Road Scholar no longer requires participants and Group Leaders to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or demonstrate proof of COVID-19 vaccination on-site. While vaccination is no longer required to enroll or participate in Road Scholar programs, for your protection as well as the protection of others, we encourage all participants to be up to date with all recommended vaccines, including COVID-19 and influenza
Here are answers to questions you might have as you prepare for your upcoming program.
No. Road Scholar does not require participants to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or demonstrate proof of COVID-19 vaccination on-site. While vaccination is not required to enroll or participate in Road Scholar programs, for your protection as well as the protection of others, we encourage all participants to be up to date with all recommended vaccines, including COVID-19 and influenza.
More than two years ago, when we resumed programs in the summer of 2021 during the pandemic, we required all Road Scholar participants and Group Leaders to be vaccinated against COVID. But now the world is a very different place, as most people today have some level of immunity against COVID, case rates and hospitalizations have stabilized for many months now, and governments around the world — including the U.S. — have ended emergency declarations, lifted restrictions and ended vaccination mandates.
Now that life is essentially back to normal, Road Scholar is no longer requiring participants and Group Leaders to be vaccinated against COVID, nor show proof of vaccination when on a program. Even though COVID vaccinations are no longer required on Road Scholar programs, we encourage all participants to follow current CDC guidance and be up to date with all recommended vaccines, including COVID-19 and influenza.
Please know that we remain focused on the health, safety and well-being of our participants, and while the threat from COVID has receded, we continue to monitor the situation closely and will make any adjustments as needed.
The vast majority of countries, cruise lines and businesses have dropped most of their pandemic restrictions, including testing and vaccination requirements. However, despite the general easing of restrictions, Road Scholar continues to closely monitor multiple sources for the most up to date entry and travel requirements. If a destination or entity on a program requires individuals to show proof of vaccination or has other requirements you need to know about, we will provide the information on our program web pages as well as include detailed information about the applicable requirements in post-enrollment materials.
Depending on the airline or destination you may be required to wear a face mask when on board the aircraft and in terminals. Even if it not required, participants are encouraged to wear a mask when flying, transiting airports, as well as whenever in any public space.
To ensure a smooth travel experience, participants are encouraged to check their airline’s website prior to departure for the latest travel information regarding their flight. If you booked your air travel with Road Scholar, we will do our best to keep you informed of any requirements before travelling, but keep in mind that requirements for your specific program can change at any time, so we recommend you stay up to date as well.
Staying healthy is critical to enjoying your program, and taking common sense steps will reduce the risk of getting sick. For instance:
Just as you experience in your everyday life at home, there may be some inconveniences or adjustments we have to make for the foreseeable future in Road Scholar program locations around the world. You may have to wait a little longer at meal time, that museum you were looking forward to may not be accessible during your visit, or there could be other bumps in the road along the way. Please know we are doing our utmost to plan for and manage around these issues, but some may be unavoidable. We have heard from many participants who have returned home from their recent Road Scholar programs. Some have mentioned these kinds of frustrations, but each and every person also says the experience was well worth any shortcomings. Any of the inconveniences they had to cope with were minor in the grand scheme of things, and in the end they were thrilled to be out living their lives again.
These days, we understand participants may want more flexibility when planning for the future. We also know travel plans can change at the very last moment. That’s why our optional Road Scholar Trip Protection Plan also includes Cancel for Any Reason coverage, which allows you to cancel your program enrollment for any reason and receive a credit good for future travel with Road Scholar for the full amount of the cancellation fee. When you purchase the Road Scholar Trip Protection Plan, your program investment is protected should you need to cancel your enrollment, whether due to a scheduling conflict, apprehension about recent world events, a sick pet, or any reason not otherwise covered by insurance. Knowing that your program investment is protected gives you peace of mind, and the flexibility and comfort of choosing a time that’s right for you to travel.
Here are answers to questions you may have once your program has started.
Unless there are any local regulations requiring them, masks are not required on our programs; however, you should exercise the level of precaution that makes you most comfortable. Face masks are a simple and effective way to prevent illness. Participants are encouraged to wear a mask whenever around others, including when flying and transiting airports. Feel free to wear your mask, even if others aren’t. Remember that this is group travel and you are the best person to minimize your own risk of getting sick. Participants must bring their own face masks to the program and be prepared to wear them if required by applicable regulations or when instructed by your Group Leader.
Road Scholar is always focused on the health and well-being of our participants, and Group Leaders are trained to take immediate action to ensure sick participants are well cared for, as well as to minimize the risk to the health, welfare and enjoyment of other participants.
