Bellbird Tours Update
Tours starting in Oct 2020
Tours starting Nov 2020 or later
New tour bookings for 2020 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 – 22 Sept 2020
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 for the remainder of 2020. 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 state 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 some states are open again but some remain closed, especially to Victorians and residents of Sydney. This affects how we can run our tours as many tours cross state borders and many of our clients are from current hotspot areas. We are hopeful that border closures will soon relax even further and will update you at that point. Click here for the current status of state borders.
We are allowed to run tours again. Click here for specific practical info applicable to tours. We will review the status of tours due to start on or after 1st Oct, during September, 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. This reviewing process will continue for bookings later in the year meaning 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 in October 2020
While the various state borders are set to open again, some states restrict entry to Victorians and Sydneysiders. Some states also have ‘no-go’ areas within their state – such as Cape York in Queensland. 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 tours due to start on or after 1 Oct, during September, 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. This reviewing process will continue for bookings later in the year meaning we will be in touch with you having reviewed your tour ~ 4 weeks ahead of its anticipated start date to see if it can go ahead.
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 and we will also maintain your 2020 price regardless of any potential price increases. 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 at the advertised price of that particular tour(s).
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.
If you are due to start your tour later than October
We will not cancel or postpone your tour bookings without telling you but we will assess whether or not your tour can go ahead ~4 weeks before you are due to start your tour and get in touch with you at that point. 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 you decide to cancel your tour earlier than the 4 week point 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 2021 or issue you with a credit note as described above.
New tour bookings for 2020 and beyond
Until further notice we have halved the deposit required for new tour bookings from 20% to 10%. 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.
Offer valid for bookings received from 01-Apr-2020 on all tours. Valid until further notice.
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 48 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.