Bellbird Tours Update
Tours starting within the next month
New tour bookings for 2021 and beyond
Our Covid-safe tours
Official Advice and Updates on travel to and within Australia
Covid-19 form for tour participants
Update from Bellbird Tours Pty Ltd – 3 Aug 2021
These are difficult times for everyone and we hope this message finds you and your communities fit and well.
We will only operate our tours if your trip will be safe, viable and within the relevant government guidelines for travel during this virus outbreak. We are in touch regularly with all the relevant authorities to try and safeguard the health of our guests, staff and the local communities where we operate. When deciding if tours can continue at this time these are not decisions we make lightly, and we will try to keep booked tours running whenever its possible whilst also being mindful of ensuring our business survives for staff and future guests.
Australia is currently not accepting international arrivals into the country. This is not expected to change until at least mid 2022. If you are an international guest and have booked onto one or more of our tours please read on below. For our Australian guests, you may be aware that most states are allowing unlimited travel within their states again and across some many borders. Government guidance is still asking everyone to observe social distancing requirements (generally, 1.5 m between persons, however, this does not apply to tour vehicles). Most accommodation providers and restaurants are open again, some with restrictions on patronage. Borders between states open and close like a yo-yo as new outbreaks emerge and subside. This affects how we can run our tours as many tours cross state borders and many of our clients are from emerging hotspot areas. We will try our utmost to work our magic to make our tours work and are hopeful that as the vaccine rollout progresses, border closures will no longer occur. Click here for the current status of state borders. The roll-out of the vaccination program gives hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. t
With regards to how we run our tours: Click here for specific practical info applicable to tours. We will review the status of each tour on an ongoing basis, and will advise all participants on whether or not their tour can go ahead, depending on the government advice, travel restrictions and the practicalities of operating the tour at that time. We will be in touch with you having reviewed your tour around 4 weeks ahead of its anticipated start date to see if it can go ahead, and will continue this review process until a fortnight before departure, in some cases even closer to the departure date.
As the current situation is causing a significant financial impact to our business we are reducing staff time to the bare minimum only. 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 email@example.com
Our priority at this time will always be health – yours, ours and those you interact with during your tour. Please continue to check back here for updates.
If you are due to start your tour within the next month
The various state borders continue to open and close like yo-yos, and some states restrict entry to people coming from certain ‘hotspots’. Some states also have ‘no-go’ areas within their state – such as Aboriginal reserves. If we are able to run our scheduled tours we will implement certain practical changes to the tours to comply with social distancing requirements and other health provisions where possible to do so. Click here for specific practical info applicable to tours. We will review the status of your tour on an ongoing basis in the lead-up to the tour, and will advise all participants on whether or not their tour can go ahead, depending on the government advice, travel restrictions and the practicalities of operating the tour at that time. We will be in touch with you having reviewed your tour ~ 2 weeks ahead of its anticipated start date to decide if it can go ahead. In some cases we leave the decision until closer to the date but will communicate with you throughout.
The Australian Government through its ACCC agency has instructed that for any tours we are unable to run 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 rebooking the same tour or a different one. Credit Vouchers are non-transferable and will be emailed to you upon request. If you want to rebook on the exact same scheduled tour for later in the year or next year then we will simply transfer your booking to the new date. Due to price rises of accommodation, food and rental vehicles we will no longer be able to maintain your original price, so if the new departure of your tour is advertised at a higher price, the price increase will be added to your final bill. If you want to wait and see we will issue you with your credit voucher to be put towards any future Bellbird-branded tour(s) for the next 2 years.
We will not cancel or postpone your tour bookings without telling you but we will assess whether or not your tour can go ahead ~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.
If you are due to pay your balance payment then we would advise you to only do this if we have confirmed with you that your tour will go ahead. If there are no covid-related impediments to you participating, but you decide to cancel your tour regardless, then this will be a cancellation by you and will be subject to our usual terms and conditions. You will forfeit your deposit but may be able to claim it back from your insurance company but please check before cancelling. In certain cases we may be able to transfer your booking to the next departure or issue you with a credit note as described above.
If you prefer to pursue a refund now then you should contact your travel insurance company and ask to claim back your payments. This may be because you are unable to travel to your destination where your country has banned overseas travel or if you have health issues that prevent you travelling. Make sure you ask to claim under Travel Disruption and / or Cancellation clauses as some insurers are wrongly advising that you have to have caught the virus to be eligible. We can provide a letter for your insurers confirming you have cancelled along with details of our Terms and Conditions and a summary of what you have paid.
New tour bookings for 2021 and beyond
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 75 days before departure. After that point in time, if there are still government restrictions causing us to be unable to run your tour, we are required to provide you with a credit note to the value of all of your payments as described above. Please contact us as we are always happy to look at your unique circumstance and come to a mutually agreeable solution.
Our Covid-safe tours
Bellbird Tours is committed to assisting Australians to reduce the spread of 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 will continue to do so for as long as we are required and will amend some aspects of 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.
What we ask of you:
Complete our Covid-19 form 72 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. It’s a hard line we know, but it’s necessary for your and others safety.
We have implemented the following actions to ensure guests have a Covid-safe experience:
Reduced the number of guests travelling in vehicles.
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. Sadly this is a mandatory requirement for now, but we will use eco/recycled materials where possible.
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.
We will have surgical masks available should you wish to use one.
We will have gloves available should you wish to use those rather than touching hand rails etc. These are for one use only not for repeated use on one tour.
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.
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.
Bellbird Tours strongly encourages all guests to download and activate the COVID SAFE APP prior to departure. This will help contact tracing should you/we need it.
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.
This form is to be completed by all confirmed tour participants.