Field Guides travel and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated 7 August 2020

At Field Guides, we are continuously monitoring news and developments regarding COVID-19 and its effects and impacts on travel especially. At the bottom of this page, we provide links to some of the sources we use to guide us in our decisions, both in the company and in our personal lives.

On 19 March, the U.S. State Department issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory, which advised U.S. citizens to avoid international travel as countries come to grips with the pandemic. This Global Advisory was lifted on 6 August. However, travel to many destinations is still problematic or impossible owing to limited air service, restrictions on entry, or other factors resulting from the pandemic.

Based on the international and domestic destinations in our summer schedule affected by the pandemic, we have cancelled tours through September. Since mid-March, we have been contacting the hundreds of Field Guides travelers booked on tours to let them know our plans for each trip through the middle of the year. (If you have booked a tour departing from late August onward and have not yet heard from us, we promise to be in touch soon. We are working through tours in chronological order.)

Our office staff have worked tirelessly to reschedule tours for later in the year or for 2021 as we work through our schedule, and we will continue to do this on a rolling basis as we assess the latest information available. We have been heartened by our participants’ outpouring of support. 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 time, the most challenging of our 35 years in business. We are maintaining a clear perspective and a spirit of optimism as we work through this. 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 would like all our travelers to know that if you have booked and paid for a tour that is cancelled, we will make every effort to refund or credit your tour fee, depending on the circumstances. We are finding that the time needed to re-work each tour’s arrangements is immense, and so we ask for your continued patience as we work through our many dozens of planned departures.

We are and will remain flexible in our planning, assessing new information as it becomes available. Much remains uncertain regarding when we will return to some semblance of normal operations and normal life. We very much hope that it will be sooner rather than later. In the meantime, we want to do whatever it takes to do right by everyone we work with—our close-knit staff, our operators and suppliers, and especially you, our wonderful tour participants, who are in so many cases our dear, long-time friends.

Stay focused, stay engaged, and most of all, stay healthy!

— Jan Pierson, on behalf of everyone at Field Guides

PS: If you would like a good break from COVID news, we’ve created a page on our website where we are posting a regular stream of fresh videos from our guides, who report on a variety of topics from their home bases around the world.

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:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

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:

wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

We also recommend the CDC prevention page as a resource for ways that we can protect ourselves from becoming ill.

Many reading this have been asked to shelter in their homes or to stay indoors except for essential shopping needs. We recommend rigorous social distancing to all our friends, family, and clients at this time: avoid groups of people and stay home or in locations away from others whenever feasible. Social distancing will slow the rate of infection, according to all medical advisors. Staying well hydrated, getting good rest, keeping stress low, getting some fresh air (looking at birds!), and taking a brisk walk now and then will also help maintain good health.

Based on the current information, other 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.
  • Clean and disinfect packaging on deliveries and grocery items.

We will update this page as new information becomes available.