A note from our co-founders

“With the emergence of the Covid-19 virus and surrounding press coverage, understandably there are lots of questions and concerns around planning travel. Whilst we – as a travel operator – are in no way positioned to offer any expert view on how or when this situation will draw to a close, we do know that we need to find balance. Balance to counteract the levels of hyperbole, and a need to focus on the facts…”

Read the full note here.

Our approach (updated 20 March 2020)

The emergence of the Covid-19 virus and surrounding press coverage has understandably generated questions and concerns around planning travel when the virus is still spreading and official government travel advice continues to change.  As a highly personalised and service-driven company, Black Tomato is keen to support all our clients in helping you to make the best possible decisions around your travel plans.  Every client’s situation is different, and so we always make recommendations on a case-by-case basis, but the below gives some general guidelines of how we are managing the Covid-19 situation:

  • We are closely monitoring and managing this situation as it evolves; we receive daily updates from our local contacts in-country and also carefully review any news and official changes in travel advice from the UK Foreign Office and US State Department into destinations we operate in.
  • At the moment due to fast-changing government advice against travel and constantly evolving entry and quarantine restrictions, we are advising against any international travel for at least the next 4 weeks, and are working with clients with existing bookings to postpone their travel where possible.
  • Should official travel advice recommend against travel to your chosen destination, we will work actively with you to reroute or reschedule your itinerary.  Again, with Black Tomato you will have a personal contact to speak with about your plans and our 24/7 emergency number while you are travelling; we are actively communicating any changes in travel advice for clients due to depart within 8 weeks, and are always available to speak about any concerns or questions you may have, regardless of when or where you may be travelling.
  • As always, our primary priority is the health, wellbeing and happiness of our clients and staff, and we will continue to take any action necessary to support those travelling with us as fully as possible.

FAQ

I’m from the UK and travelling with you in the next 8 weeks. What if the FCO advises against non-essential travel to my destination?

Due to global government restrictions, we are advising against international travel for at least the next 4 weeks.  If you are due to travel any time in the next 8 weeks, we will be in contact to discuss your travel arrangements and postponing your trip.  As with our entire service, we appreciate that every client and every itinerary is different, and will therefore review each case individually to agree on the most appropriate course of action to fit your personal circumstances and situation.

I’m from the US and travelling with you in the next 8 weeks. What if the State Department changes its advisory level to my destination?

Due to global government restrictions, we are advising against international travel for at least the next 4 weeks.  If you are due to travel any time in the next 8 weeks, we will be in contact to discuss your travel arrangements and postponing your trip.  As with our entire service, we appreciate that every client and every itinerary is different, and will therefore review each case individually to agree on the most appropriate course of action to fit your personal circumstances and situation.

I’m travelling with you in 8+ weeks, what do you advise?

The circumstances around Covid-19 are evolving on an hourly basis; at this point, our recommendation would be to continue to monitor the situation in the hopeful expectation that your chosen destination will be safe for travel at that stage; if however you would like to consider pre-emptively postponing your trip we would be happy to review the possibilities with you.

What happens if I choose to postpone my dates to a season when rates are higher or lower?

If you wish to consider travelling in a season when rates are higher than you originally booked, we will calculate & communicate to you the increase in the price of the trip, which you would then need to pay as a supplement according to our normal payment terms.  If you choose to travel in a season when rates are lower, we would be able to offer you a refund of the difference between your original booking and your new booking.

I’m keen to book a trip, what if the FCO or State Department Travel Advisory advice changes?

We constantly monitor changes in travel advice to the destinations in which we operate – should this advice change in the lead-up to your trip we will communicate this to you immediately and at that time can discuss the right course of action, as detailed above.

Useful links

Based in the UK? We strongly recommend that all clients monitor the FCO travel advice page. Sign up to receive email alerts for the country you’re visiting: GOV.UK Foreign Travel Advice.

Based in the US? Please check the latest Government travel advice: US State Dept travel advice.

Based elsewhere and have a question? See below or read more about Coronavirus: World Health Organisation (WHO).

How to contact us

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your travel arrangements, please contact your Black Tomato Travel Expert, who will be happy to assist or send any question to [email protected], an inbox we are constantly monitoring.

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