COVID-19 and travel: updates and FAQs
With the 2021 travel season past us in Europe, we continue to thank our travelers for the continued support since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. After surviving two seasons with pandemic conditions, and as difficult as it has been for us and the travel industry in general, we remain hopeful as ever today that we will emerge from this experience stronger, as a company and as individuals. From our base in Faenza (north-central Italy), a region hit hard by the pandemic early in 2020, we continue to believe in travel as a force for good – the human and cultural connections that it can create are as important today as ever!
Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020 we never stopped working, serving Italian travelers through our Italian-language brand Pedaliamo In Italia, followed by some European travelers in Italy and surrounding countries, departing on tours or renting our bikes and touring equipment. We spent countless hours and effort understanding how to operate a tour safely in times of Coronavirus. It certainly helps that bicycle travel, in the outdoors, has been one of the safest ways for people to get out and pass the time after months of lockdown. We also took this chance to rediscover our backyard, right here in our wonderful Romagna region. Like people from around the world have done since the pandemic, Italians decided to get out and discover the wonder and beauty that lies around every corner of their country – we are proud and happy to have helped them to get out and explore.
The second half of 2021 saw the return of travelers from the USA (the first since 2019!) – at first intrepid travelers on “covid-free flights”, followed by vaccinated travelers able to comply with requirements for entering Europe on regular flights. Today, vaccination campaigns move forward and as more people travel internationally again, we continue to stay up to date on safe practices, for our customers and our staff. As long as it is safe to travel, our flexible booking and cancellation options aim to provide peace of mind to travelers considering tour in 2022 and beyond. If you are ready to think about international travel, please read on below, and feel free to contact us with your questions – we will be happy to help you understand what is needed and how you can safely travel in Europe, and return home refreshed!
2022 Travel and Terms FAQs
For 2022, we have kept our new, more flexible booking and cancellation terms, hoping to facilitate travel decisions in uncertain times. If you are considering booking a Tour package or Rentals service with Cycle Europe, please read through these FAQs and our latest Terms and Conditions. If you still have any questions, please drop us a line using our contact form above or email inquiries(at)cycleeurope.com – we’ll be happy to reply!
We have closely monitored the COVID-19 situation in Italy and wherever we operate in Europe, we have analyzed everything we do, and how we do it, with the aim of creating a safe environment on our tours and with our rentals services, by creating, communicating and maintaining safety measures and protocols. Among other things, our office and field staff (from our Director of Tours down to our Tour Managers, Garage staff and Bike Mechanics and on-the-ground Partners) now follow internal guidelines and safety policies related to Covid-19. Cycle Europe has also been actively involved with leading travel industry associations in this aspect – for example, co-owner Monica Price was a founding member of Active Italy in 2020, and we continue our decades-long involvement in the Adventure Travel Trade Association, one of the most reputable collection of the leading tour operators throughout the world, where co-owner Maria Elena Price sits on the board of directors.
Yes – we amended our Terms and conditions (T&Cs) as the pandemic began to unfold and restrict travel in March 2020, aiming to provide flexible options to travelers who booked a 2020 tour and were not able to travel. As of October, 2021 we have adapted our T&Cs to account for COVID-19 travel uncertainty in 2022, meaning that our T&Cs are amended for a bit longer.
Of importance, our payment and cancellation/postponement policies have changed. Final tour payment date is much closer to the tour start date to allow for any last-moment changes in travel plans (90 days in previous years, now reduced to 30 days before tour start). If a cancellation, rebooking, or refund is necessary, our cancellation options are also much more flexible – please see below.
For details, please see our updated Terms and Conditions webpage
We’ve made our cancellation and refund terms much more flexible. Up to 30 days before tour start, you can request a postponement or rebooking and receive 100% Money on Account credit without fees. If you would like a refund, we now allow for as little as 45 days cancellation notice for a full refund minus a €50 per person booking fee. Please note that 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 want to cancel their 2022 travel. Some exceptions may apply – please see our detailed Terms and Conditions webpage.
Because we have permanently amended our T&Cs to account for COVID-19 conditions and/or possible travel restrictions, if we are forced to cancel a tour due to safety or travel restrictions (both in the country or location of the tour, as well as between our customers’ country and the location of the tour), we will offer our customers the possibility of 100% credit on file for future use (aka Money on Account or MOA), and/or abide by local legislation dictating what to do (Cycle Europe, as part of the Bikes Plus Srl group, is a legally established Italian travel agency).
Money on Account (MOA) refers to credit given by Cycle Europe to customers who cancelled a tour and requested that funds be kept on account for future use. As of 2020, our amended terms eliminated fees for customers to take MOA in most cases (prior to this amendment, a penalty fee was assessed for cancelling a tour, the amount depending on the number of days before tour or rental cancellation by the customer). Through our current terms, if Cycle Europe cancels a Tour or Rental we will provide 100% MOA to customers; if a customer cancels a Tour up to 30 days before tour start, or a Rental up to 14 days before rental start, we provide 100% MOA to be used for an additional two calendar years, without fees or penalties, as well as other flexible ways to use the MOA.
