fbpx

Verso Ministries Safety Protocols

The following SafelySent protocols were developed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic that began in January 2020. Although travel looks very different these days, you can trust that our care for you and your safety has always been and will remain our top priority. We are working hand-in-hand with our travel partners to ensure that all safety and cleaning procedures follow the highest standards. These protocols are intended to be a living document, subject to appropriate modification as needs evolve. The last updates were applied on September 6, 2020.

Verso Ministries has no special knowledge of health hazards – either during your travel or while at your destination. For the latest travel health information, including COVID-19 data, all travelers should review the State Department’s travel advisories at travel.state.gov and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/travel.

Verso Ministries has no responsibility for COVID-19-related requirements or restrictions that are imposed by travel suppliers and governments, such as health affidavit forms, health screenings, face coverings, or quarantines. For the latest COVID-19 government travel regulations, please reference the International Air Transport Association website at www.iatatravelcentre.com.

Here’s what you can expect when you travel with Verso Ministries:

  • On the bus
    • Before you get on and while boarding the bus
      • Daily deep clean of all vehicles prior to use
      • High-touch areas, such as armrests and railings, sanitized at regular intervals throughout the day
      • Loading will be done in reverse seat order (back of the bus to the front)
      • Travelers who are able should place and remove their own luggage in the luggage bay
      • Driver is available to assist with luggage for those who need help
    • On board
      • Maximum of 50% capacity utilized and increased distance between each occupied seat to ensure adequate social distancing (in some cases, Verso Ministries may assign seats)
      • Those traveling together as roommates may occupy adjacent seats
      • Face coverings required for all travelers and employees
      • Disposable face coverings available for travelers that need one
      • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available for travelers
      • Disembarkation will begin at the front and travelers should allow appropriate social distancing when getting off the bus by remaining seated until their turn
      • Due to adherence of social distancing guidelines, travelers must be able to board and disembark from the bus without assistance
      • On-board toilets will be locked and only used in an emergency
  • At the hotel
    • Face coverings required for all guests and employees in all indoor public areas of the hotel
    • Masks may be removed when eating, but face covering must be worn when moving around the dining room
    • Hotel employees to wear gloves for any work in guestrooms or kitchen
    • High-traffic and high-touch areas cleaned and sanitized regularly
    • Hand sanitizer stations available at hotel entrances, front desks, elevator banks, and meeting spaces
    • Protective shields at the reception desk
    • Reduced capacity in elevators and reorganization of common-area furniture to ensure appropriate social distancing
    • Each guestroom thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guest stays
    • Daily housekeeping and room cleaning available upon request
    • Signage and floor decals to instruct guests to follow social distancing and other safety guidelines
    • Upon arrival, tour guide or leader will collect the hotel keys for the whole group and distribute them to each traveler
  • During meals
    • Rearranged seating to ensure appropriate social distancing measures
    • Face coverings required for all servers and restaurant employees
    • Hand sanitizer stations available at dining room entrances
    • Pre-packaged or grab-n-go options available for some meals
    • Nightly deep cleaning and sanitizing of all areas of dining room and kitchen
    • Cleaning and sanitizing of tabletop and seating between guests
  • During the day
    • Daily self-health assessment to be completed by all travelers to confirm they do not have symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19
    • Face coverings required for all travelers and employees while indoors, on the bus, and during most tours and site visits
    • Appropriate social distancing (6 feet apart) to be maintained throughout the day
  • When you fly (may vary by airline)
    • Please note: Most of Verso Ministries packages are “land-only” packages, meaning a pre-arranged or group flight is not included in the pilgrimage. If you’d like, you can add optional round-trip airfare to your package by contacting us after booking. Additionally, please know that some enhancements may not be available at all airports, on all flights, or with every airline carrier. Please check with your individual airline in regards to their specific safety and cleaning protocols.
    • Before you go
      • Contactless travel assistance through each airline carrier’s mobile app
    • During check-in
      • Temperature checks for employees, flight attendants, and other airport personnel
      • Face coverings required for all travelers and employees
      • Disposable face coverings available for travelers that need one
      • Self-health assessment to be completed by all travelers to confirm they do not have symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19 and will wear a face covering throughout travel
      • Disinfecting high-touch areas such as kiosks, check-in counters, and baggage stations
      • Hand sanitizer stations available in high-traffic and high-touch locations
      • Protective shields at check-in and gate podiums
      • Additional contactless travel assistance through each airline carrier’s mobile app, including touchless check-in options for customers with bags and bag delivery from the airport to your final destination (not available with all airlines)
      • Floor decals throughout the terminal and at gates to promote social distancing and instruct travelers to stand 6 feet apart
    • At security and at the gate (may vary based on airport)
      • Disinfecting high-touch areas such as security bins, door handles, handrails, elevator buttons, telephones, and computers
      • Hand sanitizer stations and disinfectant wipes available
      • Face coverings required for all customers, employees, and TSA employees
      • TSA employees are required to wear gloves
      • Alternating lanes at security (when available) and floor decals will instruct travelers for appropriate social distancing measures
      • Self-scan boarding passes
      • Fewer travelers will board at one time, and the plane will be boarded from the back to the front to promote social distancing
      • Electrostatic spraying with to sanitize gate areas and jet bridges
    • On board
      • Face coverings required for all travelers and employees for the duration of flight, and may only be removed to eat or drink
      • Disposable face coverings available for travelers that need one
      • Individual hand sanitizer wipes available for travelers
      • Onboard items like pillows and blankets available upon request
      • Passengers are asked not to congregate near the lavatory or the galley
      • Disinfecting high-touch areas, like tray tables, armrests, and overhead bins, before boarding
      • Reduced contact between flight attendants and travelers during food and beverage service (food/beverage service not available on all flights)
      • Non-essential items, such as seat-back magazines, have been removed
      • Aircraft cleaning standards meet or exceed CDC guidelines
      • While de-planing, travelers will be invited to deboard in groups of five rows at a time to reduce crowding and remain seated until their turn
      • Electrostatic spraying to disinfect aircraft before every flight
      • State-of-the-art, hospital-grade, high-efficiency (HEPA) filters to circulate air and remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles
      • Depending on the airline carrier, middle seats have been blocked and the total number of customers per flight has been reduced (not all airlines have adopted this policy, please check with your individual airline carrier to inquire)

