Your safety matters most
As the world opens and we all get ready to travel again, your health and safety will continue to be our top priority.
Our safety measures
Rules of the road
COVID-19 Travel Guidelines
A worldwide presence
EF has the largest worldwide network of support teams and in-country experts to monitor the COVID situation as well as other world events such as Ukraine. EF has staff on the ground, 365 days a year, in over 50 countries to assist you in times of need. Our Safety & Incident Response team is available 24/7 and we have a resource network of industry experts, healthcare professionals, and government personnel who liaise with local embassies, government authorities, and health providers.
In addition, EF is following the COVID protocols and recommendations established by the WTTC. These include health, hygiene and social distancing guidelines. We have strong, long-established relationships with some of the largest airline, hotel, and transportation companies. These partnerships, along with our leadership roles in major industry organizations, mean that we are actively shaping new worldwide cleanliness and safety standards.
Travelers are expected to comply with the safety measures outlined in our Covid-19 Travel Guidelines.
Vaccination against COVID-19 may be required to participate in an international tour program when required by any destination on the tour itinerary or by any tour-related supplier or activity supplier.
All travelers regardless of vaccination status must receive a negative COVID test in accordance with the country requirements or if the destination does not require testing, at least 24 hours prior to departure.
Travelers should monitor their online account for specific country requirements such as vaccine validity and exact testing requirements. Some countries may require a specific test to enter and/or require that travelers last dose of vaccine and or booster was received within a certain timeframe of arrival in order to enter country and or venues such as restaurants and museums. Please note that country and EF requirements can change at any time based on changing conditions.
Travelers are expected to comply with the safety measures outlined in our Covid-19 Travel Guidelines as well as all local requirements and regulations.
Portions of your tour may be adjusted for COVID or other world events as we continuously work with our local partners such as tourist sites and restaurants to provide as safe an experience as possible. Examples may include avoiding crowded locations at peak times as well as itinerary alterations to follow local guidance and recommendations.
Tour Director & local staff
All our local staff, including your expert Tour Director, will be ready to explain guidelines in the destinations you are traveling to. Your Tour Director and EF Global Emergency Support team are trained how to support travelers should you feel ill during your trip.
EF COVID Care Promise
If you are either diagnosed with COVID or required to quarantine on account of COVID while on tour through 2023, EF will provide or arrange for the following, consistent with local requirements, at no additional expense throughout the duration of any on-tour quarantine period:
- Lodging and meals
- EF representatives available to support the traveler and to coordinate with local authorities on their behalf where necessary
- Assistance connecting with local health care providers*
- Translation services
- Communication between the traveler and the traveler’s family back home
- EF arranged flights home, based on existing itinerary, for the traveler once cleared to return
- Voucher for missed time on tour
*Travelers are responsible for their own medical costs; we highly encourage travelers to confirm their current health insurance includes coverage while traveling domestically or internationally or purchase trip protection that includes medical coverage through EF or another provider.
Safety first, national parks second.
See highlights from our recent national parks trip—new safety guidelines were in place, but it was the same awe and wonder you’d expect. We’re ready for 2021 to continue doing what we do best: helping make your dream trips as stress-free as possible.
On a group trip, every traveler plays a part in creating a safe and inclusive environment. We expect you to follow the guidelines below on all EF Ultimate Break trips—failure to do so may result in your removal from tour. And nobody wants that, do they?
Treat the people you meet along the way with respect.
- Be kind to fellow travelers, Tour Directors, and hospitality staff
- Recognize that you’re a visitor—someone calls this place home
- Consider the impact of your words and actions
Embrace differences, be curious, and find common ground.
- Be open-minded, listen to new ideas and perspectives
- Respect other cultures and traditions
- Consider the impact of your words and actions
Think of the group.
- Be on time to keep things running smoothly
- Pay attention to your Tour Director—they’re the travel pro, after all
- Speak up if a problem or health issue arises
Help uphold these guidelines.
- Report harassment or violence to the Tour Director or the On-Tour Support Team
- Understand that anyone who violates these guidelines may be removed from tour
- Review the Terms & Conditions for more details
Thanks for reading these guidelines and making your trip a safe, memorable experience for everyone.
Your health and the well-being of your tour group is our top priority. To help you prepare to travel with confidence, it’s important that you review the following information pertaining to travel as it related to current and future strains of COVID-19.
Please reach out to our dedicated team of Trip Specialists by submitting a request via your online account, chatting in or by calling us at 1-800-766-2645 if you have any questions either now or in the future about your ability to comply with any COVID-19 travel requirement.
