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What is the APT Travel Group doing?

12 June 2020

As an Australian company with the most experience, most awards for excellence, and most comprehensive domestic travel options, the APT Travel Group always has the safety and wellbeing of guests’ front of mind, and now even more so with the approaching return to travel. 

We have been responding to the ever-changing Covid-19 climate by implementing a number of new measures to elevate our health and hygiene protocols giving travellers assurance that they can travel with the APT Travel Group with confidence. 

We have adopted the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recommendations and have actioned our increased health screenings and protocols for all our cruises, both on board and prior to boarding for all passengers and crew, working with the local authorities as well as our own staff to ensure this is being adhered to.
We are adhering to all requirements and recommendations of IG RiverCruise (the industry association representing European River Cruising) to assure the highest level of passenger and crew health and hygiene on our European River Cruises. 

We are also liaising with our land suppliers in all of our destinations to ensure their health and safety protocols are of the highest standard, such as hotel sanitisation, coach cleaning processes and more. 

See further detail below specific to our product range including: 
• Australian Touring 
• Pre-departure Screening 
• River Cruising and Adriatic Coastal Cruising
• Ocean Cruising  
• Land Touring

Australian Touring 
On our Australian classic coach touring we will adhere to social distancing requirements where applicable and have a maximum of 24 guests* on our large capacity coaches (48 pax).
Pre-travel health screenings with specific COVID-19 health assessment forms and reporting for all guests and crew. Any guest who doesn’t meet the criteria will not be allowed to begin the tour. 
Hand sanitiser will be available on all our tours and cruises at all times. 
No self-serve buffets will be offered on any of our domestic tours and cruises. 
Face masks will be available for all guests on request. 
All suppliers used across our products will need to meet COVID regulations.
All staff and crew will undertake industry recognised Covid-19 training in areas of health and hygiene.
Our small group offerings align themselves with social distancing as we have fewer guests in communal areas at one time. Such as small groups on our zodiacs. 
Increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces with hospital grade cleaning products used.

Pre Departure Screening
For all guests, we have enhanced pre-boarding health screening and reporting. Pre-departure, all travellers are required to complete an increased Health and Safety form to ensure no high risk passengers are permitted to commence any tours.
Guests who have travelled from, visited, or transited through any country listed as high risk by the governing bodies applicable to each destination within 14 days of their voyage embarkation, regardless of nationality, will not be allowed to board any of our vessels or to begin any of our tours.
In case of any passenger being denied boarding due to suspicion of infection, special arrangements will be made for quarantine (as required by governing bodies) and crew will assist with the situation in all ways possible. 
These per-departure measures are also applicable to crew. 
Extensive crew training in areas of health and hygiene protocols in-line with all governing body requirements will be undertaken. 

River Cruising and Adriatic Coastal Cruising
Enhanced pre-boarding processes are currently in place for all guests as listed above. 
Passenger luggage (handles) is disinfected before loading. The ship personnel will wear suitable personal protective equipment during the loading of suitcases. 
All guests and crew are required to sanitise their hands when coming back on board the ship, when entering public spaces and before all meals.
All crew receive professional health and hygiene training and are trained in escalation practices should a guest fall ill on tour. Our local Operations Team are also available to provide support.
All public areas and outside railings are disinfected regularly.
All air-conditioning filters are cleaned and disinfected on each embarkation day before rooming takes place.
No self-service buffets will be available.  All buffets will be served by crew. 
Public toilets on board will be closed. 
Masks will be available on request for all passengers. 
All buses and private transfer vehicles are cleaned and wiped with hospital grade disinfectant before each use. 
All staterooms and suites are thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis.
Shared items such as table spices, cutlery baskets or communal baskets are not allowed.
Where it is necessary to dock alongside another river ship, embarkation and disembarkation will occur via the sundeck to minimise exposure to other vessels.
All non-essential visitors to the ship (including contractors, guides and coach drivers) will be not be permitted to board the vessel.
Any guest who exhibits symptoms of any respiratory illness while on board will be subject to additional screening and our on board staff will assist in escalating the situation and undertaking isolation quarantine and disembarkation where necessary. APT Travel Group staff and crew will be assisting with the situation.
All crew and staff members are also subject to the above measures. 
We are adhering to all requirements and recommendations of IG RiverCruise (the industry association representing European River Cruising) to assure the highest level of passenger and crew health and hygiene on our European River Cruises.  

Land Touring 
On our classic coach touring in Australia we will adhere to social distancing requirements where applicable and have a maximum of 24 guests* on our large capacity coaches (48 pax).
On our International coach touring we will adhere to social distancing requirements as applicable in each destination. 
We are working very closely with all our hotel partners globally to ensure they are actively engaged in the highest level of sanitisation and hygiene practices. 
Enhanced pre-departure processes are currently in place for all guests as listed above. 
Adhering to the increased safety measures at all country entry points. 
Increased sanitisation measures on our coaches before and after each service, all buses and private transfer vehicles are cleaned and wiped with hospital grade disinfectant before each use. 
Tour Directors receive professional health and hygiene training and are trained in escalation practices should a guest fall ill on tour.  Our local Operations Team are also available to provide support.
Extra hand sanitising measures have been put in place. 
All crew and staff members are also subject to the above measures. 
Masks will be available on request for all passengers. 
In case of any passenger being denied touring due to suspicion of infection, special arrangements will be made for quarantine and staff and crew will assist with the situation.

Ocean Cruising 
Enhanced pre-boarding processes are currently in place for all guests and crew as listed above. 
Additional cleaning and disinfection protocols on board. These protocols will be enforced in addition to the already rigorous sanitization standards in place. 
All crew receive professional health and hygiene training, including information on how to look for symptoms.
Increased sanitisation practices with a hospital grade disinfectant in common areas including hand rails, gangway planks etc. 
All staterooms thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis.
Hand sanitizer is available throughout the journey
For all crew, we will implement regular health reporting and any crew member who exhibits symptoms of any respiratory illness while on board will be subject to additional screening and may be subject to potential isolation and disembarkation. 
In case of any passenger being denied boarding due to suspicion of infection, special arrangements will be made with local health facilities for quarantine and APT Travel Group staff and crew will be managing the situation.
We will provide medical screening for COVID-19 on all individuals who visit our onboard Medical Centre with symptoms of respiratory illness or fever. 
We will report all cases of fever and respiratory illness, and any patients with suspected COVID-19 infection, to local health authorities. 
Crew wash hands frequently when handling guest luggage. Disembarkation luggage is kept separate from embarkation luggage to avoid cross-contamination.
Masks will be available on request for all passengers. 
All our major Ocean Cruising partners have adopted the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recommendations and have enacted their increased health screening and overall safety protocols. This include Holland America Line and Ponant Cruises. 

These measures will remain in effect as long as needed, and we will continue to adapt as we evaluate the situation and continue to consult with government health authorities, CLIA, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the relevant local authorities in all of the areas we operate around the world. 

We know that our travellers will venture out into the world again and we are pleased to be enacting these measures to give you peace of mind that we are providing the best Safe Travel Protocols across all our tours and cruises to allow you to travel well with the APT Travel Group. 

*Social distancing requirements will be adhered to as necessary. We are continuing to monitor all directives in the regions we operate and will comply with the Government regulations applicable. We may make changes to this protocol as required and increase guest numbers when we are able to resume our usual touring procedures.