Strength in Numbers

At Verso Ministries, we recognize that we all need to do our part to ensure the safety and security of all of our pilgrims. Towards this end, we invite you to join us to help keep everyone safe and healthy during our travels. Here’s what you can expect from us, from your fellow travelers, and from yourself during your journey:

  • From Verso Ministries staff, guides, and other personnel
    • Wearing face coverings is required for all Verso Ministries staff, guides, and other personnel while indoors, on the bus, and during most tours and site visits
    • Daily self-health assessment and temperature screenings for Verso Ministries staff, tour guide(s), and driver(s), and anyone else who may have a consistent presence with our travelers
    • Maintaining contact with local attractions to understand operational impact in regards to group sizing restrictions and timings, entrance/exit procedures, visitor requirements, and other regulations that may impact the group’s visit
    • Giving regular reminders to wear face coverings, wash hands, observe social distancing, and follow personal hygiene recommendations (cough/sneeze etiquette, limit touching of face/nose/mouth, etc.)
    • If a traveler begins to develop symptoms related to COVID-19, Verso Ministries staff or guide will assist the traveler in obtaining appropriate health care services or consultations (any health care expenses or alternate travel arrangement expenses are the responsibility of the individual traveler)
    • If other groups/individuals are not adhering to health and safety guidelines as deemed appropriate, Verso Ministries staff or guide will remove the group from that area immediately
    • If any individual traveler with Verso Ministries is not adhering to health and safety requirements as deemed appropriate, Verso Ministries reserves the right to remove this traveler from the group and/or refuse service to this individual for the safety and security of the rest of the group. Please note: Traveler forfeits any monies paid for any missed portion of the tour and is responsible for any alternate travel arrangement expenses associated with their removal from the group for any reason.
  • From other travelers
    • Completing a daily self-health assessment to confirm they do not have symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19
    • Wearing face coverings which will be required for all travelers and employees while indoors, on the bus, and during most tours or site visits
    • Washing hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before/after meals, as well as following personal hygiene recommendations (cough/sneeze etiquette, limit touching of face/nose/mouth, etc.)
    • Observing physical boundaries and maintaining appropriate social distancing measures while doing site visits, during meals, while on the bus, and at all other times during the group’s activities
    • Following all instructions given by Verso Ministries staff, guides, or other personnel in response to safety, hygiene, or other health-related issues
    • If any individual traveler with Verso Ministries is not adhering to health and safety requirements as deemed appropriate despite a verbal reminder or warning, Verso Ministries reserves the right to remove this traveler from the group and/or refuse service to this individual for the safety and security of the rest of the group. Please note: Traveler forfeits any monies paid for any missed portion of the tour and is responsible for any alternate travel arrangement expenses associated with their removal from the group.
  • From you, the traveler
    • Completing a daily self-health assessment to confirm you do not have symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19
    • Wearing face coverings which will be required for all travelers and employees while indoors, on the bus, and during most tours or site visits
    • Washing hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before/after meals, as well as following personal hygiene recommendations (cough/sneeze etiquette, limit touching of face/nose/mouth, etc.)
    • Observing physical boundaries and maintaining appropriate social distancing measures while doing site visits, during meals, while on the bus, and at all other times during the group’s activities
    • Following all instructions given by Verso Ministries staff, guides, or other personnel in response to safety, hygiene, or other health-related issues
    • If you do not adhere to health and safety requirements as deemed appropriate, Verso Ministries reserves the right to remove you from the group and/or refuse service to you for the safety and security of the rest of the group. Please note if you choose not to follow these expectations, you will forfeit any monies paid for any missed portion of the tour and will be responsible for any alternate travel arrangement expenses associated with your removal from the group.

