2023 Travel and health updates
After a busy and successful 2022 season, in which pent up enthusiasm for travel led to a large increase in demand for our bicycle tours and rental services in Italy and in various European countries, we continue to thank our travelers for the continued support since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also reflect upon the lessons learned from three seasons assisting travelers from around the world in times of pandemic.
As the 2023 touring season begins, we can happily say that travel restrictions have eased substantially – European countries have removed Covid entry and travel regulations, so international travel to Europe is expected to thrive again this season. Still, we continue to monitor the situation in all countries in which we operate tours, as well as our internal health and safety policies and practices. Please refer to our guidelines and protocols for staying healthy on tour, below (What are we doing about health on tour). For example, some countries (like Italy) may still require isolating when testing positive.
Also of importance, in 2023 we have maintained our flexible booking and cancellation options which provide peace of mind to our travelers.
Lastly, we continue to remind travelers about the importance of travel insurance (including trip delay or interruption coverage), as well as recommend that travelers are up to date with their vaccinations before travel.
Are you planning your travels to Italy or Europe and have questions? We hope the information below will help you make a decision you are comfortable with. If you still have questions or doubts about safe travel in Europe this season, please feel free to contact us .
See you on the road!
The Cycle Europe team
Travel and health – Updates and FAQs
Last updated March 25, 2023
Cycle Europe offers bikes tours and rentals services in Italy and various European countries (such as Portugal, France, Croatia, and others) operating there directly or in conjunction with on the ground partners.
At the time of this writing, all European countries have now removed COVID-related entry and travel regulations.
We still recommend that:
- You be up to date on your vaccines and boosters as that is the best way to protect yourself from getting sick.
- You carry your proof of vaccination.
- You carry a mask in case it should be required to wear one, such as on public transit or in a medical setting.
Please familiarize yourself with our guidelines and protocols (see section below). If you have any questions or doubts, please contact us and we will be happy to help.
From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have closely monitored the situation in Italy (our headquarters country), and wherever we operate in Europe. We have analyzed everything we do, and how we do it, with the aim of creating a safe and healthy environment on our tours and with our rentals services, by creating, communicating and maintaining certain measures and protocols. Cycle Europe has also been involved within the active travel industry associations in Italy and world-wide to make sure we are following best practices that are shared across the industry.
Current (2023) health measures:
- All travelers and tour leaders should carry a mask to wear if/when local mandates require their use. We highly encourage using masks when using public transportation before, during and after your tour.
- Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with water and soap, and carry sanitizer with you throughout the day.
- Our staff is trained to provide high standards of hygiene when in close proximity to travelers – when fitting bikes, serving snacks or water, or generally interacting with our customers.
- For your welcome meeting on self-guided tours, or any group meetings on guided tours, our staff will prioritize using open spaces with good ventilation, where possible.
These measures are based on and will continue to be based on the guidelines of the government authority where the tour takes place (for example, the Italian Health Ministry), as well as the World Health Organization and the US Center for Disease Control.
On Guided tours, you can expect the following measures to be in place:
- We are no longer requesting that travelers take a COVID-19 rapid self-test before joining a guided group.
- Masks are available for use in vans or close settings. We highly encourage use of masks on public transportation before, during and after the tour.
- Vans are equipped with hand sanitizer. We recommend you carry some on your bicycle for use throughout the day when you aren’t near the van.
- Tour Leaders are trained to provide high standards of hygiene when preparing and serving snacks and picnic lunches or when interacting with travelers.
- Seating for group meals will prioritize outdoor spaces or private/secluded rooms with good ventilation.
- High touch areas like van handles and surfaces are sanitized on a regular basis.
- If someone does exhibit cold or flu symptoms we will ask them to take a COVID test.
If a traveler or tour leader tests positive for Covid-19 while on a guided tour:
- We will follow local regulations and protocols and the traveler or tour leader will be asked to follow certain measures, where reasonable and appropriate, to protect themselves, and the rest of the group.
- Exact actions will depend on the circumstances of the situation and will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
- It is our duty to ensure that all travelers and staff are healthy while on tour, which means that some measures may go above local regulations by requiring isolation or leaving the tour.
- If there are local requirements that include isolation, Cycle Europe will help manage those logistics.
- In cases where it is safe to stay on tour or travel in parallel to the tour, we will do our best to make this happen.
- If medical assistance is needed, we will follow our standard medical protocols on tour and support you in seeing a medical professional.
If a traveler or tour leader tests negative but they are still feeling unwell and have symptoms, we will apply preventative measures. This may include asking the ill party to abstain from group activities, wearing a mask when in the presence of others, and eating apart at group meals. In some cases, we may provide in-room meal service until the person feeling ill is better.
We also ask that the ill person maintains good hygiene practices like sneezing and coughing in the elbow, frequently washing hands, and refraining from close contact with others in the group. If the illness gets worse and medical assistance is needed, we will follow our standard medical protocols on tour and support you in seeing a medical professional.
On Self-Guided tours, we will provide telephone and/or in-person assistance and support. This process may depend on local public health regulations in your destination, and could include further testing with the local public health authorities. We will support you in the necessary steps to manage recovery and isolation, and/or assist with logistics for lodging and transportation.
If medical assistance is needed:
- On a guided tour, we will follow our standard medical protocols on tour and support you in seeing a professional and getting a doctor.
- On self-guided tours, our office staff may need to support you remotely via telephone, or with the assistance of hotel staff.
Travelers will be responsible for any extra expenses resulting from needing to isolate or taking additional tests.
We highly recommend you purchase Travel Insurance as most plans cover medical assistance for Covid and some plans also cover trip delay and trip interruption coverage which includes quarantine or isolation delays due to Covid.
Yes – we amended our terms and conditions (T&Cs) as the pandemic began to unfold and restrict travel in March 2020, so as to provide flexible options to travelers in these uncertain times. We continue to offer flexible T&Cs during the 2023 season or until further notice.
Please see a summary of our flexible terms below, or read the full details in our updated Terms and Conditions webpage.
In 2020 we introduced a new Money on Account credit cancellation policy, allowing travelers to keep a substantial amount of their payments on credit for future use. We also reduced the penalty for customers who prefer a refund when cancelling their reservation. Please note that as of 2022, these terms now apply to cancellations in any condition – even if government authorities are not prohibiting or limiting travel, we will still honor these flexible cancellation terms for customers who need to make changes after booking travel with us. Some exceptions may apply – please see our detailed Terms and Conditions webpage. In addition, Cycle Europe has always recommended our travelers consider travel insurance as a means to protect their purchase against unforeseen circumstances – more so since the Covid-19 pandemic. Contact your insurance provider directly with questions before purchasing a policy and make sure you know what the policy covers in case you contract COVID-19 before or during your trip. If you need suggestions or advice, please let us know and we will be happy to help.
Cycle Europe, as part of the BikesPlus Srl group, is a legally established Italian travel agency. As such, European regulations require us to offer a voucher for future use (aka “money on account”, or MOA), in the case authorities mandate travel restrictions due to force majeure or pandemic-related reasons.