I just read the tour terms and conditions to try to determine what will happen if a tour member is denied the ability to participate in a tour due to a positive covid test result from the test taken within 48 hours of the first day. The conditions state that if you cancel a reservation within 1 to 30 days prior to the first day of the tour, and it's due to a "creditable event," you will receive a credit equal to 50% of the original tour price, a credit that expires on 12/31 two years following the year of the original tour date. The list of "creditable events" includes the language that documented illness from covid-19 may be considered a creditable event.
I have a few concerns. If you take the test the day before the tour starts, but don't get results until the first day of the tour, you aren't cancelling within 1 to 30 days prior to the first day of the tour, you're cancelling ON the first day of the tour, and it appears the company would have no obligation to even consider a credit. Also, the use of "may" rather than "will" shows that there is no guarantee here . . . even if you disclose to the company one day in advance that your test was positive and you have to withdraw, there is no language in the conditions that guarantees you a credit.
I think the company needs to clear these things up, addressing the specific question as to what, if any, credit will be given to a tour member whose 48 hour test is positive.
We purchased trip insurance, but to invoke the cancellation coverage, you need to do that prior to trip departure, so instead this would be trip interruption coverage. My policy says that interruption coverage applies if you cannot complete a trip due to sickness, provided that the sickness occurs while you are on the trip, and is examined and treated by a physician prior to the trip interruption, and, as certified by a physician, results in medical restrictions so disabling as to prevent your continued participation in the trip.
I don't for one minute believe that my interruption coverage will help me if I don't comply with each and every term, to the letter. Insurance companies are very literal and claims denial is common if you haven't done each and every thing required. So I would need to seek out a physician to "examine and treat" my illness (even if I am asymptomatic) and the physician would need to give me the certification that is required.
I'm feeling highly anxious about the new requirement and considering canceling my trip while I can still get my deposit back. We're fully vaccinated and boosted and thinking it's likely we'll need to get another booster prior to the trip, which we would do, but what if despite all of that, our test somehow shows a positive? If we are asymptomatic, we are unlikely to be contagious, especially since everyone else on the tour will be vaccinated. But we'd be sent into quarantine. It's too much money to lose. Now, if the company would add, to this new requirement, that a tour member will get a 100% credit if he/she has to withdraw at the very last minute due to a positive result on this required 48 hour test, that would be reassuring. We have friends who once had to withdraw from their RS tour on the first day. They had scheduled a couple of pre-tour days in the first city of the tour. One day before the tour was to start, the husband suffered a bad fall. He hobbled through the rest of the day, hoping things would be better in the morning, but instead the ankle was badly swollen and a visit to the doctor determined that there was a break. The company graciously gave them a 100% credit, though under the terms and conditions, it appeared that a credit was only going to be 50%.
The company has done a lot of things to go above and beyond to make sure that travel can begin again. Requiring a covid test at the last minute, requiring someone to withdraw if it is positive, and giving no guarantee of a credit . . . those are problems for me.