COVID-19 F.A.Q.s

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and affinity travel partners, tour operators, and government authorities continue to monitor COVID-19. Your safety while traveling on our programs is our and the tour operators’ number one priority. As this is a fluid situation, we will continue to update travelers who are booked on our trips accordingly and on a trip-by-trip basis regarding any status changes or updates for your particular departure. Final decisions regarding whether to operate or postpone a trip will be sent from the Tour Operator approximately 45-60 days prior to departure. 


The most current advice regarding COVID-19 and travel can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of State.


For information regarding travel insurance, please visit USI Travel Insurance, and note that they have a page dedicated to travel insurance questions related to coronavirus outbreaks.  USI Travel Insurance is a trusted travel insurance provider offered through the World Affairs Council.

In addition to the standard protocols for safety and security already in place during our travel programs, tour operators are expanding and updating their Health and Safety Protocols in response to the pandemic.  Protocols will likely continue to change and be updated as travel restrictions ease around the world.  


Expanded protocols will include: 

• Enhanced passenger communications regarding safe on-site practices sent to travelers before departure and reiterated during travel 

• Travel Director training on reinforcing hygiene, recognizing and responding to health issues, utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves, and physical distancing 

• A Travel Director kit, including a non-contact thermometer, PPE supplies, and local health contacts  

• Requirements that must be implemented by hotel, cruise ships, and motorcoach companies that include staff training, sanitation, and procedural practices 

• A checklist of actions to be taken should someone show symptoms 


For specific details of what to expect on your tour, please visit the links to Tour Operators below for more information. 

• AHI Travel

• Classic Escapes

Criterion Travel

• Gohagan & Company: Ponant Cruise Lines 

International Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions


• Odysseys Unlimited 

• TCS World Travel



The Council does not require but highly encourages masking and vaccines for all travelers. To reserve a space, travelers must follow the policy of our tour operators, some of whom require vaccination while others do not. The Council and our Tour Operators defer to the CDC and the individual vaccine manufacturers in the definition of “fully vaccinated". Click here for more information on our Tour Operator relationships. Please inquire with the Travel department if you have questions about requirements for specific tours.

Testing requirements will vary based on your destination and Tour Operator. Please check with our travel department or the Tour Operators before booking your trip for up-to-date travel regulations. 

In light of the pandemic's impact, many tour operators and their vendors are relaxing cancellation policies and/or final payment due dates for trips in 2023. Since each tour operator functions differently, we recommend referring to the most recent email from your trip’s Tour Operator for details about your specific trip.

Given the restrictions imposed by local authorities due to COVID-19 and the uncertainty of this rapidly changing situation, we recommend that travelers who intend to travel carefully consider their options. 


Individuals who wish to travel must understand the potential risks.  Costs associated with being denied boarding will not be covered by the Tour Operator or the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.  You or your travel insurance provider must cover any associated costs if you are unable to return home due to COVID-19.  


Due to rolling changes around the globe, we are unable to provide specific information on this page about the restrictions imposed by each country due to COVID-19.  Border closures and heavy restrictions have been imposed in some regions along with self-quarantine requirements for some domestic and international destinations. In addition, some destinations may only admit passengers who are residents of that country. 


All travelers are responsible for ensuring that they are permitted entry into the destination country.   Tour Operators and the World Affairs Council are happy to assist with specific questions. 


Information regarding specific travel restrictions by country can be found through this Interactive COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map, provided by the International Aviation and Transportation Authority (IATA). 

Individuals who wish to travel must understand the potential risks. Costs associated with being denied boarding will not be covered by the Tour Operator or the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. The World Affairs Council strongly recommends travel insurance. You can obtain a quote from our travel insurance partner USI Travel Insurance Select by telephoning T.I.S. at 800-937-1387 or by visiting their website. Have a question about what insurance to buy? Watch this informative webinar