safe and together. We respect the rights of individuals to demonstrate and voice their opinions in a peaceful, lawful manner. We have experience running successful tours with similar peaceful protests as the ones from July 2019. As part of our safety protocol, we stay alert, we monitor upcoming protests, and we adapt our itinerary in order to avoid streets and areas adjacent to protests while on tour. We are confident that our groups will have a safe and enjoyable time while in Puerto Rico.
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