We are living in difficult times, unlike any other in history. Your safety is, and always has been, our concern!
Due to the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) many are concerned about taking their trip to Bethel in New York and other areas of the world. We should always remember that no matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing, unexpected, life changing things can happen to us at any time. (Eccl. 9:11)
Bethel Coach Tours is carefully analyzing the situation for all our trips, carefully following the instructions provided by the various Branches of locations that we will be visiting. The best thing we all can do is carefully follow the suggestions and precautions that have been outlined through our congregations for our health and that of others.
We need to be careful to not let fear dictate our moves or decisions. The media is powerful and has the capability of provoking panic and fear.
To that effect, we are implementing the following policy during this difficult time-
- If you voluntarily make a change to your reservation for your upcoming trip and there is no official notification of the Branch that you’re going to visit being closed, the standard $50/person change fee will apply to move to another one of our scheduled tours within one year of the date of your currently scheduled tour.
- In addition, if your airline ticket has already been purchased, either by us, or you did so personally, any possible change fees incurred by the airlines will apply to your change. Many airlines have relaxed their policies on making changes, but they vary greatly.
- If the date of your trip is approaching and notification is received of the area you’re visiting being with restrictions and of the Branch office being closed, we will make the necessary adjustments as much as we reasonably can, which in most cases will not have fees that affect you. Again, airline change fees vary and could apply.
- If you’ve already purchased travel insurance through us, or privately, and would prefer to cancel, you can contact your agency directly to see if you may be covered. You can click here to read the specific information as to coverage concerning Covid-19 (Coronavirus) of the travel insurance that we offer (Travelex).
- If you have not yet purchased insurance, you are welcome to, but please note that our coverage is only available to US Citizens and legal US residents that physically reside in the United States. You need to contact us directly to purchase coverage. Again, to view the coverage of our insurance provider (Travelex), please click here to see specific details about Coronavirus. If you do not reside in the United States, you will need look for coverage available in your area.
We truly appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we go through this difficult time together. Please don’t hesitate to contact us, if needed, but also remember that we are continuing to do our best to keep you informed and to make sure that you’re still have to enjoy your ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ to visit Bethel. When it’s known that your trip will need to be cancelled, or possibly moved to another date, we will contact our travelers, most likely be email, to let you know your options.
UPDATE (11 March 2020)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared this coronavirus (CoVID-19) as a pandemic. While this is certainly an increased reason for concern, we assure you that we are following the directions being provided to the congregations and to us as a tour operator by the Branch(es) very closely.
At this time, of course subject to change at any time, Bethel will be open for tours again as of April 1, 2020, therefore all of tours are proceeding as scheduled for the time being. Again, when/if we have notification of closure of Bethel to your location, we will do our best to contact you promptly with any options that may be available. Please refer to the policy outlined above for more detail.
UPDATE (12 March 2020) Bethel has cancelled tours for April 2020. BCT will be contacting those that have booked tours for the month of April with options.
UPDATE (06 April 2020) All tours that include New York are now cancelled through August of 2020. Tours of the US Branch facilities are scheduled to restart in September. BCT will be contacting all reserved guests (account leads) on tours scheduled through August, including Ecuador, with a list of your available options. We appreciate your patience as we contact each reservation directly by email.
UPDATE (10 June 2020) Based on newly provided information, we have proactively decided to cancel all our remaining tours for 2020 that include New York, Canada and/or DC. All scheduled travelers will be notified of their options.
UPDATE (11 November 2020) As advised in our congregations, Bethel branches around the world will remain closed until at least February 1, 2021. Any updated information forthcoming will be posted here first. In the event that your future trip with us is canceled, we will be in contact with you with any available options as soon as possible. Again we appreciate your patience and understanding during these very trying times for all of us!
UPDATE (8 February 2021) The Governing Body has directed all branch offices and special full-time servants to maintain various safety precautions. In most cases, this means that Bethel facilities are remaining on lockdown and special full-time servants are sheltering in place until at least May 1, 2021. These precautions are vital for protecting the Kingdom work. Please continue to pray for the worldwide Bethel family and for the special full-time servants in the field. We are confident that Jehovah values their obedience.
The staff of Bethel Coach Tours