Anyone who cancelled a 2020 tour or rental and took MOA now have until December 31, 2023 to use, or transfer, their credit.
If a customer with MOA from a 2020 cancelled tour or rental books a 2021 departure and has to cancel again due to COVID-19 issues or travel restrictions, or if Cycle Europe has to cancel due to COVID-19 issues, we will extend the MOA for another two years.
Please see detailed terms in the MOA section of our Terms and Conditions page.
Italy entry requirements
The information below is copied from the Italian National Tourism agency website (please click the link to view the complete, detailed information in English language), as of November 4, 2021, and therefore applies to the current time period. For customers considering a 2022 tour or rental in Italy, we provide this information as reference only.
Citizens and residents of EU countries and the Schengen area can enter Italy without the obligation of quarantine, provided that:
1. They fill in the Passenger Locator Form before entering Italy
2. They present the EU Digital COVID Certificate on arrival. Non-EU citizens can present a COVID-19 Green Certificate, in paper or digital form, issued by the health authorities of their home country, certifying negativity to the virus, successful recovery or vaccination recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
An EU Digital COVID Certificate is digital proof that a person:
- has been vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days beforehand
- obtained a negative test result
- recovered from COVID-19
The digital version can be saved on a mobile device. Citizens can also request a printed version. Both versions will have a QR code containing essential information and a digital signature ensuring their authenticity. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is valid in all EU countries and the Schengen area. For more information, visit the EU Digital COVID Certificate official webpage.
Travelers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States and United Kingdom can enter Italy without quarantine obligation, provided that:
1. Fill in the Passenger Locator Form before entering Italy
2. Present COVID-19 green certification on arrival, issued by the health authority of their country certifying complete vaccination against COVID-19, performed at least 14 days beforehand, using a vaccine recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
3. Present a document certifying that they have performed a molecular or antigenic swab test in the 72 hours prior to arrival in Italy with negative results (48 hours for travelers from the UK). Green Passes must be in Italian, English, French or Spanish and can be presented in digital or printed formats.
Green Passes must be in Italian, English, French or Spanish and can be presented in digital or printed formats.
The above measures are valid through 15 December 2021.
In addition to the above, the Italian government has announced that vaccine documentation from the US and Canada (for example, the US CDC card) is now accepted in lieu of the EU Digital COVID Certificate/Green Pass. Our customers from the US have reported that their CDC cards have been accepted without problems. More information on the Green Pass below.
The Italian-government webpage viaggiaresicuri.it provides a handy English-language questionnaire through which you can find out the requirements specific to your country. After going through the brief questionnaire, you will be informed if there are any restrictions in place for travel to Italy from your country, the documentation you will have to present and the conditions applied on your arrival.
Travel within Italy and the Green Pass
The information below is copied from the Italian National Tourism agency website (please click the link to view the complete, detailed information in English language).
In Italy, the COVID-19 green certificate facilitates attendance at certain public events (such as trade fairs, concerts, sports competitions, parties following religious or civil ceremonies) and access to health care facilities for the elderly (RSA). It is also mandatory when moving into and out of areas that may be classified as “red” or “orange” zones in the absence of valid reasons for work, health or proven urgency.
Persons over the age of 12 must present a COVID-19 digital green pass in order to access certain services and activities:
- Travelling by air, train, ship, ferry or bus throughout Italy
- Restaurants, bars, ice cream parlours and pastry shops for consumption at table indoors
- Performances open to the public, sporting events, both outdoors and indoors
- Museums and places of culture, shows
- Swimming pools and gyms
- Private parties, such as wedding receptions
- Festivals and trade fairs
- Conventions and congresses
- Spas and fitness centres
- Gaming halls and betting shops, bingo halls and casinos
Access to these services and activities is allowed on presenting the EU Digital COVID Certificate or an equivalent certificate issued by the health authorities of Canada, Japan, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Exit requirements and re-entering your country from Italy
Italy has no exit requirements.
United States re-entry requirement: a negative COVID-19 test is required within three days prior to re-entry. The Cycle Europe staff will help you locate and make an appointment for a test at a pharmacy or testing clinic that is convenient at the end of your tour.
Canada re-entry requirements: Fully vaccinated travelers may be exempt from certain quarantine and testing requirements on return to Canada. For full details, see the Government of Canada’s guidance for COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada. This guidance includes determining if you are fully vaccinated, pre-entry and arrival testing requirements , and developing a quarantine plan (in case of symptoms developing or a positive test).
Cycle Europe offers bikes tours in Portugal, France, Croatia and other European countries, operating there directly or in conjunction with on the ground partners.
Please consult the guidelines and requirements for EU Digital COVID Certificate in this official EU webpage.
For detailed information on the requirements to enter, travel within and exit from European countries, please visit the official EU page https://reopen.europa.eu/en.
Our staff will also be happy to help you understand the requirements that apply to you, based on your country of origin or transit, and the country of your tour – please contact us and we will be happy to help.