COVID-19 vaccination and pre-tour testing
Neither vaccination against COVID-19 nor pre-tour COVID-19 testing is required to participate on an EF Ultimate Break program unless required by any destination on your itinerary or by a tour-related supplier or activity provider.
For a traveler’s health and safety and to help avoid an interruption of their tour experience, EF Ultimate Break does, however, highly recommend that travelers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (including being up to date on all eligible booster doses) and take a COVID-19 test prior to departure.
EF Ultimate Break will take all reasonable efforts to notify travelers and their groups in the event any COVID-19 vaccination or testing requirement becomes applicable to their tour program. Travelers are, however, ultimately responsible for verifying, monitoring, and complying with any such requirement based on their tour itinerary (including countries visited solely in transit).
Please note that international travel requirements pertaining to COVID-19 vaccinations and testing requirements, including destination entry and supplier requirements and local isolation and quarantine guidelines, can be implemented and changed at any time and with little or no notice.
Some destinations require that travelers either show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative, lab-based COVID-19 test taken shortly before arrival. Please note that due to the group travel model of educational tour programs, EF Ultimate Break cannot facilitate on tour testing for unvaccinated travelers in order to meet any COVID-19 travel requirement, including entry requirements applicable to countries on a multi-country itinerary visited subsequent to the commencement of the tour program. The group travel model also makes it impracticable for travelers to independently schedule COVID-19 testing while on tour. As a result, travelers will need to fulfill the strictest destination’s vaccination requirements, if vaccination is required on their tour program, prior to their departure from the United States. Travelers may only present documentation of required testing in lieu of vaccination if they are able to satisfy these requirements, inclusive of the required timeframe of the test, prior to their departure on the tour program.
Travelers unable or unwilling to satisfy any COVID-19 vaccination and/or testing requirement applicable to their tour program will be subject to EF Ultimate Break’s Standard Cancellation Policy.
Pre-departure COVID-19 positive test result
If a traveler tests positive for COVID-19 within 10 days prior to their tour departure, they may not be able to travel unless they can satisfy the current guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”). The CDC currently requires an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 to isolate for at least 5 days and to end isolation only:
- (i) after day 5 if the individual never developed any symptoms;
- (ii) after day 5 if symptoms are improving (i.e., fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication); or
- (iii) after day 10 if the individual had symptoms and moderate illness.
Regardless of when isolation ends, the CDC guidance currently states that individuals should wear a high-quality mask through day 10 unless the individual receives two sequential negative antigen tests 48 hours a part. Please contact our Traveler Support team at 1-800-766-2645 to discuss any specific questions related to your situation.
Pre-departure COVID-19 exposure
Travelers who are a “close contact” of a person diagnosed with COVID-19 within 10 days of their departure date must comply with the applicable CDC testing and masking guidelines prior to departing on tour and, if applicable, while on tour. Please contact our Traveler Support team at 1-800-766-2645 to discuss any specific questions related to your situation.
On-tour mask wearing, testing, or other COVID-19 health requirements
Although not a requirement for all tour programs, EF Ultimate Break strongly recommends that travelers wear a high-quality face mask in crowded indoor spaces or other areas of potentially high transmission. Travelers must also comply with any applicable country, local, supplier, or other activity or venue requirements and any instructions of their Tour Director or EF Ultimate Break staff while on the tour program related to mask wearing, testing, or other COVID-19 requirements. Travelers who refuse to comply with such requirements or instructions while on tour may be removed from the tour and sent home at their own expense.
In the event that a destination, supplier, venue, or activity provider requires a negative COVID-19 test regardless of vaccination status within a timeframe that necessitates the administration of the test while on tour, EF Ultimate Break will assist in arranging testing for the entire travel group with travelers responsible for any costs of the required testing.
On-tour COVID-19 diagnosis or close contact
Travelers must inform their Tour Director if they develop COVID-19 related symptoms on tour and may not rejoin the tour group until permission is granted by their Tour Director or EF Ultimate Break staff.
Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 while on tour must isolate in accordance with local regulations or CDC guidelines (in the absence of destination requirements) and may not rejoin the tour program until these requirements are met. Some destinations may also require travelers to quarantine if they have been in “close contact” with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 while on tour and those quarantine requirements may vary based on vaccination status. Please review EF’s COVID Care Promise to understand how EF Ultimate Break will support travelers who are required to isolate or quarantine while on tour.
