COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement

Who should complete the COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement?

Travelers who are 18 and older can complete the form themselves, but any traveler under the age of 18 needs a parent or guardian to complete it for them. A Group Leader cannot complete the form on behalf of a traveler, regardless of the traveler’s age.

What happens if a traveler doesn’t complete the COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement?

Travelers must complete the COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement no later than 72 hours prior to the departure of their flight. Any traveler who fails to do so will not be permitted to travel, their flight reservation will be automatically cancelled, and no refund will be provided according to EF’s Standard Cancellation Policy.

What if something changes after a traveler completes the COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement and they can no longer satisfy ALL the requirements on the form?

If a traveler can no longer confirm that all points on the form are still accurate, they must immediately call the Traveler Support Team. The traveler will not be permitted to go on their tour, and they will have the option to receive a COVID-19 Future Travel Voucher (worth all monies paid with a $350 non-refundable portion).

COVID-19 Recovery

I recently had COVID-19. What do I need to know before traveling?

If a traveler has recently been diagnosed with COVID-19, there are certain criteria outlined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the traveler must satisfy in order for them to be around other people, and therefore cleared to travel on their tour. See this link for current CDC guidance: When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19

Pre-Departure COVID-19 Testing

Who is responsible for the scheduling and payment of pre-tour COVID-19 PCR tests?

When it comes to scheduling and payments, travelers are responsible for their own pre-tour COVID-19 PCR test.

How much does a COVID-19 PCR test cost, and how long does it take to get results?

The cost of a COVID-19 PCR test ranges widely by location—some areas provide free community testing, while others require varying amounts of payment. The timing of test results also varies, so it’s important for travelers to plan ahead with the specific testing solution they select.

Can a traveler satisfy the pre-tour testing requirement with an antigen COVID-19 test?

Under certain circumstances, a COVID-19 Antigen test may be an acceptable replacement for the COVID-19 PCR test requirement. EF will notify travelers in writing if a COVID-19 antigen test is acceptable for their specific destination.

Does a traveler need to send EF Explore America proof of their negative test results before their tour?

No, travelers don’t need to send EF proof of their negative test. However, travelers must be prepared to show their results on tour to any other parties that require them, like airlines and suppliers. Because travelers must carry their test results with them throughout their tour, we recommend they also make a copy. When a traveler signs the COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement, they confirm that they will attain a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of their flight departing for tour.

Does a traveler need to get a negative test, pre-tour if they are fully vaccinated?

Yes, travelers are still required to obtain a negative test regardless of their vaccination status.

What does “fully vaccinated” mean?

According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

What happens if a traveler tests positive for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their tour’s departure?

If a traveler receives a positive COVID-19 PCR test result within 72 hours prior to departure, they will not be able to travel on their tour. They should immediately call the Traveler Support Team. If the traveler has purchased the Travel Protection Plan, we understand that there may be cancellation benefits in this scenario based on a traveler’s specific circumstances. Travelers should review the coverage benefits in the policy and contact the licensed insurance provider, Specialty Insurance Solutions, Inc., https://www.sis-inc.biz/tours/efexploreamerica/. Travelers who have not purchased Global Travel Protection may elect to receive a COVID-19 Future Travel Voucher (worth all monies paid with a $350 non-refundable portion) in this instance.

If a traveler has purchased a Protection Plan through EF, will insurance provide coverage if the traveler receives a positive test result within 72 hours of their tour’s departure?

Travelers should review the coverage benefits in the policy and contact the licensed insurance provider, Specialty Insurance Solutions, Inc., with any questions at https://www.sis-inc.biz/tours/efexploreamerica/. We understand that there may be cancellation benefits in this scenario based on a traveler’s specific circumstances. Travelers who wish to pursue a claim should follow the instructions provided by the claims administrator, Seven Corners, on how to file a claim in order to have them determine if you are eligible for cancellation benefits.

What if a traveler indicates a reason—religious, medical, or otherwise—that prevents them from getting a COVID-19 test?

At this time, all travelers must satisfy our testing requirement before their tour in order to travel.

Will travelers need to show proof of their negative test results or proof of vaccination during their tour?

While EF is not collecting negative test results or proof of vaccination, travelers should be prepared to provide this proof while on tour, as some destinations, suppliers and activities require them for entry. This underscores the importance of travelers carrying their test results and proof of vaccination with them throughout the entire duration of the tour.

Does a traveler need to be vaccinated in order to travel?

There may be situations in which the destination a group is traveling to requires travelers to be fully vaccinated prior to travel. EF will notify travelers in advance should this be the case.

Pre-Departure COVID-19 Exposure

What is the definition of “close contact”?

