Managing COVID-19

Returning to Travel

As countries around the world continue to re-open and once again welcome tourism, we are hard at work monitoring, evaluating, and designing programs that keep travelers safe and maintain the high-quality travel experiences for which ATA is known.  

The safety and well-being of our travelers and employees are our top priority, and we are using every source of information available to us—including the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization; US policy-based sources, including Department of State and Overseas Security Advisory Council; our risk management partner, Global Rescue; and the eye-witness accounts from our trusted partners abroad—to carefully watch the situation in every single one of our program locations. 

Armed with information, we developed a rigorous vetting process to determine each tour’s viability. We currently operate with this vetting process and the requirement that our travelers be fully vaccinated before departure, to ensure maximum safety for all involved. 

With an abundance of caution, both of our divisions began operating programs at home and abroad beginning in 2021—the first of which was a semester-long film study abroad program in Prague, Czech Republic in Spring 2021. Since then, we’ve run quite a few programs and tours both domestically and internationally. All programs and tours have operated with relaxed cancellation and refund policies to give all travelers/students maximum flexibility. 


  • The health and safety of our travelers is of the utmost importance, and we continually monitor the situation on the ground in all our program locations. ATA takes a holistic approach in assessing risk that involves diligent monitoring, active communications, and an in-depth vetting process to determine trip viability. We also strongly encourage travelers to obtain trip insurance and impress upon them that maintaining the health and safety of our groups is a shared responsibility. Learn more about how we determine a tour’s feasibility and assess risk.

In a situation such as this one, accurate information is essential. We are using every source of information at our fingertips—including reports from on-site staff, commissioned reports, and recommendations from the CDC and Department of State—to carefully watch the situation in every program location. In our 70-year history we have dealt with and survived many crises by operating by the following principles:

1. The safety and well-being of travelers, staff and partners is our number one concern
2. Verification of facts is critical
3. Constant communication is essential
4. Throughout a crisis, we protect the privacy of the individuals and families involved

After dealing with a crisis, we evaluate our response and review any lessons we can learn to do even better next time. Learn more about how we green light a tour amidst a pandemic.

ATA requires all travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including all CDC-recommended boosters.  
Many countries have entry requirements that include a full course of WHO-approved vaccines for all non-citizens. Having all travelers fully vaccinated allows ATA to deliver the most experientially robust versions of our tours while the virus continues to circulate. Exceptions may be made for those ineligible for a vaccine due to a medical condition or vaccine availability.

We recognize the uncertainty created by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak around the world and are offering increased flexibility for travelers. We have modified our Terms and Conditions for 2022 departures to allow travelers to withdraw from their programs for any reason until 61 days prior to departure with a full refund of deposit. There are no refunds for cancellations within 60 days of departure, unless initiated by ATA. In such cases, full refunds are issued. We strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance.