Our Response to COVID-19
To protect the health and safety of our staff and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re going above and beyond.
Without a doubt, these are challenging times. And our operations have had to adapt – we are taking all possible precautions and following all protocols to ensure the health, safety, and wellness of our staff, guides, partners, and you, our wonderful patrons.
Here is what you can expect when you book a trip with Bio Bio Expeditions:
When we are planning our trip we take into consideration all of the protocols being implemented in the country or countries we visit during your adventure. Currently, most of our destination countries require confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test, no longer than 72 hours before your arrival.
In anticipation of your travels, we require all clients to sign our updated Risk/Release form, an additional measure to help reduce your risk of COVID-19 exposure as you monitor you and your family’s health – and potential symptoms – before your scheduled departure.
Five days before you travel, you will be required to complete and sign our new Health & Hygiene Pledge. This document is your confirmation that you are healthy and agree to comply with BBX protocols and participate in all screening measures. Our screening measures include a COVID symptom questionnaire and temperature check prior to travel, at the pre-trip meeting, and daily for the duration of your trip to ensure there are no changes in anyone’s health in the group.
Masks and face coverings
Currently, you can expect not to have to wear a mask or face covering when in a boat. However, please be prepared to wear a covering or mask in these situations:
- Attending the pre-trip meeting
- During travel in an aircraft or vehicle
- When indoors in any building
- When you meet staff, partners, or another travel participant for the first time, or when we approach another group on the trail or on the river
- When in the food line for all meals
To properly comply with our new guidelines, we’re asking all of our guests to bring with them no fewer than two reusable or washable masks or face coverings – cloth mask, bandana, or neck gaiter. You should be prepared to use a fresh, clean mask or other face-covering every day of your trip with us.
Hygiene and sanitation
We at BBX have always maintained a very high standard of hygiene and sanitation. The pandemic has required us to double down on specific protocols, particularly as it pertains to hand-washing, food service, transportation, and our equipment. Here’s what these enhancements look like:
Hand-washing — When we’re in camp, please expect an enhanced focus on hand-washing. BBX ensures the two to three-foot pump-operated handwash stations conveniently located at every camp. We are also equipped with a reliably consistent supply of hand sanitizer. Additionally, every boat is supplied with ample soap and/or hand sanitizer. We do, however, encourage all guests to bring their own supply of hand sanitizer for your consistent and convenient personal use, in the event other options aren’t available.
Foodservice — Our staff is required to wear face coverings and gloves when packing, preparing, or handling food or beverages in any way. We’ve also mandated enhanced sanitation efforts throughout our foodservice operations. Additionally, we’ve removed communal appetizers and snacks from our menus. Rather than our usual breakfast and supper buffets and DIY sandwich lunches, all meals are now served by your guides.
Transportation — Not only have we reduced the number of people in a vehicle, but it is required that passengers wash and/or sanitize hands, wear an appropriate face covering before boarding. Once aboard the vehicle, there will be additional precautions required: physical distancing, open windows whenever possible, eliminating the use of heating or air conditioning (features that recirculate inside air). Rest assured, all of our vehicles are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after every use.
Equipment — As we do our best to minimize or eliminate the sharing of equipment or other items, all personal gear – helmets, PFDs, sleep kits, tents, and dry bags – will be assigned for the duration of the trip. They will be clearly marked and easy to distinguish from the others. Anything that does have to be shared and can’t be eliminated, is frequently and thoroughly sanitized. For instance, any games that involve the close contact of the or touching will be restricted altogether.
At the end of every trip, all BBX equipment is thoroughly laundered, washed, and sanitized. For the safety of our team and clients, sleeping pads and tents are sanitized and/or restricted from use for 72 hours.
Ours are group travel experiences. Despite this fact, we strongly encourage our guests to practice physical distancing – at least six feet – from any BBX staff and others who are not part of your bubble (part of your household) or anyone with whom you did not travel to the meeting place for your trip, or what we call your travel unit. Travel units are together in aircraft, vehicles, and boats. We ensure that no more than one or two travel units per boat (one travel unit per inflatable kayak) with limited movement between rafts, inflatable kayaks, and SUPs during the day.
In the event a guide or guest shows COVID-19 symptoms while on an adventure, we consult with local agencies regarding the availability and rationale for a rapid evacuation. The infected individuals will be isolated from others and we will follow EMS/WFR protocols to provide appropriate medical treatment.
Testing for COVID-19 will be implemented at the earliest opportunity and BBX will notify the appropriate agencies along with all trip participants of the results.
Given worldwide travel restrictions, we are working diligently with our guests and affiliate operators to reschedule or cancel travel plans on a case by case basis.
It’s important to note, however, that some of our BBX trips are conducted in collaboration with partners and operators. This includes local guides, transportation services, hotels, camps, etc. These are small local businesses that support resident communities, and we’re proud to consider them part of our team. When you reserve an international trip with BBX, we make non-refundable payments for entrance fees and contract services on your behalf months in advance. Under normal circumstances, deposits and final payments (typically due 90 – 130 days prior to departure) are non-refundable, and in some cases, it can be difficult, if not impossible for us to get those payments back.
The bottom line: we are committed to doing our absolute best, given the circumstances, to minimize any fees incurred. That said, it may very well be that transferring to a future trip may offer the greatest value, often at no cost to you. For any deposit you put down for a new trip after October 1st, 2020, we guarantee you either a full transfer of funds to a future trip or a full refund.
We are pleased to announce that our preferred insurance provider, Travelex, is now offering COVID-19 (Coronavirus) coverage. Travelex Insurance protection plans can provide coverage if you, a traveling companion, family member or business partner tests positive, or are diagnosed by a physician, for the coronavirus before or during your trip. This means you may be eligible for benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical and medical evacuation. Learn more on the Travelex Insurance Services website.