What options do I have if I want to change my tour due to COVID or world events?
All Travelers can rebook their tour up to 60 days before departure to another date or trip and can do so through the support tab in their online account or mobile app.
Do I have to be vaccinated to travel?
Vaccination against COVID-19 may be required to participate in an international tour program when required by any destination on the tour itinerary or by any tour-related supplier or activity supplier. If a tour requires vaccination, it will be noted on the itinerary. Requirements may change at any time and travelers are responsible for ensuring they meet all entry requirements.
Full vaccination occurs two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. In addition, some countries may require that travelers last dose of vaccine and/or booster was received within a certain timeframe of arrival in order to enter.
Do I need to get a COVID test before traveling?
While EF does not require pre-tour COVID-19 testing to participate on an EF Ultimate Break tour, we do strongly recommend travelers to test for their own safety, the safety of other travelers, and to avoid an interruption of their tour experience.
Please note, some destinations may require a COVID-19 test for entry. Travelers should monitor their online account for tour specific entry requirements.
What if I’m booked but not planning on being vaccinated?
We understand that vaccination is a personal decision. EF wants you to have a choice in when and how you are comfortable traveling. Therefore, if you prefer to rebook to a later date or to a U.S. tour due to current vaccination requirements, give us a call before 60 days before departure at 1-800-766-2645 and we can review all your flexible rebooking options.
Will I need to wear a mask on tour?
We require all travelers to wear a mask on tour when required by local law, other relevant authorities, or at the direction of their Tour Director or EF staff. Currently travelers who have been vaccinated and/or recently recovered from COVID are not exempt from wearing masks.
Should a new COVID testing requirement arise while on tour, who is responsible for finding, facilitating and paying for the test?
EF Ultimate Break will assist travelers in scheduling tests with local testing facilities or telehealth providers. Travelers will be responsible for covering the cost of the COVID test. We recommend budgeting $100.
What other safety guidelines should I be aware of on tour?
Travelers are expected to comply with the safety measures outlined in our Covid-19 Travel Guidelines which you can reference by clicking the Covid-19 Travel Guidelines tab above.
What else may be different about my trip?
Some aspects of your tour experience might be impacted by local restrictions such as businesses operating at reduced hours and/or reduced capacity. In some rare cases, we may need to adjust the itinerary.
What if I am exposed to COVID and need to quarantine/miss part of my tour?
If you are either diagnosed with COVID or required to quarantine on account of COVID while on tour in 2022, EF will provide or arrange for support including lodging, meals, translation services, and more at no additional cost. EF will also provide a voucher for missed time on tour.
Do I need travel insurance?
We believe it’s important to be protected while traveling and encourage all travelers to purchase travel insurance. That’s why we offer affordable Travel Protection, designed specifically to meet the needs of EF travelers, which can be purchased during checkout or through your online account.
I purchased Travel Protection; can I file a claim due to COVID?
EF Ultimate Break travelers are offered insurance through a plan provided by Academic HealthPlans and underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. The primary benefits of the policy prior to tour are a refund of your trip price less non-refundable fees if a traveler needs to cancel due to reasons that can include but are not limited to serious injury or illness requiring hospitalization and involuntary employer termination or layoff. On tour the policy provides coverage for incidents such as lost baggage and flight delays as well as coverage of hospital bills, doctors’ fees and medical transportation for illnesses or injury. Based on the circumstances, travelers who are diagnosed with COVID prior to tour may qualify for cancellation coverage. For a full explanation of benefits provided under this policy or to submit a claim click here. We recommend you reach out to Academic HealthPlans directly if you have additional questions regarding your specific circumstances.
What if my trip gets postponed due to COVID?
If your trip is unexpectedly postponed due to travel restrictions or COVID safety concerns, you can reschedule to a different trip or a later date at no penalty, or receive a future travel voucher for 100% of the money you’ve paid.
What if I have more questions?
If you have more questions, give us a call at 1-800-766-2645 or chat live with a Trip Expert during these hours:
Monday–Thursday, 9am–7pm ET.
Friday, 9am–5:30pm ET.
I feel like EF Ultimate Break staff did a phenomenal job at keeping us all protected by enforcing masks, sanitizers, and antiseptic wipes. As a Registered Nurse who has worked with COVID patients in the Intensive Care Unit, I can say from a professional standpoint that EFUB did everything to keep the health of their travelers as a top priority.
Macie S. — EF Ultimate Break traveler