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6 Questions on Safe Travel Answered by Our Health and Safety Expert, Ian Greaves

Ian Greaves

From travel tips to frequently asked questions, our health and safety specialist Ian Greaves (MCIEH) shares his expert knowledge on keeping safe on holiday. Taking the lead from his expertise in the travel sector, read on for ways we are keeping you safe, as well as things to look out for when planning your next adventure.

As one of the travel industry’s leading independent health and safety experts, Ian has worked in the travel and tourism sector for over 20 years and advises Riviera Travel on the most up-to-date policy, ensuring we continue to work to the highest health and safety standards. We are also in constant contact with the FCO, ABTA and tourism authorities and we are always in a position to act swiftly if advice is updated or a situation changes on the ground.

Although this post was initially published on June 29th, Ian checked it over on September 3rd 2020 to ensure the information is as up to date as possible.

Why are Riviera Travel working with a health and safety consultant?

Your wellbeing is a priority to us, as is your peace of mind. In the same way we might find an expert to guide our tours or share a little-known gem, we take pride in finding expert knowledge to enhance your experience wherever we can. That’s why we have taken a health and safety consultant on board to answer any questions you might have. Few travel companies will have been as thorough and comprehensive as Riviera Travel, but we are proud to have an independent consultant 24/7, providing constant updates and advice and ensuring strict controls are in place.

What might I expect on a river cruise?

As we return to the great rivers of Europe, we’ll be constantly reviewing on-board policy across all of our cruises.  We have always prided ourselves on the cleanliness of our ships and on-going training and reviews of new procedures will ensure that we continue to maintain the highest standards on every cruise.  We’ll always follow the standards set by leading health agencies and local authorities and as we move forward we’ll continue to adapt and relax our policy as the situation changes.

Your embarkation will be arranged with respect for social distancing throughout, with a mandatory health screening and touch free temperature check required for all customers and crew before boarding. The crew will clean the handles of your luggage prior to all suitcases being taken on board whilst all on-board charges will be processed using contactless methods. What’s more, there are hand sanitising stations dotted throughout the ships, as well as a complimentary bottle in your cabin.

And what about on our tours?

Riviera Travel have performed many risk assessments and always ensure every destination and landmark is safe. We will observe current social distancing guidelines throughout your holiday, whilst hand sanitisers will always be available at your hotel and on your coach. As the situation develops, we’ll continue to check with all key places of interest to ensure we are satisfied that their latest policies meet our criteria.

What will the airport be like and how can I minimise time there?

Airports have been working hard to put measures in place to help make air travel safer for both passengers and staff. There will be extra staff on hand to help, with lots of hand sanitiser stations and protective screens where needed. Most require a 3 hour check in and this may have to remain due to extra checks and distancing, so ensure you are airport ready with minimal hand luggage. And remember, keep liquids under 100 ml – especially any hand sanitiser. It’s a good idea to check the website of the airport you’re flying from nearer your departure to make yourself more familiar and put your mind at ease.

Do I have to wear a mask in public areas or on the plane?

It’s very much like the UK at the moment, where you are expected to wear a mask in the likes of public areas, such as shops and public transport. It is fine to remove your mask to eat, drink or when walking around in the open air, such as on one of our excursions. On a plane, you will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the flight, expect for eating or drinking, and there is plenty of hand sanitiser available on the plane or at airports.

Will I feel safe on the plane? Why travelling on a plane is probably not as risky as you’d think…

Think of the plane as the same as a coach or train. Actually, the layout of a plane helps with social distancing, as everyone is facing forward and the seat in front acts as a barrier. And if you use the loo on your flight, just be sure to use your hand sanitiser afterwards.

What will the landmarks be like?

Now is a unique time to explore the world, with many previously busy landmarks now much quieter. Many resorts and attractions will not be running at full capacity and as such crowds could be low. With reduced numbers the venues will be able to monitor distancing and make for a more peaceful experience. In addition, awareness is very high, so the likes of landmarks and accommodation will be taking extra measures.

Always remember the simple guidance its still so important, distance and hand washing will really protect you. Here at Riviera Travel, we have done all the hard work behind the scenes so can relax and enjoy your holiday.