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A bespoke range of photographic tours, designed and led by travel photographer Steve Davey. These tours draw on Steve's years of experience and intimate knowledge of some of the most fascinating and evocative parts of the planet.

More than a holiday, you will benefit from many picture taking opportunities as well as tailored photographic tuition & encouragement.

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After considerable discussions, extensive consultations and almost universal approval from some of my most loyal clients I have now instituted a policy where a vaccine for Covid19 is compulsory on all future trips.

Obviously there will be an exception for anyone with a certified medical condition who cannot be vaccinated – but for all other people, if you are not vaccinated, then quite simply you are not welcome on any of my trips in future.

The precise details of this policy are still being worked out, including what will constitute proof of vaccination status, but it does seem fairly likely that the UK government will have to grow a backbone and facilitate some sort of vaccine passport to allow for overseas travel.

This policy has been brought in for a number of reasons:

1. Primarily, to protect the people that we encounter on our travels! This includes local leaders, drivers and guides. On our trips, we work hard to give you as many positive social encounters as possible. This often includes travelling to remote regions and villages where standards of medical treatment are far below what we are used to. Many of the people we meet will never be offered a vaccine, and if they catch the disease they won't have access to ventilators or even oxygen. Generally the local people we encounter are happy to welcome us into their lives and their homes. They treat us with good humour and hospitality; I do not want to be responsible for passing on the disease to them, whether directly myself or through taking someone who is not vaccinated on a tour.

I realise that the vaccine is not 100% effective at preventing transmission, but it is far more effective than doing nothing, and short of not travelling at all, it is currently the best that we can do.

2. To protect other people on the tour. Not every vaccine is 100% effective, so whilst the chances of becoming ill from Covid are significantly reduced for people who have been vaccinated - there is still a chance that they can become infected. Also, there may well be people who are not able to have the vaccine for certified medical reasons, who will be at significant risk. This policy will protect everybody on the trip, by making sure that the risks are reduced as far as medically possible.

On our longer trips we will be spending two weeks in close contact with each other, and social distancing is all but impossible. Quite simply my most loyal travellers and myself have chose not to expose ourselves to greater risk based upon someone choosing not to follow the almost universal medical advice to be vaccinated against Covid19.

3. To avoid any issues with airlines and crossing borders. Many governments and some airlines are bringing in rules where vaccinations for Covid are going to be mandatory. This has always been the case with certain diseases such as Yellow Fever. If you do not have the required certification then it can affect the smooth running of the tour, and affect the others in the group.

You should also be aware that, as with conditions such as malaria, not following medical advice is likely to invalidate any medical and travel insurance - so if you do have to cancel a trip because you test positive for Covid, and you have refused the vaccine, I would imagine that travel insurance companies will refuse to pay out.

4. To avoid problems with Travel Insurance - all travellers on my trips need to be protected with travel insurance: if you have refused a recommended jab then this is not the case. Your travel insurance will not cover you for Covid related claims. So if you need to drop out at the last minute due to failing a Covid test, or become ill when we are overseas, then you would not be covered! This would then cause us problems, which could affect the smooth running of the trip.

5. Members of my family are at higher risk from Covid19 for a variety of reasons including age and medical conditions. If you expose me to a greater risk, then I will be exposing them to a greater risk. That is something that I am simply not prepared to risk!

6. Because it is the right thing to do! We will never manage to suppress Covid19 in this country unless all those who are able are vaccinated. I do not consider myself at risk, yet I intend to have the vaccine as soon as possible to protect those who are more at risk and to help stamp out this disease in the UK as well as in the wider world.

Also the more people who catch Covid19, the more chance there is of the virus mutating into something that could be even more transmissible and even more deadly. Vaccination will reduce the chances of this happening.

 

There are a number of arguments that I have heard from vaccine-sceptics over why they will refuse the vaccine. In the spirit of education, I will try to address them here.

1). Why should I be vaccinated if I am not at risk from Covid19?
Death rates are far higher in older and vulnerable people. If you are under the age of fifty, and without any pre-existing medical conditions then you are likely to survive Covid19, although you would have between a 5% and 10% chance of developing so-called long-Covid. However, if you get Covid19, you may well be responsible for passing it on to other, more vulnerable people – especially if you are symptomless. You could directly be responsible for passing the virus on to people who cannot be vaccinated for some reason, or someone who remains at risk even though the have jabbed.

You could certainly be responsible for passing the virus on to people in any remote communities or poorer countries where they are unlikely to be vaccinated, and certainly won't benefit from such good medical treatment as we benefit from in this country.

In short, if you are not at risk, then you would be getting vaccinated for the benefit of other people; so not being vaccinated is a selfish act.