FAQs

  • Are Verso Ministries pilgrims required to wear a face covering?
    • Yes, wearing face coverings is required for all travelers and employees while indoors, on the bus, and during most tours or site visits, especially when recommended social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • If you refuse to follow Verso MInistries’ face covering policy when required, you may be refused transport or lose your travel privileges with Verso Ministries for a certain period of time that will be determined when we review the incident. If a Verso Ministries staff member or representative notices or is informed of a traveler who is not wearing a face covering when required, they will proactively inform the traveler that for the health and safety of everyone, face coverings are mandatory for all customers and employees while indoors, on the bus, and any other time when social distancing requirements are not possible. They will also offer to provide a face covering if needed. If the traveler continues to not wear a face covering, the Verso Ministries staff member or representative will report the incident so that it can be reviewed.
  • Am I allowed to wear my own face covering?
    • Yes, you are encouraged to bring and wear your own face covering which must cover both your mouth and nose. If you do not have one, a face covering will be provided for you.
  • Will face coverings be provided for no additional charge?
    • Yes, one face covering per pilgrim, per day is included at no additional charge. Although disposable face coverings will be available, we encourage all pilgrims to bring and wear their own face coverings.
  • Who is not required to wear a face covering?
    • All travelers and employees while indoors, on the bus, and during most tours or site visits are required to wear a face covering. If you are unable to wear a face covering due to a medical condition, please contact our office directly for an exemption to this policy. Children younger than 2 years old are exempt and will not be required to wear a face covering.
  • Can I remove my face covering at certain points in the day?
    • Yes, you may remove your face covering while eating at meals and when proper social distancing measures are followed while outdoors. You may also remove your face covering while in your personal hotel room.
  • Are these measures temporary?
    • The SafelySent program was instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of all our travelers and workers. The SafelySent program follows current recommendations and protocols given by global health experts at the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Travel & Tourism Council. Our steadfast commitment to travel safely has always been and will always be our top priority. We do anticipate that certain aspects or protocols of the SafelySent program will change over time given the evolving nature of global health risks. Any updates to this policy will be shared with registered pilgrims and made available on our website.
  • Will I get my temperature checked?
    • Some airports or other travel suppliers may have temperature checks as part of the security screening process. In addition, temperature checks will be conducted daily by Verso Ministries as part of pilgrim health screening.
  • What happens if I do not complete a daily self-health assessment?
    • All travelers will be required to complete the daily self-health assessment before joining for the group’s activity for the day. If you do not complete your self-health assessment, you will be asked to complete one before joining the group. If you insist on refusing to participate, then you will not be able to join the group for the day’s activities and may lose your travel privileges with Verso Ministries.
    • Please note: If you choose not to follow these expectations despite a verbal reminder, you will forfeit any monies paid for any missed portion of the tour and will be responsible for any alternate travel arrangement expenses associated with your removal from the group.
  • Can I sit next to my husband/wife or roommate on the bus?
    • Those traveling together and staying with each other in the same hotel guestroom are welcome to sit next to each other on the bus.
  • What happens if I contract COVID-19 during the pilgrimage?
    • If you contract COVID-19 during the pilgrimage, our team will assist you in connecting with local health professionals to provide medical care.
  • Will I get any money back if I miss part or all of my pilgrimage due to contracting COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19?
    • Travelers who miss part or all of any pilgrimage due to contracting COVID-19 or being exposed to COVID-19 will not be given a refund. Verso Ministries encourages each traveler to purchase travel protection coverage and to fully understand the carrier’s policy. Some policies do not protect against cancellation or loss due to pandemics. Verso Ministries recommends “cancel for any reason” coverage, if available.
  • Do you provide travel protection coverage options?
    • Yes, upon booking we provide a travel protection coverage option. Visit https://versoministries.com/travelinsurance/ to learn more about the recommended coverage. We encourage you to fully understand the travel insurance policy as some policies do not protect against cancellation or loss due to pandemics. We recommend “cancel for any reason” coverage, if available.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

SafelySent

Verso Ministries Safety Protocols The following SafelySent protocols were developed in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic that began in January 2020. Although travel looks

Close Menu
WP Feedback

Dive straight into the feedback!
Login below and you can start commenting using your own user instantly