“Close contact” is defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether one or both people were wearing masks.

What are the requirements a traveler must meet if they are aware they were in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days of their tour’s departure?

Travelers must meet ONE OR MORE of the following requirements:

  • If they remain symptom free AND it has been more than 10 days since the exposure
  • If they remain symptom free AND they receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at least 5 days since exposure AND it’s been 7 days since exposure
  • If they have been fully vaccinated (received both shots AND passed a waiting period of 2 weeks since the second shot) within the last 3 months
  • If they have had AND recovered from COVID-19 in the last 3 months, AND have not developed any symptoms since their close contact

Pre-Departure Symptoms

Will EF require that travelers’ temperatures be taken at the airport prior to departure?

No, not at this time. Travelers are required to monitor their own health, paying specific attention to the development of any symptoms associated with COVID-19. While EF is not requiring temperature checks, they may be a requirement from specific suppliers on their tour, including airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc.

What happens if a traveler has symptoms associated with COVID-19 in the 72 hours prior to departure, on the day of departure, or at the airport prior to departure?

A customer who has symptoms associated with COVID-19 within any of these time periods may not travel on their tour. They must immediately call the Traveler Support Team and can elect to receive a COVID-19 Future Travel Voucher (worth all monies paid with a $350 non-refundable portion).

If a traveler has purchased a Protection Plan through EF, will they be covered if they cancel their tour due to the development of COVID-19 symptoms before departure?

Travelers should review the coverage benefits in the policy and contact the licensed insurance provider, Specialty Insurance Solutions, Inc., with any questions at https://www.sis-inc.biz/tours/efexploreamerica/. We understand that, typically, any cancellation coverage will require a medical professional’s input into an individual’s ability or inability to travel. Travelers who wish to pursue a claim should follow the instructions provided by the claims administrator, Seven Corners, on how to file a claim in order to have them determine if you are eligible for cancellation benefits.

On-Tour EF Educational Tours and Local Regulations

What happens if a traveler refuses to follow EF’s guidelines and/or local regulations while on tour?

In addition to being subject to penalties for failure to follow local regulations (which may include measures like fines, tickets, etc.), a traveler may be removed from the tour and sent home at their own expense if there are multiple instances of the traveler refusing to follow EF’s guidelines or local regulations.

On-Tour Mask Wearing

What kind of mask is acceptable for tour?

The masks that are acceptable for tour follow the CDC’s guidance.

What is acceptable:

  • Medical procedure masks
  • Masks that fit properly (snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the side of the face)
  • Masks made with breathable fabric (such as cotton)
  • Masks made with tightly woven fabric (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source)
  • Masks with 2 or 3 layers
  • Masks with inner filter pockets


What is NOT acceptable:
  • Masks that do not fit properly (large gaps, too loose, or too tight)
  • Masks made from materials that are hard to breathe through (such as plastic or leather)
  • Masks made from fabric that is loosely woven or knitted, such as fabrics that light pass through
  • Masks with 1 layer
  • Masks with exhalation valves or vents
  • Wearing a scarf/ski mask

How many masks should a traveler bring with them on tour?

While facilities to wash cloth masks may be available throughout tour, travelers should plan to bring enough cloth or disposable masks to wear for the entirety of their trip without relying on the ability to wash cloth masks.

What happens if, before their program, a traveler decides they are not comfortable complying with a mask requirement on tour?

As a reminder, all groups and individuals have the ability to cancel and enact EF’s COVID Peace of Mind Program if it’s at least 45 days prior to their tour’s departure.

If a traveler is wearing a mask, do they still need to socially distance?

Yes. A mask is not a replacement for social distancing, and all travelers should plan to socially distance as much as possible while on tour.

What happens if a traveler refuses to wear a mask on tour when one is required?

They will not be permitted to participate in any tour activities until they are wearing an acceptable mask. If there are multiple instances of a traveler refusing to wear a mask when required, they will be removed from the tour and sent home at their own expense.

Will travelers need to wear masks while on the bus on tour?

Yes – all travelers must wear a mask at all times while on the coach bus on tour.

Does a traveler need to wear a mask on tour, when required, if they have been fully vaccinated and/or have recovered from COVID-19 within the last 3 months?

Yes. While on tour, all travelers must wear a mask when required, and must wear a mask at all times while on their group’s private motorcoach.

Health on Tour

What symptoms associated with COVID-19 need to be checked for daily when a traveler is on tour?

Currently, the CDC indicates that people with COVID-19 have reported a wide array of symptoms—ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Will EF require that travelers’ temperatures be taken on a daily basis while on tour?