2). The virus only kills 1% of people; why should I be vaccinated for a disease that has a 99% survival rate?
I hear this argument with a variety of different percentages. I have done some research of my own, and using Office of National Statistics figures from February 2021, I would place the UK death rate at 1.57%. This means that 98.3% of people will survive the disease. Bear in mind though, with a UK population of 66.65 Million, this would equate to 1,043,343 deaths! Even this figure relies on the infections and deaths being spread out so that the NHS does not run out of beds, or even oxygen! If the virus infections were to get out of control and exceed the recent hospital occupancy rates, then the death rate will dramatically increase.

Latest research also indicates that between 5% and 10% of people who are infected with Covid19 suffer from a raft of debilitating conditions termed as long-Covid. If the whole population were to be infected, then as well as over a million deaths, we could be looking at between 3.3 and 6.6 Million people suffering from long-Covid. As well as the personal cost, this would have a tremendous long-term effect on both the economy and the NHS.

I think that this is simply too high a price to pay for avoiding a safe and effective vaccination.

3). If you have had the vaccine then why are you worried if I have the vaccine or not?
No vaccine is 100% effective. The highest levels of effectiveness for some of the Covid vaccines is around 95%; which effectively means that 1 in 20 people could still get the disease. It is expected though that although they could still get the disease, they should be protected from more serious infection and death. However the most vulnerable people could still be at risk of serious illness, even if they have been vaccinated.

If you are not vaccinated, then you have a much higher chance of passing the disease on to someone else.

If someone has a 1:20 chance of still being able to catch Covid even if they are vaccinated, then this drops to a 1:400 chance of an individual catching Covid from someone else who is also vaccinated. In short, by not being vaccinated you could be increasing someone else's chances of being infected twenty-fold.

This is why they might choose not to expose themselves to your company – no matter how delightful it may be!

Of course it is not known yet to what level Covid vaccines will prevent people from transmitting the disease: what we are sure of though is that the vaccine will definitely reduce the chance of transmission, and will also reduce the viral load – meaning that even if you do catch Covid 19 from someone who is vaccinated, it is less likely to be a serious infection.

In short: as no vaccine is 100% effective, non-vaccinated people are a threat, whether you are vaccinated or not.

4). The vaccines have not been tested properly and are not safe!
This vaccine has been tested on more people than most medical treatments that we take every day. It has been tested in an accelerated fashion. Usually a vaccine will be tested for a number of years so that regulators can quantify the duration of effectiveness. There has not been time to do this, which is why we don't know how long the protection will last. It has been deemed that it is better to receive the protection from this vaccinating so that we can save lives and get out of lockdown as soon as possible, rather than wait three years under a rock, just so that we can be sure that the protection lasts for three years.

5). The vaccine changes your DNA?
The vaccine does not change your DNA. Some of the vaccines use mRNA or messenger RNA to provoke an immune response in the body. They are much easier to produce at scale than traditional vaccines that use a weakened or inactivated virus to provoke the response. They are also much easier to tweak as new variants to the virus evolve!

6). You are a facist for punishing me for choosing not to have the vaccine!
Although I think that people who refuse the vaccine are wrong, I don't believe that anyone should be forced to have it. I believe in your freedom of choice not to have the vaccine; why do you not believe in other people's freedom of choice as to whether or not to expose themselves to risk, based on your choice?

All of the previous travellers I have consulted have indicated that they would choose not to travel with un-vaccinated people. I have chosen not to expose myself, vulnerable members of my family and people living in remote communities to the extra risks of interactions with those who choose to refuse to be vaccinated.

Anti-vaxers are all to quick to espouse their right to choose, but try to deny others their right to make equivalent and consequential choice. After all, you have chosen not to have the vaccine as you consider it a risk to you. Why can you not accept that I have chosen not to travel with you as I consider you to be a risk to me?

Think of it in terms of this analogy: someone is entitled to say that they do not want to use a condom during sex. That is their choice; that is their right. However the other person involved is entitled to withdraw consent for any sexual act based on their choice and their right not to have unprotected sex! It is not a punishment, just an indication that choice works both ways.

Not being able to travel on any of my tours is a direct consequence of choosing not to be vaccinated. It is also a consequence that you should get used to as various countries around the world and indeed some airlines will be demanding Certification of Vaccination in order for you to travel.

7). Covid is a scam, it doesn't exist; Covid is caused by 5g; Bill Gates is the anti-Christ who wants to inject us with tracking chips!
Arguments like this are just examples of the fact that there is no vaccination for stupid! I advise you not to travel at all, as if you come to close to the edge of the world, you might fall off!

Just to reiterate: obviously if you have a certified medical reason for being unable to receive the Covid19 vaccine, then our policy will not apply to you, although local restrictions in our destination might still be an issue.

We encounter many people from remote and tribal areas on our trips; this policy is intended to minimise the risk of us tking Covid19 into their communities.

On our longer trips we will be spending two weeks in close contact with each other, and social distancing is all but impossible. Quite simply my most loyal travellers and myself have chose not to expose ourselves to greater risk based upon someone choosing not to follow the almost universal medical advice to be vaccinated against Covid19.

covid 19 policy
bespoke tours
impressions of uzbekistan
impressions of ladakh