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Travel Advisory re. COVID-19

Updated March 12, 2020

Our priority at OFFBEAT is the safety and wellbeing of our participants, both on domestic and international workshops. 

As such, in light of COVID-19, we are taking every precaution to assess the situation in each region we plan to travel to for workshops, and areas that might impact travel to those destinations. We are in touch with our trusted operators on the ground, frequently checking advisories and restrictions, and determining our course of action on a case by case basis.

The situation with COVID-19 changes daily. Media networks may not be the best source of information as we make our decisions. As we have concrete information, we will release it to our participants. In order to prevent any rash response to the situation with COVID-19, we are first examining the information available to us instead of cancelling or postponing any trips prematurely. 

Our best option is to continue to communicate with our partners in the destinations we are travelling to, and stay on top of any government-imposed closures that might impact the travel plans of our leaders and participants. 

At this time, we are treating each workshop individually. Notes specific to each destination we planned to visit in the near future can be found below. Should we deem a country unsafe, or where travel restrictions or cancelled flights do not permit OFFBEAT to operate, we will cancel the workshop (please see our Cancellation Policy below).

We recommend you contact your insurance provider with any questions regarding insurance for any booked flight and other travel costs. Continue to take normal health precautions: washing hands frequently, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and ensuring you have all relevant vaccinations up to date. 

Entry/Exit Requirements:

From travel.gc.ca:

In an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), some governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions for their territory. Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destination have implemented any specific restrictions related to this situation. These include entry requirements, quarantines, border closures and flight suspensions.

  • Monitor the media for the latest information
  • Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans

Workshop Updates

Enigmatic Easter Island – Chile (March 2020)

Due to the imminent departure date for this workshop amidst uncertainty with border closures and travel restrictions, we have decided to cancel the workshop. We also feel it is our duty to assist in global efforts to contain the virus. Encouraging our participants to travel during a global pandemic goes against our core values as a business. All of our participants have been notified. 

Bhutan: The Karma Kingdom (May 2020)

The first case of COVID-19 was reported and the government issued a two-week restriction on incoming tourists and will reassess at the end of that two-week window. OFFBEAT is in touch directly with our operators on the ground. Information is being posted here by the Office of the Prime Minister. We will continue to monitor and assess the situation.

Portraits in High Places – Canada (October 2020)

Our domestic workshops are still operational until further notice. 

The Art of Storytelling – Canada (October 2020)

Our domestic workshops are still operational until further notice. 

Breathless in Botswana (November 2020)

This workshop is currently planned to go ahead without interruption. We will continue to assess the situation with COVID-19 as it pertains to this trip later in 2020.

OFFBEAT Cancellation and Insurance Policy

As listed on our website at https://offbeatphoto.ca/support/faq/#cancelworkshops

CANCELLATION: 

Spots are non-refundable but are transferable, with the exception of a $250 administration fee. For instance, we will provide a refund, minus the administration fee, if the participant is able to find someone else to take his or her spot and can sell/transfer the spot to a new participant. Please contact us at erin@offbeatphoto.ca to make arrangements.

Although extremely unlikely, OFFBEAT Photography Inc. reserves the right to cancel the tour at any time for a variety of reasons (i.e. if a minimum number of participants is not met or if unforeseen circumstances dramatically impacted cost of the tour or global conditions somehow warranted a cancellation). In the very unlikely event of a cancellation within OFFBEAT’s control, all monies/deposits made to OFFBEAT Photography Inc. would be refunded to participants, however, no compensation would be made for participant flight cancellation fees or any other associated travel costs. See Insurance Policy for more details.

In the very unlikely event of a cancellation beyond OFFBEAT’s control (i.e. global situation, act of God, war, medical outbreak, extreme weather), every attempt would be made to rebook the tour within a period of two years. In this situation, no refunds would be given but every effort made to find participants a spot on the rescheduled tour or another upcoming OFFBEAT tour.

INSURANCE: 

It is not only advised but required that workshop participants have trip cancellation/interruption insurance, as well as emergency medical/illness insurance and rescue coverage (proof required within 4 months of departure).

Weather and other unforeseen factors can cause delays in travel, particularly from some of our more remote locations. It is the participant’s responsibility to cover any costs in the case of a travel delay of any length. Please ensure your trip cancellation/interruption insurance accommodates this possibility.

By purchasing a spot you are acknowledging that you accept these conditions.