No, not at this time. Travelers are required to monitor their own health on a daily basis, paying specific attention to the development of any symptoms associated with COVID-19. While EF is not requiring temperature checks, they may be a requirement from specific suppliers on the tour, including airlines, hotels, restaurants, etc.

What happens if a traveler develops any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 while on tour?

If a traveler notices any symptoms associated with COVID-19, they should immediately contact their Tour Director and should NOT participate in that day’s tour activities (at minimum). Depending on the situation and local public health guidelines, the traveler may be required to visit with a doctor, take a COVID-19 test, and/or quarantine in their hotel room.

If a traveler needs to get tested for COVID-19 on tour due to the development of symptoms or being exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19, who pays for the test?

In the event that a traveler has symptoms and a medical professional or health authority has recommended testing for COVID-19, or if a traveler is known to have been in close contact on tour with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, EF will pay for the on-tour test.

If a traveler has to miss a day/days of tour because they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, will they get a refund for missed days of tour?

If a traveler contracts COVID-19 while on tour and they have purchased the Travel Protection Plan, we understand that there may be tour interruption benefits in this scenario based on a traveler’s specific circumstances. Travelers should review the coverage benefits in the policy and contact the licensed insurance provider, Specialty Insurance Solutions, Inc., https://www.sis-inc.biz/tours/efexploreamerica/. For travelers who have not purchased Travel Protection, EF will provide a non-refundable, non-transferable Future Travel Voucher to the traveler with the following terms:

  • If the traveler has missed 50% or more of the tour duration, we will issue a voucher for 100% of the tour purchase price.
  • If the traveler has missed less than 50% of the tour duration, we will issue a voucher for a pro-rated amount of the purchase price calculated on the days missed.

If a traveler has to miss a day/days of tour because they have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, will they get a refund for missed days of tour?

If a traveler has been in close contact to someone who has contracted COVID-19 while on tour and as a result must miss all or a part of their tour, EF will facilitate care and/or quarantine for the traveler/group as part of our COVID Care Promise, and will issue a non-refundable, non-transferable Future Travel Voucher to the traveler with the following terms:

  • If the traveler has missed 50% or more of the tour duration, we will issue a voucher for 100% of the tour purchase price.
  • If the traveler has missed less than 50% of the tour duration, we will issue a voucher for a pro-rated amount of the purchase price calculated on the days missed.

If a traveler has to miss a day/days of tour because they have symptoms associated with COVID-19, will they get a refund for missed days of tour?

Generally speaking, no. If a customer has purchased a Protection Plan through EF and visits with a medical professional who indicates they are not medically fit to participate on tour, we understand that there may be insurance coverage available for missed days of tour depending on that traveler’s specific circumstances. The customer can file a claim with Seven Corners upon return home from tour, who will evaluate if the traveler is eligible for any refund.

On-Tour Quarantine and/or Isolation

What happens if an individual traveler tests positive for COVID-19?

Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 will be isolated according to local public health guidelines. Generally speaking, travelers should expect to stay in their hotel rooms (likely a single room) and food will be delivered to those hotel rooms. Travelers who need medical attention due to contracting COVID-19 will be connected with local medical professionals. This may involve bringing a medical professional to the hotel or transporting the traveler to a local medical facility depending on the location and nature of the situation.

How long will the isolation period last on tour for a traveler who tests positive for COVID-19?

The duration of an isolation due to a positive test for COVID-19 varies slightly based on location and the specific situation. As a point of reference, the current CDC recommendation for an isolation period is a minimum of 10 days from the positive test for COVID-19. To leave isolation, a traveler must meet certain requirements including (but not limited to) remaining symptom free, OR (if symptomatic) the significant reduction of symptoms (e.g., no fever) for a period of time.

Who pays for the hotels and meals during the isolation period?

According to the COVID Care Promise, EF will provide for hotels and meals during the quarantine or isolation period. See the COVID Care Promise for terms.

Does insurance pay for medical care needed due to contracting COVID-19?

Travelers should consult with their primary medical insurance provider to determine whether it applies while on tour, and learn what is and is not covered related to COVID-19. If the traveler has purchased a Travel Protection Plan through EF, we understand that there may be insurance coverage available for medical costs depending on that traveler’s specific circumstances. The customer can file a claim with Seven Corners upon return home from tour, who will evaluate if the traveler is eligible for any refund.

Will a customer get a refund for missed days of tour during an isolation period?

If a traveler contracts COVID-19 while on tour OR has been in close contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19 while on tour and as a result must miss all or a part of their tour, EF will facilitate care and/or quarantine for the traveler/group as part of our COVID Care Promise, and will issue a non-refundable, non-transferable Future Travel Voucher to the traveler with the following terms:

  • If the traveler has missed 50% or more of the tour duration, we will issue a voucher for 100% of the tour purchase price.
  • If the traveler has missed less than 50% of the tour duration, we will issue a voucher for a pro-rated amount of the purchase price calculated on the days missed.

