Spain trip set to continue in spring with pandemic precautions

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Sanjay Fernando

EF tours is partnering with Watkins Mill High School to take students to Spain this spring, even during the pandemic.

While the future of Watkins Mill High School’s spring break trip to Spain is undecided, trip sponsor and travel program coordinator Thomas Sneddon is confident that the tour will still take place amidst the pandemic and Delta scare.

Education First Tours has taken trips this past summer and travelers have returned without any incidents. Vaccination is highly recommended for travelers but not required. Masks are mandatory on tour buses, airlines, and in enclosed spaces that require them.

“I don’t think [the pandemic is] going to be a major hindrance,” Sneddon said.  “As much fun as you would ever have in the first week of school, you can have during this trip.”

EF tours’ website describes their new standards and regulations. Before embarking on the trip, students are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to the flight’s departure. They must have completed a COVID-19 Safe Traveler Agreement, which is available 30 days before the trip.

“I’m not a virologist,” Sneddon said. “But any variant or any form of this thing that makes this more difficult for us is an obstacle.”

The organization has procedures in place in the event a student or teacher catches COVID and needs to quarantine while on the trip. These arrangements come at no extra cost to the participant. The number of people allowed on the tour buses has been reduced. Additionally, buses will not allow multiple school groups to use them at once.

Some students are not too worried about the trip’s future. “If [the pandemic] gets worse, I know my money is going to be put towards next year’s trip, so I’m not worried much,” junior Sarah Bamba said. 

“I feel as though everyone will keep their masks on, we should be fine,” junior Therese Dalliah said.

Ultimately, participants of the trip will need to adhere to Spain’s COVID standards, which EF tours promises to monitor.

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