Generic COVID 19 protocols whilst travelling

“Tourism can be a platform for overcoming the pandemic. By bringing people together, tourism can promote solidarity and trust”


Last updated: 04 Mar 2021


At ISHKAR we believe that by demonstrating ‘good practice’ and being one of the leading ‘responsible tourism’ groups, we can demonstrate how best to support tourism in remote regions whilst travelling in a ‘COVID-19 responsible’ manner.   Our decision to go ahead with any of our trips will always be rooted in many hours researching and speaking to various organisations and individuals to establish ‘best practice’ and to assess the likely impact of our travels during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have any further queries relating to our protocols, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us in advance of travelling.

Pre departure information for travellers

  • In the week leading up to our travellers’ departures from home, we send out the most up to date information for the region in which they will be travelling including statistics and regulations.  This document also details our protocols throughout the trip. (A generic  - non country specific - overview is available below.)
  • Whilst this information will be up to date when sent out to our travellers, it will quickly become out of date in particular in terms of statistics.  The ISHKAR team will be monitoring all changes in the lead up to the departure date and will inform travellers of anything that may affect their travels.  We are conscious that in many of the regions in which we travel, testing capacity and access to testing facilities may be limited and therefore all information is given with the context of the destination location.

ISHKAR Protocols: Before departure

  • All travellers (regardless of vaccination status) are required to obtain a negative PCR test result within 72 hours prior to departure.  Within 24 hours prior to departure travellers (regardless of vaccination status) must also obtain proof of a negative rapid antigen test result.   Proof of both these tests must be sent to ISHKAR prior to departure.
  • Please refer to your chosen airline for travel in order to ensure that you adhere to their specific regulations.

ISHKAR Protocols: Whilst travelling

General recommendations for personal hygiene
  • Regular and thorough cleansing of hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. The ISHKAR representative will be carrying antibacterial soap, alcohol gel and alcohol wipes throughout the trip.
  • Travellers are required to maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between themselves and others not travelling in the ISHKAR group.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. 
  • Follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering of mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands.

Travelling in enclosed spaces such as vehicles

  • During your ISHKAR travel, it is mandatory that all travellers wear a mask inside vehicles. Whenever possible, we will ventilate vehicles during ISHKAR travels.  Should an individual have symptoms and test positive for the virus, any vehicle or equipment used by the individual will require decontamination.
  • During your ISHKAR travel, it is mandatory that when in confined spaces (for example market places) or when in close contact with anyone not in the ISHKAR group, all travellers will wear face masks.

Social distancing

  • Travellers are required to maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between themselves and others not travelling in the ISHKAR group.

Adhere to local advice

  • Local guides best know the environment and the risks associated with it. It is of paramount importance that their advice is followed closely closely. Guides will know COVID19 protocols and have the relevant contacts in case of an emergency.

Rapid antigen testing

  • The accompanying ISHKAR representative will be carrying a number of rapid antigen tests in order to facilitate testing when moving from one location to another, or in the case that any member of the group falls unwell.  These are only to be used as a supportive measure, whilst a PCR test will remain the primary testing option.

Actions on suspected COVID-19 case

  • Should an individual show symptoms linked with COVID-19, depending on the location, either a rapid antigen test or PCR test will be carried out and the individual isolated from the group until results are provided.
  • If at any point anyone in the group tests positive (including anyone employed by ISHKAR), the individual and those considered to be direct contacts, will be required to isolate as per the country’s requirements.  In some cases, the countries in which we travel may not have issued guidelines regarding isolation periods.  In this instance, ISHKAR protocols will be adhered to.

ISHKAR protocols for a positive COVID-19 test

  • ISHKAR requires a ‘positive’ individual to isolate for 10 days and ‘test to release’ to either return home or travel onwards with the group.  Those considered to be direct contacts will be required to isolate for 5 days and ‘test to release’ to either return home or travel onward with the group.
  • ISHKAR appreciates that there have been incidents of false positive and false negative results.  Regular access to testing will be provided should there be any concerns.
  • ISHKAR will endeavour to provide suitable accommodation (within reason) for any isolating individuals between the specified dates of the trip.  Any accommodation outside of this period of time will be the responsibility of the individual and their insurance.  Where testing incurs a fee, it is the travellers’ responsibility to cover any of these costs.  ISHKAR may attempt to provide advice and support where needed, but is not mandated to do so. 

ISHKAR Protocols: Return journey

  • Prior to leaving the country, travellers are required to provide proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure.  In some cases this may be required to be from a recognised testing laboratory.  ISHKAR will arrange for these tests to be carried out, however any costs incurred will be the responsibility of the traveller.
  • In the hopefully unlikely instance of traveller testing positive for COVID19, ISHKAR will enact the COVID19 medical procedures to ensure you are correctly cared for in a safe location.  Please feel free to enquire about these procedures separately.



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