In light of ongoing COVID-19 health concerns in the US and abroad, our team at Bird Watcher’s Digest has revised previously implemented guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our attendees, guides, and hosts during Reader Rendezvous birding tours. We’ve made big, rather bold changes to the way we approach events and birding travel because you, our Rendezvous friends and family, are important to us! We believe these modifications will prove timely, appropriate, and effective. Our goal is to provide a healthy, comfortable, safe, fun, and rewarding experience for all involved. Please read the following carefully and completely.
- All Reader Rendezvous attendees, guides, and staff must be fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus and must show proof of vaccination. NO EXCEPTIONS.
- Should anyone become ill during a tour for any reason with COVID-19 symptoms, we will require that they take a rapid COVID test at that time, which we will help coordinate. If the test results are positive, we will make certain they receive appropriate medical attention, and they will (unfortunately) be required to remain quarantined for the remainder of the tour.
- On some of our international tours, a COVID-19 TEST WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE TAKEN within 72 hours of departure and must yield a negative result in order to travel outside the US. Proof of a 72-hour negative COVID result will be required when leaving the US and entering the destination country. A second negative COVID-19 TEST will be required again upon departing that country and re-entering the US. We will arrange the second COVID test for you to be taken before you exit the country and re-enter the United States. **If you test positively for COVID-19 at the close of the international tour, you must quarantine yourself at your own expense in that location until the designated quarantine time has passed. Most event insurance does not cover this type of illness during a tour, but you can check with your insurance carrier about that.
- Every attendee, guide, and host will be required to wear a mask in all places that require it. Some public areas in various cities, states, and countries may still require masks, and all attendees must have one on hand at all times.
- We will sanitize birding equipment and any other shared items thoroughly each morning and throughout the day. Sanitizing tools and PPE will be provided to all attendees and will be available at all times.
- After June 2021, most of our tours will provide group transportation during the tour via 15-passenger vans, minivans, or SUVs. Some tours will allow you to drive your own car, but most will not. Please be prepared to be in close proximity with other vaccinated guides, staff members, and attendees.
- Beginning with our 2021 tours, our tour groups will have a capacity caps of between 6 and 25 people. Fortunately, birding is an outdoor activity that is safer than spending time indoors. We will spend the majority of each tour outdoors to the extent possible.
- Travel to and from Rendezvous has always been the responsibility of each attendee. Some tour destinations will require air travel, so please be prepared to fly and follow all safety guidelines for the airline used during a tour.
For questions or concerns about these changes, or if you have additional suggestions that might make our tours even more safe and enjoyable, we would love to hear from you! Please contact us with your feedback at [email protected].