Field Guides travel and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Updated 6 April 2021
Since the pandemic began, at Field Guides we’ve been continuously monitoring news and developments regarding COVID-19 and its effects and impacts on travel especially. Below you’ll find information on upcoming travel, as well as links to some of the sources we use to guide us in our decisions, both in the company and in our personal lives.
As of this writing, travel to many foreign destinations (i.e., outside the US) continues to be uncertain owing to a number of factors resulting from the pandemic. However, with more and more people being vaccinated as we move forward in 2021, our birding tourism is set to resume in earnest again as we write this. At Field Guides we will begin primarily with US destinations (for example, spring 2021 tours to the Texas Coast, Big Bend, Colorado Grouse, on several Arizona itineraries, to Pennsylvania and Cape May, and the first of our six May/June Alaska tours), while confirming foreign destinations (for example, upcoming June Iceland tours) as we can. We can’t wait to get back into the field with you.
Please note that for travel on a Field Guides tour in the coming months we will require that each participant have completed a full COVID vaccination course at least two weeks prior to travel (if you are getting a two-dose vaccine, this means you must receive your second dose two weeks prior to departure). We are requiring all of our staff guides to be vaccinated also.
Please note, too, that for our upcoming spring tours we expect to have to follow some COVID-related pre-tour and on-tour protocols, even with vaccinated groups. To see the most recent update, visit our tour protocols page.
We are accepting bookings on tours where we have space available, with only the deposit due to hold a space and a $100 cancellation fee should you choose to cancel before the operational status of the tour is determined (currently this is typically 45-60 days ahead of planned departure). At this time, we are not billing for final payments for upcoming tours on our usual advance schedule of 120 days; instead, if you are holding space on a tour listed on our website, we will inform you if and when that tour’s operation can be confirmed, and at that time you may make your final choice regarding whether you wish to travel or not. (If a particular departure of interest to you is listed as fully booked, we encourage you to add your name to the tour’s waitlist in case a space opens up.)
From all of us at Field Guides, we want to thank you for your kind words and for the remarkable patience you’ve shown us during this past year of pandemic, the most challenging of our now 37 years in business. We love traveling with you, and many of you who have traveled with us repeatedly over the years are deeply woven into our close-knit community, with many first-time travelers joining those ranks every year. Our fantastic group of clients, working with our wonderful team in the office and our amazing guides in the field, is integrated into our lives as it is in few other businesses. We look forward to seeing you in person again as soon as possible!
Stay focused, stay engaged, and most of all, stay healthy!
— Jan Pierson, on behalf of everyone at Field Guides
ONLINE RESOURCES IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
A good source of up-to-date information related to travel is the Center for Disease Control’s COVID-19 page at this link:
Additionally, there is a more general CDC health travel page with links to specific countries and the latest guidance and recommendations (including those related to COVID-19) at this link:
We also recommend the CDC prevention page as a resource for ways that we can protect ourselves from becoming ill.
Based on the current information, these basic health practices can protect against the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear a mask when going out in public.
- Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and others.
- Stay at home and isolate yourself from others as much as possible.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
We will update this page as new information becomes available.