Submitted by 1stageteamadmin on Tue, 03/17/2020 - 13:30
Thank you all for your patience while we deal with an unprecedented situation, never known before in the travel industry.  We are aware that there is considerable anxiety among our clients relating to possible exposure to CV-19 and the travel restrictions which are currently being imposed.  
On 12th March the Government issued a statement advising against all overseas tours for schools, colleges and settings where there are students under 18.  Please read this guidance here.  
For clients with tour departure dates falling in the next 30 days who are affected by this advice, OneStage will take all reasonable steps to mitigate the effects, including assisting with plans to postpone tours where possible.  As outlined by ABTA, the advice is not mandatory and does not exempt schools from the terms and conditions set out by OneStage. Schools should contact their travel insurers & school insurers to find out whether they have any cover in place to provide refunds to individual group members.   
There is currently no advice given against travel taken in the UK, or overseas travel undertaken by further education establishments with students over the age of 18. Schools and universities in this category should make decisions based on their own internal governing bodies.    
All groups intending to continue with travel imminently must check their travel insurance policies, and make sure that they are not invalidating their insurance by travelling.   
There are several countries currently imposing bans on entry by UK citizens, and this is changing on a daily basis. If your tour dates fall within the stipulated dates of the controls quoted, then OneStage are unable to continue with your tour arrangements. Please check the FCO pages where you can find specific advice about each country in relation to Coronavirus. (Select the country page, then “health”, scrolling down to the section about CV-19 in each case). 
If Onestage are unable to continue with your tour, we will be in touch with you to discuss suitable refunds or postponements as required, so that your group members can be reimbursed or provided with an alternative.   
We are aware that our clients who are travelling later in the year may be feeling anxious about making final payments for their tour.  Given that the situation is changing on a daily basis, this is totally understandable. We are currently identifying tours where final payments are due imminently and contacting all suppliers with the intention of delaying the final payment dates and financial commitments for our clients to as late a date as possible.  Please be assured that we will be contacting all our clients individually about this as soon as possible.  
Where FCO or Government advice states an end date, or a date for review, tours taking place with departure dates beyond this date would be subject to the usual cancellation fees.  By extending (where we are able to), our clients’ payment dates, this will give our clients the opportunity to see whether restrictions are extended or cancelled before making further commitment.     We thank everyone for their patience and please be assured that we are doing everything we can to satisfy our clients’ differing needs at this time.  
Pippy Trentham  
Operations Director, OneStage