COVID-19 – Operational Policies and Procedures

Generally speaking, outdoor photography is a low risk activity and the nature of our activities is mostly outdoors where there’s plenty of space and fresh air. However, delivering interactive photography instruction and tutorials involves a more interpersonal approach and therefore warrants further consideration to ensure health and safety for all.

Vaccination Policy

Currently, we ask all experience participants to be double vaccinated when joining a Shutterbug Walkabouts experience, unless a medical exemption can be provided, or alternative arrangements have been made (refer to the option below if you are not vaccinated). Proof of vaccination will need to be presented upon request. 

We are double-vaccinated though we also appreciate that others make choices for their own reasons. If you are not vaccinated, please get in touch with us directly prior to booking. Our collection of private tuition and touring experiences remain available with modified operational procedures implemented and itineraries adapted as necessary. To enable us to customise your experience and prepare accordingly, it is helpful if we are aware of your vaccination status in advance. 

Face masks

Due to our interpersonal approach for delivering photography instruction and guidance, please be prepared to wear a face mask for the duration of your experience – be it a tour, tuition session or retreat. However, when we are able to practice social distancing guidelines, face masks may be temporarily removed. 

Additionally, current government rules require all passengers of a tour vehicle to wear face masks while in the vehicle.

Wellness Declaration

In the interest of remaining free of coronavirus (in the best way possible) we ask each guest to complete a Wellness Declaration prior to joining us for the experience. We will send you an email 2-3 days prior to your booked experience with the link to an online form. We ask you to forward the link to anyone who is included in your booking. 

While it appears we have come through the worst of the pandemic, along with all the border closures and lockdowns, we still need to prepare for the potential that COVID may continue to disrupt how we all travel for a while longer yet. It’s also important that we employ sustainable operational practices to factor in how travel looks from this point forward.

We all know that the COVID-19 situation can change at any time, so it’s important that you stay up to date and check the latest information before travelling to your Shutterbug Walkabouts photography experience.

The links below will take you to specific pages on the official website of the official Tasmanian government coronavirus website.

Travel insurance is strongly recommended, even if you are travelling within Australia. Most travel insurance companies do have some cover for events related to COVID-19. Though as always, it’s important that you check what events/circumstances your chosen travel insurance covers and that they are suitable for you.
We found this article “Does travel insurance cover COVID-19?” published on CHOICE – the leading consumer advocacy group in Australia – we hope you find it as helpful as we have.

Updated Booking Terms and Conditions (Refund Policy)

Effective 1st January 2022

As we emerge from the pandemic and aim to resume operations in the most sustainable way that we can, our refund policy has been updated to outline how we manage booking amendments and cancellations, providing you with more clarity about how your booking is managed if you need to amend or cancel your experience. These new terms come into effect for all new bookings from 1st January 2022 and includes special consideration for COVID-related circumstances.

In summary…

  • If you are not able to travel due to a government-imposed restriction or a border closure, we will issue you with a travel credit or provide a partial refund if full payment has been received, depending on the amount of notice provided. The choice is yours.
  • If you would like to change your departure date for any reason, you can do so up until 45 days prior, for an amendment fee of just $50.
  • Cancellations for any reason other than government-imposed travel restrictions, our standard cancellation policy agreed to at the time of your booking, will apply.
  • Bookings made and confirmed (with deposit/full payment made) on or before 31st December 2021 retain the booking terms and conditions in place at the time of booking; along with any terms agreed to separately.

As has always been the case, if you find yourself needing to amend or cancel your booking, or you are simply reconsidering your travels, we encourage you to get in touch with us at the earliest possible time to discuss your individual circumstances directly with us; because that’s the only way we can assist in whatever way we can before our cancellation policy is officially activated.

COVID-Safe Etiquette

In joining a Shutterbug Walkabouts experience, you agree to the following:

  • To willingly provide accurate information about your wellness in the lead up to your experience by submitting an online ‘Wellness Declaration’ within the 36 hours leading up to your experience.
  • To present proof of vaccination when ask to do so.
  • To check-in using the Check-in TAS App via relevant QR code/s or an approved alternative check-in method (e.g., manual sign-in).
  • To inform your tutor and/or guide if you feel unwell or develop any cold or flu-like symptoms during your experience.
  • To protect yourself and others from the risk COVID-19 through:
    • Frequently using hand sanitiser and/or wipes
    • Maintaining physical distancing whenever safe and practical to do so
    • Wearing a face mask if required or requested to do so
    • Remain aware of personal and general hygiene, especially when coughing or sneezing
    • Support all experience participants and your guide, in their individual efforts to adhere to health and safety measures – preferred or mandated
    • To follow directives as and when provided by your guide and/or Public Health

We respect all these same principles of etiquette toward you, other experience participants and anyone else we interact with.

