We always inform trip participants beforehand about the updated agenda and other things that make the day more enjoyable for everyone. Needless to say that due to the current corona situation we also inform everyone about the measures we put in place together with our travel partners and welcoming destinations.
We travel only if allowed
A total no-brainer, but the most important rule is of course that we only travel if allowed by the Belgian and foreign governments. So if we go to France, we adhere to the national and local rules there. If we go to Holland, we follow the Dutch national and local governments. We don’t travel to red zones.
We never travel to red zones
As you may know, countries are either green, orange or red. The red destinations are out of the question, of course. Green zones are on the other hand not a problem. Orange zones are less clear. These zones have a higher risk, and if you return from there a test and quarantine is advised. However, it depends also on where exactly you were in the orange zone. Sometimes a zone is an entire province with a big city with increased levels, whereas the smaller towns or country side has virtually zero positive cases. The Belgian corona info-line confirmed that travel, also with a group, is definitely possible to those places as well, without any additional consequences such as tests.
If the situation changes before departure, such as a sudden change policy by the Belgian government or a foreign government (whether national, regional, or local), and we cannot go there any more because the zone has become red, then we will cancel our trip. Possibly we propose a different destination, but if you don’t want to join, you will be fully refunded within a week. If the situation changes while being there, Expat Club will immediately cancel the trip and we will go back to Brussels. Depending on when this happens, we will refund you partially.
Belgian corona information point and FBAA
For each trip we contact the official information line of the Belgian government to again confirm we can travel there. We do so for both the green and orange destinations. We also consult with the Belgian Federation of Coach Companies (FBAA), since they coordinate up-to-date information for all Belgian bus companies.
Masks & social distancing required
Following the Brussels decree, masks are always required while being on Brussels territory. Outside of Brussels we follow either the rules for the bus (see below), or national / local rules of the destination we visit. Social distancing of 1,5 meters is always required, unless not possible (like on the bus).
What if you fall ill?
If you feel ill and have corona-like symptoms, you are not allowed to join us on the bus. If you fall ill during the trip, you are not allowed back on the bus either and you have to find alternative ways of returning to Brussels. Needless to say we will do our best to help you with that (excluding costs). If you can show a positive corona test results before trip (if you fall ill before departure) or a positive test result after the trip (if you fall ill during the trip), Expat Club will refund you the full amount (minus a standard €15 administrative, and possible costs such as lunches or entrance fees).
What about the bus?
We only travel with top Belgian bus companies, most notably Lauwers Reizen and Linden Cars. These companies follow all the rules required by the Belgian government. Travel by bus is deemed safe by the Belgian and foreign governments if the following rules are being kept in mind.
- Buses can travel with (near) full capacity. The first row needs to remain empty.
- Masks are obligatory at entry & dropping luggage
- If applicable, only the driver can put luggage in the compartment
- Keeping 1,5 meters distance is required while getting on the bus
- Disinfecting gel is available upon entry
- Only the rear door can be used
- Special transparent shields are installed between every row of seats
- You can take off your mask if you can keep 1,5 meters distance between you and other (non-household) passengers. A passenger in front of you is deemed more than 1,5 meters away due to the special shield.
- We are only using the newest buses that have a modern ventilation system. The quality of the circulating air is continuously cleaned with special filters that destroys viruses, bacteria and allergens, while the system lets in optimal fresh air (the entire bus volume can be replaced within one minute).
- The airconditioning systems are weekly cleaned.
- Buses are cleaned also during the trip with a disinfecting product
- After every trip the bus is fully cleaned with a disinfecting product
- Surfaces that are touched a lot will get special attention, before, during and after the trip.
- The toilet is really for emergences during the trips. Using disinfecting tissues for your hands is obligatory, and so is washing your hands.
- You can only use your own garbage bag for rubbish.
- During the stops you should maintain the hygiene and distancing measures.
If you have any questions about corona and an upcoming trip, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.