Covid-19 measures

Updated June 2022 

Travel advice 

Before travelling make sure you check all relevant governmental advice. This should include where you are travelling from and travelling to. Travel may only be permitted for certain purposes, in particular, touristic travel may not be allowed, and self-isolation may be required.     
You will find most information in this international destination tracker created by the UNWTO and IATA: 

Before making a hostel booking or staying in a hostel, please check all relevant governmental advice and that the hostel is open and ready to host guests safely. In parts of our network, some hostels have had to close or operate differently for various durations.  

COVID-19 Proof of vaccination 

To ensure the safety of travellers and staff, and comply with governmental regulations, many hostels in our network now require guests to present a proof of COVID-19 vaccination and/or a negative test result. You may be asked to show the required documentation at check-in. 
Our hostels will do their best to communicate this to you in advance, but it is the traveller’s responsibility to check, before they book or travel, what rules are in place in the country and hostel they are travelling to. 

HI’s temporary cancellation policy applies from 26 March 2020  

If you have an existing booking with and are unable to stay, due to governmental restrictions related to Covid-19 which prevent you from travelling (such as travel bans or enforced self-isolation), or the hostel you booked is no longer able to accommodate you, the following options are available:   

Do not cancel, postpone your stay  

Contact the hostel to re-arrange a future stay. You will find the hostel contact details in your booking confirmation. Any amendment is at the hostel’s discretion and is not guaranteed. The pre-existing Booking Terms and Conditions still apply.    
Please do not contact HI to reschedule bookings as we do not have the capability to deal with such requests.  

Cancel your booking 

If you must cancel your booking, then contact the hostel and HI at info[at], stating your booking reference number. Pre-existing Booking Terms and Conditions still apply, which means your hostel booking deposit is non-refundable.    
However, as a goodwill gesture if there were no official restrictions in place at the time of booking, but there are at the time of travel, and you cancel your booking; then you may be entitled to a refund of your hostel booking deposit.    
Unfortunately, if there are no official travel restrictions in place and it is your choice not to travel, then your hostel booking deposit would still be non-refundable.   

Cancel your booking and donate your deposit to HI 

Hostelling international is a for good not-for-profit organisation with a sustainable and social purpose. All the revenue we receive is put back into our programmes and towards supporting our member organisations. Read more about our impact and how your donations can help here.   

This policy is designed to ensure we survive during this turbulent time, and that we can continue to give our customers the chance to travel and discover the world once it is safe again to do so. We hope you will understand and continue to support us during this time when we need it the most. We appreciate your patience and contributions.   
Check out our donations page to see how to support the HI charity. Thank you. 

 What is HI doing to ensure that your hostels are safe when they reopen? 

Hostelling International has introduced some HI Quality & Standard Guidelines to help hostels understand how they can open safely, but each country is responsible for ensuring they are compliant with their government guidelines. 

Some examples of special measures are:

  • Reducing the occupancy in dorm rooms to ensure that social distancing is possible.
  • Providing guests with personal facilities i.e., towels, cutlery etc. to use and clean themselves whilst they are staying and then returning them on departure at which time they will be sterilised before they can be reused.
  • Introducing new internal signage to provide clear guidance to guests.
  • Installing protective screens at reception.
  • Initiating new operating procedures to ensure that once you have checked in, your bedroom will not be entered by a team member for housekeeping, other than for essential maintenance.
  • Keeping communal spaces such as self-catering kitchens, dining areas, laundry facilities, locker rooms, drying rooms and lounges closed for the time being.
  • Removing non-essential and difficult-to-clean items from rooms and public areas, including seating and most storage lockers in bedrooms.
  • Offering a food and drink takeaway service instead of shared dining and bar facilities. 

These are only examples of the measures being taken and more information will be available from each hostel.