Other Safety Masures – COVID-19

Our preparations and training

In addition to our standard training and certifications, our tutors and guides have undergone supplementary COVID-19 Infection Control Training and use best practices in the aim to mitigate the associated risks with the virus while supporting the government’s efforts with contact tracing should the need arise.

Please arrive healthy

Your health is a priority to us, as is the health of ourselves, our experience partners and anyone else with whom we interact with. In the 24-hours leading up to your experience, we require you to complete a Wellness Declaration. It’s an easy online form submitted online.

At any time leading up to and including the day/s of your experience you feel unwell, please get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can discuss your circumstances and how it may impact your experience. In normal circumstances, our booking terms and conditions including for amendments and cancellations will apply on a discretionary basis.

Maintaining Distance

Shutterbug Walkabouts is committed to maintaining recommended physical distance where safe and practical.

Sanitiser  

Your guide/tutor carries hand sanitiser at all times, which is available for you to use throughout your tour or tuition activity. We encourage you to bring your own hand sanitiser. Anti-bacterial wipes and/or disinfectant spray will also be provided for equipment, such as tripods, along with optic-friendly wipes for cameras and lenses.

Facemasks

The Tasmanian Government has mandated wearing of face masks in indoor public spaces, tour vehicles and at times when social distancing is not reasonably practicable. Due to the nature of interactive photography instruction, there will likely be occasions during your experience that you may need to wear a mask, so please bring one along.

Current information surrounding face masks is available on the Tasmanian Government Coronavirus website on the Facemasks in Tasmania page.

Other measures

While hand sanitiser will be frequently used, your guide/tutor may choose to use a stylus pen to point or indicate to buttons and menu settings on your camera, to minimise physical contact with your camera. Alternatively, your tutor will use hand sanitiser before and after physical connection with your camera or other gear – and we’ll recommend that you do too.

The various equipment we use, including but not limited to cameras, tripods, door handles on our vehicle and picnic tables/seating that we may utilise will be wiped with disinfectant and/or santised before your experience. In our vehicle we carry surplus hand-sanitiser, anti-bacterial wipes, disinfectant spray and cloths, and a small supply of face masks for use as/when required.

Meals and refreshments

Handling of food and hand hygiene is paramount. All participants will wash their hands with soap and water prior to handling equipment and/or food. Where soap and running water is not available, hand sanitiser will be used liberally. Furthermore, food-safe gloves are available for use when required.

During meals, it’s imperative that hygiene principals are maintained throughout the meal. This includes meals served on individual plates, using supplied equipment and utensils to serve food and no double-dipping.

Photo shoot locations

Accessing areas or locations for photo shoots will be based on the number in the group along with access and logistical considerations that we need to take into mind. If physical distancing is not easily implemented for what is intended, alternative activities to ensure we retain the superior quality of the overall experience for you will be arranged.

Transportation

Our vehicle

  • Dual-zone climate control with separate controls for front and back.
  • Weather shields on each window allows for circulation of fresh air via open windows while travelling as/when desired.
  • Our vehicle is immaculately cleaned and sanitised prior to each and every experience.
  • Sanitiser wipes and sprays are available for every tour and used as frequently as circumstances require.
  • Hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes will be available for the driver and passengers at all times.
  • Rubbish bags are made available for disposal of sanitiser wipes, tissues and other rubbish and disposed of appropriately.

Other transport

For experiences that require other transport (e.g. ferry) during your tour, we follow directives from the operators accordingly. If you would like more information, please enquire.

Accommodation and Third Party Venues

Accommodation and third party venues vary from one experience to another. For this reason, we follow procedures as applied by our experience suppliers while following our procedures too.

MOST IMPORTANTLY – We want you to feel comfortable discussing how you may like us to adapt the delivery of interactive photography instruction for you. Rest assured that we will not feel offended by any request that ensures your health and wellbeing at any time, especially during this time that we are all navigating our way through COVID-19, or anytime really.