As the new Coronavirus (known as COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and some other names), spreads across the globe, we are all aware that measures need to be taken to slow its distribution.
In addition to the general guidelines that have been widely publicized, we are taking our own measures and have also compiled additional points that are specific to our tours and activities.
Spending a day in the vast wilderness of Iceland is probably one of the most exciting ways to avoid a possible infection, but this is of course dependent on how the situation develops in the meantime, and any rules or restrictions that may be enacted.
For up-to-date official information from the Icelandic government, please refer to:
- COVID.is – official COVID-19 information, maintained by the Icelandic Directorate of Health and the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management
- The Icelandic Directorate of Health – advice for travellers from / to Iceland
- … and all travel advice provided by your own home country’s agencies.
What we are doing
There are some indications that the virus may persist on inanimate surfaces for a limited time (several hours to few days), and we are taking additional measures to reduce the risk of transmission by this means.
- Strict adherence to all safety regulations that have been put in place. We are closely monitoring the situation to ensure we remain up to date as the crisis develops.
- Private tours only. You’ve already been traveling together, so the additional risk of our tours is as small as it can be.
- Hotel or alternative pickup. We can meet you at your accommodation or another suitable location to avoid more crowded areas.
- No handshakes. Sorry! Reducing physical contact is an easy and effective way to reduce risk, even if it goes against our grain.
- Helmets are cleaned after every use. We clean helmets according to CDC regulations and in strict compliance with the helmet manufacturer’s technical notes.
- Harnesses and other soft goods cleaned according to manufacturer’s specifications and rotated through use. Those items are difficult to clean effectively, so additionally we rotate ours with one week between uses.
- Other hardware (crampons, etc.) cleaned after each use. Those items tolerate strong industrial detergents and high pressure washers, so that’s what we use for them.
- Vehicle contact surfaces (seats, handles, etc.) wiped down daily.
- Free cancellation at any time and no down payments required. We know that further travel restrictions may hit at any time, so bookings can be canceled or rescheduled at any time, and we can just take care of all payments on the day of the tour.
What you can do
We strongly believe that there is no significant increase in risk from joining a private tour, but there are a few additional measures can give you peace of mind.
- We generally recommend to wear a Buff or Beanie under the helmet – we clean them as best we can, but an additional layer is great (and probably useful with winter temperatures anyway).
- Wear Gloves. This will reduce exposure to surfaces that can’t be cleaned properly or are being touched frequently by many people. Those are necessary to handle ice axes or climbing tools anyway, and also protect your hands from sharp ice.
- Follow common guidelines (WHO, CDC, UK NHS).
- Contact us if any questions remain!