Last Updated: August 05th 2020
Like so much else, the tourism industry has been thrown into disarray by the outbreak of COVID-19. It's a difficult time for everyone and uncertainty about the future can be very stressful for many people.
That's why we have decided that the best thing we can do is to give our guests as much clarity and certainty as we can.
At present, many Irish tour companies are not offering refunds for the tours that they cancel. Instead, where COVID-19 measures mean that a tour can not run, these companies are asking their guests to change dates to 2021.
To us, this just doesn't feel right. We know how much effort goes into booking a tour and we understand that you chose your specific dates for a reason. For many, a vacation like this is a once in a lifetime chance: dates can't always be easily changed. With this in mind, even while we hope you will discover Ireland and Scotland with us in the future, we have decided to offer refunds to anyone whose tour does not run.
Although the most optimistic estimates are suggesting that life could return to normal quite soon, few people expect international tourism to be practical in 2020. That's why, with a heavy heart, we've taken the proactive decision to cancel and refund all scheduled tour packages where circumstances might prevent us from offering a service that our family business can be proud of. For example, if we know that some aspect of your tour is not practical or up to standard, then we have decided not to go ahead. This proactive policy has allowed all affected guests move forward with a clear idea of where they stand.
We have now cancelled all of 2020 shared tours. Our 2021 tour series is now available to view and book, please click here. We are contacting all our guests booked for 2020 and offering them the flexibility to transfer to 2021 without any costs or penalties.
We have also tried to be proactive in communicating with all our guests, and we have been replying to your emails as quickly as we possibly can. Eric and the team at My Ireland Tour would like to thank all of our guests for their patience and understanding at this difficult time.
The Irish and UK Governments have put in place social distancing measures that include the closure of many non-essential businesses, as well as restrictions on travel. Flights in and out of Ireland and the UK are still running, though in a very reduced capacity and there are self-isolation requirements for any non-essential travellers arriving into Ireland or the UK. Although both countries have announced multi-phase plans for reopening their economies, there is currently no clear timeline for ending the self-isolation requirements for non-essential travellers. Visitors to the UK should be mindful of regional variations announced by the Northern Irish, Scottish, Welsh and UK-wide governments.
Ireland, on June 29th, entered their third of five phases for reopening, this phase will be reviewed on August 31st. On July 22nd, Ireland published a 'green list' of 15 countries that are now considered safer to travel to than other countries—as they have a similar or lower level of COVID-19 to Ireland. On August 4th this list was reduced to 10. The travel advice from the Irish Government, for people travelling to these countries, is to take normal precautions. People arriving in Ireland from these countries will not have to quarantine. The 10 countries included on the green list are: Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Greece and Greenland.
On July 04th, the UK entered the first step of their third and final phase, to be reviewed on August 15th.
Both the Irish Government and the UK Government have now begun to slowly ease restrictions, within their respective countries. This though will be a slow process, with plans involving a gradual re-opening of the economies over a period of months.
Hotels, in both Ireland and the UK, reopened in July.
However, both countries currently have a required period of self-isolation for most visitors entering. There has been no clarification, as yet, regarding the timeline for how long this requirement will last. We are keeping a close eye on this very important detail, being a critical step for when we can start running tours again.
As the circumstances surrounding our 2020 shared tours prevent us from offering a service that our family business can be proud of, we have taken the proactive measure of cancelling all of our shared tours for the remainder of 2020. We see this as the only fair and honorable option for our guests.
We are offering all of our affected guests the option of a refund, or the option of transferring their full amount paid to a 2021 tour.
If your tour is cancelled, you will receive immediate notification by email. For more information regarding our cancellation policy, please click here.
Although restrictions in Ireland and the UK have been eased somewhat, the uncertainty is when will things be back to business as usual, to the level required for us to provide you with the full proper experience of what Ireland and Scotland have to offer.
Please, rest assured that we will only start running our shared tours again when the Irish and UK Governments advise that it is okay to do so and when Ireland and Scotland are opened back up to the level which allows us to give you the full proper experience of these wonderful countries. We would never run any tour which we could not stand by as a truly wonderful experience.
We will be keeping the situation in close review. We will keep this page updated and keep sharing our thoughts and plans here. We hope this page gives you all the information that you might need, and that it helps clarify your situation if you decide not to travel.
Our Tours of Ireland & Scotland 2021 are now online.
Anyone who has booked on a 2020 tour with us can transfer to a 2021 tour without any penalties.
We have also put a price freeze on our 2021 shared tours, to make it as easy as possible for those who had booked a 2020 tour to change to 2021.
We have updated our terms and conditions due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). This extends the rights of our guests. It does not reduce any of our guests' rights as per the standard terms and conditions. We are doing our best to make things more flexible for you and to ease any concerns of having to make decisions too early.
You can transfer your booking to any 2021 tour. Even if you paid the full balance in advance you can still transfer to a future tour.
When transferring to the future, you can pick any tour that starts in 2021. It does not have to be the same itinerary you originally booked. You do not have to pick the date and tour straight away. The tour price, dates, offers, and itinerary may be different from the tour that you had originally booked, and is subject to availability.
We hope this section helps to clarify any questions that you may have about under what circumstances we would cancel a tour. These unprecedented times have meant that, with a heavy heart, we have been forced to cancel all of our shared 2020 tours.
If we have to cancel a specific tour, then all participants who are booked on that specific tour at the date of cancellation would get the option of having a refund of monies paid to My Ireland Tour Ltd (less 4% card charges), or have the full amount transferring to a future booking for any tour 2021. Participants who have already cancelled in advance or transferred to a different tour would not receive this refund. My Ireland Tour Ltd would not be liable for any other items or costs incurred such as airfares.
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