Help Center: Covid-19
In just a few weeks, COVID-19 has transformed from something we were following on the news to a worldwide pandemic that has had a very significant impact on our day to day lives. We have actively been monitoring updates from the CDC, state and county to help us manage through this rapidly evolving situation.
As many countries are still trying to contain the spread of the virus, it is inevitable that many clients are uncertain whether they should pursue their travel plans or not. At Take a Chef, we recommend our clients to check the recent updates issued by their respective countries, as well as the country they may be visiting before requesting a service.
Considering the situation, we have expanded our cancellation policy to allow our clients to change their plans without being penalized, offering them different alternatives to select from.
Furthermore, we have created specific guidelines for our chefs to adopt strict safety food practices in order to mitigate any potential risk in our services.
Each country has been handling its own travel restrictions. However, the World Health Organization suggests avoiding or delaying your trip to high-risk destinations, especially for the elderly population and individuals with chronic underlying conditions.
President Trump announced on March 11th that the USA has suspended the entry of foreign nationals who have traveled to Europe’s Schengen Zone into the United States. The measure took place on the 13th of March and will be valid for 30 days.
Besides the United States, many other Similarly to the United States, many other countries have limited or suspended travels to and from an area of outbreak. Every day, a new country imposes travel restrictions. Therefore, we recommend you to pay close attention to your airline updates and government regulations before traveling. You can find further information about flight restrictions on airfarewatchdog. Additionally, the World Health Organization is providing daily reports about the number of cases and their development. You can also find all the countries affected by COVID-19 on the CDC page.
Please be aware that travelers coming back from high-risk areas are advised to follow their country protocols of isolation for a period of 14 days.
2. Extended cancellation policy
Considering the COVID-19 outbreak, we have revised our terms and conditions to include more flexibility with regards to our cancellation policy. More specifically, we have added a clause of Force Majeure, which would be triggered by the following causes:
- Travel bans and travel restrictions (Travelers to/from high risk destinations)
- Border closures
- Government service interruptions (Transit, public services, national park closures)
- Flight cancellations
Considering the above, our clients are able to choose among the following three options:
- Regular cancellation policy: 100% refund if requested more than 30 days prior to the service, 50% refund if requested less than 30 days prior to the service, 0% refund if requested less than 7 days prior to the service. Please note that payment transaction fees (3%) are non-refundable.
- Extended cancellation policy: receive a voucher for 100% of your reservation regardless of the number of days prior to the service, redeemable over a 2-year period in any destination worldwide - Take a Chef is present in over 100 countries.
- Reschedule your reservation: rearrange your service with the same chef for a later point in time.
***On the other hand, we are also committed to protect our chefs in this difficult situation. Therefore, for services scheduled and cancelled within a 7-day period, any purchases made for this reservation will be reimbursed to the chef and discounted from the voucher, refund and/or future service. We will get in touch with the chef to confirm whether purchases were already made and will get back to you with proof of the purchases made.
COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic on March 11th by the WHO after over 140 countries have confirmed cases in the recent days. Considering this, we have decided to not limit our extended policies to a certain list of countries, rather we choose to be sensitive to the concerns of any client and/or chef that decides to change their plans, regardless of their location.
IMPORTANT. Please note that this extended cancellation policy is applicable to all reservations made with Take a Chef, regardless of the booking date.
Should you decide to postpone your reservation and make use of our extended cancellation policy to obtain a voucher, our team will send you the corresponding document via email. Your voucher will include a reference number, the amount included and its expiration date.
To redeem the voucher, kindly reach out to our 24/7 support team at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our agents will gladly assist you throughout the process. Please keep in mind that:
- The voucher is not nominative - anyone you wish could use it.
- You can enjoy the voucher almost anywhere (we are present in 100 countries).
- You have a 2-year period to redeem the voucher after the issue date.
- You can divide the voucher credit into as many reservations as you wish.
- You can cover any excess in case the future reservation exceeds the voucher credit.
3. Guidelines for our chefs
Due to the current situation caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, we have developed the following protocols in order to advise and also minimize any possible risks of contagion to our chefs and clients:
Food safety concerns are at the centre of the pandemic. The source of COVID-19 is believed to have started at a “wet market” in Wuhan, China. Wet markets pose an increased threat of animal disease passing from animals to humans, as it’s difficult to maintain adequate hygiene standards with animals being slaughtered on site.
But based on previous outbreaks of similar diseases, experts from the European Food Safety Authority claim that there is no evidence that food is a source of transmission. The disease is mainly spread from person to person through direct contact with an infected person's body fluids (for example, droplets from coughing or sneezing). Thus, the implications for the food industry mainly relate to reduced staff due to sickness throughout the supply chain, as well as hygiene, communication on site or at point of delivery.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, fatigue and dry cough. Some patients may experience aches, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and appear gradually. Some people become infected but do not develop any symptoms. However, in case you have any visible symptoms, please seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid any further development or spread of the virus. Keep in mind that symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
The virus is spread from person-to-person through close contact. Some examples of how it can be spread include:
- Coughing and/or sneezing by an infected person within a short distance (usually 2m or less) of someone.
- Touching or shaking the hand of an infected person and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose without first washing your hands.
- Touching surfaces or objects (eg. door handles) that have been exposed to the virus and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose without first washing your hands.
Data provided by the World Health Organization
We strictly recommend that our Chefs adopt safety food practices as well as proper hand hygiene to reduce exposure and transmission of a range of illnesses. Below you can find obligatory measures and suggested precautions on food handling during a service.Mandatory:
- Frequent washing of hands in between handling raw and cooked foods. Good hygiene and sanitation are important to avoid cross contamination between different types of food.
- Thorough cooking and proper handling of raw meat products. Since viruses are very sensitive to heat, cooking food to the proper temperature is essential.
- Surfaces and objects, including glasses, plates, bowls, cutlery or any material used to perform the service are to be cleaned thoroughly and as frequently as possible.
- Use of gloves and a face mask while performing a service. Note that you must toss and replace the mask afterwards.
- Avoid close and direct contact with guests as much as possible. Keep distance of at least one meter.
- The dishes are to be set on the table before the service begins (specifically before the guests are seated).
- Frequently wash your hands or use alcohol/gel products to disinfect your hands.
- Washing the fresh produce as thoroughly as possible. Although there is no evidence that viruses could survive on the surface of food, doing this precautionary measure helps remove potentially harmful microorganisms.
- Purchase the groceries online and have them delivered to you.
- If you have a service coming up, please avoid big agglomerations before it takes place.
Message to all our chefs
We are going through an unpredictable situation with severe, global implications. Precautions are being taken as well as contingency plans to give all the necessary support to our chefs. In case you need any further assistance from us, our entire team is available for you 24/7. Please,
- Stay healthy
- Stay informed
- Stay close to your loved ones
The travel and hospitality industries have never faced times like these. We remain available for you should you desire to raise your concerns or seek any kind of assistance. We are confident that this challenging situation will be over soon and that we will continue to bring joy to our guests’ tables in the near future.