COVID Safe
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The world is waiting. MEET IT WITH CONFIDENCE

When you're ready to get back out into the world, we’re here to help make sure your return to travel is safe for everyone. We’ve introduced additional health and safety measures to protect you, your group, our staff and Program Leaders, and of course, our local partners, host communities, and all the other amazing people we'll meet along the way.

COVID Training

OG staff, Program Leaders and local partners complete COVID-19 health and safety training. Learn more.

Risk Assessments

Before we run any program, OG conducts a comprehensive risk assessment for the program that includes a complete dry-run of the itinerary. Learn More.

Vaccines & COVID Tests

OG has developed new policies and procedures around COVID-19 vaccines and testing so that everyone on program can breathe easy. Learn more.

Travel Alerts

At OG, we follow the guidance of the WHO, local, Canadian and United States government travel advisories. Learn more.

YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY IS OUR TOP PRIORITY

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OG has received the Travel Industry Association of Ontario and World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp certifying that we’ve implemented rigorous protocols to ensure the health and safety of both travellers and host destinations. Our protocols take direction from the WHO and CDC and are updated regularly as new information becomes available about COVID-19 and situation on the ground.

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OG has also implemented the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) Health & Safety Guidelines. These measures were created specifically to tackle the risks associated with COVID-19 and a wide range of activities from trekking and cycling to culinary experiences and working with wildlife. They were made in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic, a world renowned healthcare provider.

Sign up stress free

Universal Deposits

Your deposit with OG is universal and guarantees you a place on an OG program, period. If you need to change your travel plans, you can, for any reason, no questions asked, and at no additional charge. We promise! Learn more.

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No Change Fees

Sometimes plans change and we need to change with them. So, if you need to postpone or want to switch your program, just let us know and we’ll help you rebook at no additional charge. Learn more.

Flexible Instalments

We try to make our programs more accessible by collecting program payments in three easy instalments but everyone’s situation is different. We can work with you to make a personal payment plan. Learn more.

Refunds & Credits

If your program is cancelled due to COVID-19, you’ll get a 110% credit voucher towards another OG program or your money back. Learn more.

got covid-19 related questions? We've got answers

At OG, we like to keep our groups small with an average group size of about 8-10, that way we can explore some of the nooks and crannies larger groups can’t. An added benefit of our smaller group size is a reduced risk of COVID-19. 

Trying to maintain physical distancing inside our groups at all times would be impractical but we will try to keep 2m/6ft apart from others and make adjustments to travel, room and board to avoid crowded spaces. We will also comply with local rules regarding capacity and physical distancing.

Yes. OG now requires that participants and Program Leaders carry proof of vaccination to travel with OG. OG recognizes any vaccine that has been authorized for use by the national health authority where it was administered. We are also working closely with our local partners to promote vaccination in all of our host communities. 

If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you can request an exemption by contacting OGHQ and providing a letter from a medical professional. OG will assess exemptions on a case-by-case basis. To learn more, give us a shout. 

You may also be required to show a negative COVID test to obtain a visa and/or gain entry to your destination. To see current entry and testing requirements checkout the Sherpa 

To begin our group adventure stress free and better protect everyone in-country, we also require that all participants show proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before your first day of your program.

To help make sure we do not contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the places we go, OG requires participants and Program Leaders to wear masks whenever and wherever they are required according to local health authorities. That said, we recommend that everyone wear masks whenever they are in more public areas where physical distancing is difficult and especially indoors and in transit. 

Program Leaders carry extra masks as part of their first-aid kits but we ask participants to bring their own supply of comfy masks for the program but don’t worry, we’ll talk more about masks and mask wearing during your pre-program health and safety chat.

In addition to OG’s standard risk management policies and procedures, we will be implementing a number of other control measures to limit the risk related COVID-19:

  • Program Leaders will make sure everyone has access to washing stations before and after every meal. 
  • Everyone will get alcohol-based hand sanitizer which they should carry with them during the day.
  • Group meals will be prepared by well-trained cooks and local vendors who have been vetted by OG and briefed on our health needs. 
  • Program Leaders are trained in Wilderness First Aid and will be monitoring the health of the group throughout the program.
  • OGHQ works closely with local and international governments and health authorities. We are in regular contact with Program Leaders throughout the program and the OG’s emergency line is available 24/7.

If you or someone else on your program shows signs or symptoms of COVID during a program,  Program leaders will be there to help access medical services as quickly as possible. We will follow the advice of local health authorities on whether a COVID-19 test is required, whether there is a need to self-isolate or quarantine and whether there is a risk of it spreading to anyone else in the group or the community. Program Leaders will help with translation and OGHQ can always help get in touch with family and friends or coordinate with insurance companies, travel agents, and airlines if need be. 

Should a case of COVID-19 be confirmed, health and safety protocols will kick in. We will inform the group and local health authorities of potential exposure. We will initiate a disinfection protocol and coordinate isolation and quarantine measures with local health authorities to prevent any further spread.  

Please note that Program Leaders and OGHQ will be there to assist you and everyone else in the group but you and your insurer would be responsible for any costs related to testing, treatment or self-isolation. So, please make sure you have access to emergency funds during your program.

Only if we have to. We are committed to protecting everyone in the OG community and that might mean pulling the plug on a program if conditions pose too much of a risk.

In the rare event that OG has to cancel your program due to enrollment, we can relocate you to another program, ez-pz. And for your trouble, we’ll give you a $250 CAD ($200 USD) travel voucher. If you would rather cancel, OG will simply refund all of your program payments, including the Universal Deposit. Operation Groundswell will not take responsibility for any other costs related to your travel like flights, travel insurance, immunizations or any other associated costs. 

Operation Groundswell does not assume responsibility for events beyond its control and OG will only issue refunds for payments according to our Payment Terms & Conditions. 

That said, we understand that there is a lot of uncertainty out there with COVID-19. So, to help provide a little peace of mind, Operation Groundswell will offer to refund membership and program fees for any programs cancelled in 2022 due to COVID-19. You can use your Universal Deposit towards any other OG program for up to two years.

OG will also make every effort to determine the viability of your program more than 60 days before its scheduled to start. So, keep your eyes out for our email updates. For more information about program cancellations and refunds, check out our Payment Terms and Conditions.

If you need to cancel or postpone your participation on an OG program, OG’s standard Payment Terms & Conditions apply. That means that we’ll hold your non-refundable Universal Deposit until you are ready to use it for up to two years. Your Membership Fee is fully refundable up to 45 days before your short program’s start date or 60 days for long programs. Your Program Fee is fully refundable up to 30 days before your short program’s start date or 45 days before if it’s a long program. Unfortunately, if you have to cancel after that, OG cannot provide any refunds.

Please note, while OG does not require participants to purchase flight or trip cancellation insurance, we strongly recommend it. Just make sure to read the policy in full before you buy it! Flight and/or trip cancellation insurance may be able to help you avoid losses if events beyond our control result in the suspension of your program but they often don’t cover COVID related expenses. So, be careful.

Of course. We’re here to help. Feel free to give us a call Monday-Friday between 9am-5pm Eastern at 1-888-422-0164. Or shoot us an email at [email protected]oundswell.com. During program, you will also have a dedicated emergency contact at OGHQ which you can reach 24/7.

If Not Now, Then When?

THE WORLD IS CHANGING. HELP CHANGE IT FOR THE BETTER.
JOIN THE GROWING COMMUNITY OF ETHICAL TRAVELLERS.

20% off

ON all programs with February-April 2022 start dates

USE THE CODE CYBER21 WHEN YOU APPLY