If a participant develops symptoms of respiratory illness such as a new and persistent cough, sore throat, persistent runny nose and/or prolonged nasal congestion, fever or chills, or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, they will be required to immediately self-isolate for no less than 24 hours, both for their health and the health, safety and welfare of the group. The purpose of a minimum mandatory 24-hour isolation period is to rest, obtain medical care if necessary, and see if their symptoms improve or worsen. The Group Leader will assist the participant obtain medical advice or attention if needed.
Participants who become ill will not be permitted to rejoin the program if they continue to exhibit symptoms of illness, or do not feel well enough to participate fully in days’ worth of program activities. Participants will only be allowed to rejoin the program if they meet a number of requirements, all of which are intended to protect their health, as well as the health and welfare of their follow participants.
In order for a participant to be permitted to resume participation, they will have completed the mandatory minimum 24-hour isolation period, no longer have acute symptoms of illness, and feel much better and well enough to participate fully in the program. In addition, as a safety precaution, participants who qualify to rejoin the program will be required to wear a face mask for the remainder of the program.
Participants should be aware that Group Leaders are responsible for helping to protect the health welfare of all program participants, so if they observe a participant exhibiting symptoms consistent with respiratory illness, or otherwise determine they are unfit to be around other program participants, we expect the participant to abide by the Group Leader’s instructions and comply with Road Scholar’s safety protocols.
No. Road Scholar does not require participants to test for COVID. Any testing for COVID is optional and at the participant’s discretion and expense. However, if a participant chooses to get tested, and if the test result is positive for COVID-19, the protocols outlined in the following FAQ will apply.
Road Scholar follows current CDC guidance regarding isolation following positive test. If a participant elects to get tested, and the result is positive for COVID-19, for their health, and the health and welfare of their follow participants, per current CDC guidance and Road Scholar policy, they are required to remain away from the rest of the group for no fewer than 5 days (or longer if local regulations mandate a longer isolation period). Day 1 is the first full day following the day they tested positive. During this time they are not permitted to attend any program activities (no group meals, activities, group transportation, etc.).
Participants who test positive for COVID will be allowed to rejoin the program only if they have completed the mandatory 5-day isolation period, no longer have acute symptoms of illness, and feel much better and well enough to participate fully in the program. In addition, as a safety precaution, participants who test positive for COVID will be required to wear a face mask for the remainder of the program. Participants will not be permitted to rejoin the program if they continue to exhibit symptoms of illness.
CDC Isolation Guidance: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/isolation.html
In accordance with CDC guidance, individuals do not need to quarantine if exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, and therefore the program will continue as planned. However, all program participants will be encouraged to wear a face mask when indoors and in public settings.
Should a positive COVID-19 test interrupt your program, Road Scholar’s Optional Insurance plan may help reimburse you for additional accommodation, meal and transportation expenses you may incur, as well as reimburse you for missed program days. Please note that coverage for COVID- 19-related illness in the Trip Protection Plan is limited, and we recommend reviewing the policy details and contacting Aon Affinity, the plan administrator, if you have specific questions regarding coverage for expenses related to isolation or quarantine due to COVID-19. Please click here to learn more about this and all the other benefits included in Road Scholar’s optional Trip Protection Plan.
* COVID TEST DISCLAIMER: A positive COVID test that was conducted solely by an individual using a self or rapid home test does not qualify as documentation of a covered sickness under the policy, and therefore there would be no insurance coverage under the plan. In other words, it would be considered a covered sickness only if the positive COVID test was performed by a medical professional (nurse, clinician, doctor, etc.) who could independently verify and provide documentation for the insurance claim that the person who tested positive was in fact the person the test was performed on.
From an insurance perspective, COVID-19 is treated the same as any other sickness. As long as an individual is able to demonstrate proof provided by a third-party professional (nurse, clinician, doctor, health practitioner or video proctor etc.) that they tested positive for COVID-19 (whether the test was conducted in-person or remotely via a telehealth service) and/or has an illness due to COVID-19, they are considered to have a “covered illness,” and therefore expenses incurred due to their positive test result and/or illness are reimbursable according to the terms and limits of any applicable insurance policy.
COVID Tests That Qualify for Insurance Coverage
Tests That DO NOT Qualify for Insurance Coverage
Please note that these are only guidelines, and coverage for expenses related to COVID-19 illness is limited, so we therefore recommend reviewing your policy details carefully and contacting Aon Affinity, the plan administrator, if you have specific questions regarding qualifying COVID-19 tests, or coverage for expenses related to COVID-19 illness.
You can find more information by clicking HERE
Please be aware that this information and these measures, protocols, policies and requirements are subject to change. Road Scholar reserves the right to update, change, modify, or revise any measure, protocol, policy or requirement at any time. Any changes will become effective upon posting the changes, modifications or revisions to any measure, protocol, policy or requirement. Please also be aware that protocols, policies and requirements may be different in certain areas due to local guidance, requirements or restrictions.