Our commitment to keeping you safe
Whilst the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) currently advises against all but essential international travel to The Gambia, we want to reassure you that in the meantime we’re doing everything we can to ensure that once travel to The Gambia does resume, your holiday will be as safe as possible.
To give you an idea of what to expect, we’ve put together the following guide which shows you how to travel safely, from the moment you arrive at the airport to stepping foot into your accommodation, and how to keep yourself and others safe while you’re away.
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
When travel advice changes and permits travel to The Gambia from the UK, it's important you read the government information relating to The Gambia in full, as you may need to carry out a COVID-19 test a few days before travel. Please click here for the most up to date travel information.
We always recommend that individuals get adequate travel insurance, and this is especially important this year due to the current situation. Please click here for details of insurers providing cover for COVID-19.
AT THE AIRPORT
Every airport is different, so we suggest reading the advice from the UK airport you’re departing from (Gatwick or Manchester). Here are some general tips to keep in mind before travelling.
- Please download boarding passes prior to travel (if applicable)
- Wear a face covering at all times when inside the terminal building, unless you are exempt due to medical reasons
- Your temperature may be taken prior to check-in – this will be a very quick process
- When checking in bags, please try and use the self-service drops where possible
- Security checks may take longer than normal, so leave a little earlier than you usually would to make sure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time
- Maintain social distancing rules in all areas of the airport – these will be the same as in other public places
- Make use of the hand sanitisers located around the airport and wash your hands regularly
- Some outlets may ask for card payments only
ON BOARD THE AIRCRAFT
All airlines, including Titan Airways and TUI, have introduced additional safety measures to minimise the risk of infection and protect you at every stage. Please take a little time to familiarise yourself with the policy of the airline you will be flying with.
- We expect boarding to be done in groups. You will be notified when it is your turn to board your flight
- Face masks / coverings must be worn at the airport, when boarding the aircraft and during the flight, except if you are exempt for medical reasons
- Try and keep hand your hand luggage to a minimum as the crew won't be able to help you put your luggage in the overhead lockers
- Onboard service may be limited to water, which will be available on request. Where a fuller service is in operation contactless payment will be encouraged
- Passengers are politely asked to limit the consumption of their own food or beverages as much as possible. If catering is provided on board, this will be simplified to reduce the risk of transmission
- In-flight magazines will be removed to minimise contact between passengers
- No duty free service will be offered
- You will be allowed to use the toilet, but please try to avoid queuing in the aisle
- Rest assured that aircraft cabins are thoroughly disinfected daily, providing surface protection which is effective for at least 24 hours. An air ventilation and filtration system is also used
- For more information about how you can protect yourself and others while travelling, please click here
Every hotel will be different, but here’s a breakdown of the sort of safety measures you can expect.
- Social distancing – Every country will follow different social distancing rules. These will be shown with floor markings, and it’s likely you will see these in your hotel’s communal areas. Simply ask reception on arrival if anything is unclear
- Wearing masks – It is likely your hotel may ask you to wear a face covering in communal areas, including reception and whilst entering and leaving the hotel. Please bear in mind that some guests may be exempt from wearing masks for medical reasons
- Buffet meals – There might be a change in the way some hotels serve food. You may find that your hotel introduces timed dining sittings and table menu service rather than a self-service buffet
- Swimming pools, sunloungers and tables - Swimming pools will be open and sunloungers and tables will be positioned at a safe distance from one another to allow for social distancing. Hotel staff will be on hand to advise if needed
- Spas and gyms – Most should be open but with a limit on the number of guests using the facilities at any one time and some facilities such as saunas may not be available. Reception staff can assist with any queries
- Out and about – It’s important to also follow local guidelines and social distancing measures when you leave your hotel. If you are unsure of anything, please speak to our representative or your hotel staff
Coach transfers will be provided according to local social distancing guidelines, but masks will be required and travelling groups will sit together. There will also be a reduction in the maximum occupancy of the vehicle. Guests with private taxi transfers will also be required to wear masks.
Strict protocols are in place regarding the operation of excursions. Transportation will be cleaned between each group and face coverings will be required. Numbers may also be restricted. Your representative will explain specific details at the welcome meeting and be able to answer your questions prior to booking.
We recommend reading government advice on travel to the country your holiday is based in. In addition, please note that everyone reentering the UK is currently required to submit a locator form no more than 48 hours prior to travel. Please click here for more information.
On behalf of everyone here at The Gambia Experience, we hope we can whisk you away to Africa's Smiling Coast very soon!