If a traveler has purchased the Travel Protection Plan offered by EF and is diagnosed with COVID-19 while on tour, they may want to forgo electing to receive a voucher and instead contact the plan provider, Specialty Insurance Solutions, Inc., to discuss whether coverage may be available for missed days on tour and/or file a claim with the claims administrator, Seven Corners.

Will a traveler need to get tested if someone else in their bus tests positive for COVID-19?

Yes. If one tour member tests positive for COVID-19, all members of that group will need to be tested. The timing of the testing may vary based on local public health guidance. In the event that a traveler has symptoms or is known to have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 during the tour, EF will pay for the on-tour test.

There may be exceptions to the testing requirement for travelers who have been fully vaccinated and/or have proof of recovery.

How long will a group have to quarantine if an individual on their tour tests positive for COVID-19?

The duration of a quarantine due to exposure varies slightly based on location and the specific situation. As a point of reference, the current CDC recommendation for a quarantine ranges from 7–14 days. The duration of the quarantine ultimately depends on a combination of factors, like exposure timeframe, symptoms, and testing. Generally speaking, most countries’ public health entities recommend or require a quarantine period within this range.

Does a traveler need to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated (received both shots, and it has been at least 2 weeks since the second shot) and/or has recovered from COVID-19 in the last 3 months?

If a traveler satisfies specific requirements related to their vaccine and/or having recovered from COVID-19 in the 3 months prior to tour, there may be exceptions made to the quarantine requirement, depending on local guidelines. These situations will be evaluated by trained contact tracers.

Who pays for the hotels and meals during the quarantine period?

According to the COVID Care Promise, EF will provide for hotels and meals during the quarantine or isolation period. See the COVID Care Promise for terms.

What if a quarantine or isolation period causes travelers to miss their originally scheduled return flight home?

Upon beginning the quarantine or isolation period, our travel team will proactively rebook the full group’s return flight considering the minimum quarantine or isolation period. Additionally, if a traveler is unable to leave quarantine at the anticipated time, our travel team will rebook their return flight again at no additional cost to the traveler.

What would cause a quarantine to be extended beyond the minimum required period?

Different factors may require the extension of a quarantine, including (but not limited to) further positive COVID-19 test results, development of symptoms, specific public health guidance, etc.

What if a traveler does not want to quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19 while on tour?

Travelers are required to follow local public health guidance related to quarantining due to possible exposure to COVID-19. We will do everything possible to facilitate the quarantine period, including hotel booking and changing flights, and will keep the group informed of any and all quarantine requirements.

If EF is made aware that an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 who has interacted with the group but is NOT in the tour group (e.g., a hotel staff member, restaurant server, etc.), will the group be informed?

Whenever possible. If, through contact tracing, EF is able to determine that an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 was in close contact with any tour group members, the group will be informed and may need to quarantine in accordance with local public health guidance.

Pre-Return COVID-19 Testing [international tours only]

Who is responsible for finding, facilitating, and paying for the COVID-19 test required by the CDC for re-entry into the U.S. from another country?

EF will facilitate return testing for travelers so long as it is a requirement of the CDC for re-entry into the U.S. The costs associated with the test will be the responsibility of the traveler unless otherwise indicated.

What happens if a tour group member tests positive for COVID-19 as a result of the CDC testing requirement for re-entry into the U.S. from another country?

The individual who tests positive must isolate and the full tour group must quarantine in this scenario (see this section for isolation and quarantine details).

What is a “proof of recovery” from a medical professional?

“Proof of recovery” includes paper or electronic copies of a traveler’s positive COVID-19 test result and a signed letter on official letterhead that contains the name, address, and phone number of a licensed healthcare provider or public health official stating that they have been cleared to end isolation and therefore can travel. A letter that states that they have been cleared to end isolation to return to work or school is also acceptable. The letter does not have to specifically mention travel. The letter must be dated no more than 90 days prior to the date of travel.

Post-Tour Advisories and Guidelines

If federal, state, and/or local travel guidelines require or recommend that a traveler quarantine upon returning home from international travel, will EF pay for missed days of work or a substitute teacher (if applicable)?

No, EF will not pay for missed workdays or substitute teachers in the case of extended on-tour or post-tour quarantining.

How will EF let a traveler know if someone they were traveling with is diagnosed with COVID-19?

If made aware that a member of the tour group has developed symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19 within a 14-day period of tour, EF will conduct contact tracing to understand who in the tour group must be informed and advised to quarantine and get a COVID-19 test based on the exposure timeframe. EF will not release the identity of the individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.