THE CURRENT STATE OF TRAVEL
Updated March 16, 2021
As of writing this post, U.S. citizens are currently prohibited from entering many countries around the world. As a result, Amizade has been forced to delay all travel programs until borders are open again. The government policy in each destination changes frequently, so please continue to monitor our website for any updates, including dates on when we will begin coordinating travel again. At this time, we do not anticipate coordinating any in-person travel programs until September 2021 at the earliest.
Our applications are open and you can still begin conversations with an Amizade representative about planning a program with a future start date. It is difficult to predict how long travel advisories and other travel barriers will be in place, but Amizade will continue to monitor the situation and make planning timeline changes as necessary. Should you choose to move forward on planning an in-person travel program, Amizade will keep a close eye on the situation and will communicate with you if it is determined that it is not safe or possible to travel at the planned time.
HOW WE WILL KEEP YOU SAFE
Amizade has implemented a number of additional health and safety measures to ensure your wellbeing once in-person travel programs are open again. These measures have been designed to minimize the risk of volunteers introducing a new infection to the local community, and to minimize the risk of cross-infection between volunteers and from the local community. Your health, safety and wellbeing will continue to be our highest priority.
Additional health and safety information will be shared during orientation, including reminders on Covid-19 symptoms, local health facilities, and how to minimize possible infection.
All volunteers are required to be tested for Covid-19 within 72 hours prior to travel, where possible.
All volunteers are required to provide proof of vaccination prior to departure.
All accommodations, including homestays, will follow strict disinfecting standards prior to and during your stay, including increased frequency and depth of cleaning.
Antibacterial spray/wipes and alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be available at all accommodations and volunteer placements.
Participants will be asked to maintain a greater physical distance from one another.
Symptomatic individuals will be isolated from others in accordance with local regulations and WHO guidelines.
Volunteers will be assisted if they need testing, advice and/or treatment, and an Amizade facilitator will be available to navigate in-country quarantine requirements and any other program disruptions.
All of our volunteers should also take personal responsibility for their own health and the safety of others. Please do not travel if you are feeling ill or if there is a risk you may be an asymptomatic carrier of Covid-19 – for example, if you have been exposed to an infected individual within the 14 days before you start your Amizade program.
A NOTE ON VACCINATIONS
While vaccinations are just starting to roll out in the U.S. and our destination countries, there is currently no international standardization of vaccinations nor announcement of any required vaccinations prior to international travel. We anticipate that before in-person travel programs resume, there is likely to be more movement and information surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and their implications for international travel. We will keep you updated as we know more. We are hopeful that the majority of our network will be vaccinated by Fall 2021, but we must be patient. This means we cannot guarantee that people you interact with on a program, such as host families, school colleagues or fellow students, will be vaccinated. At this stage, you should expect that your host community will still be under some lockdown measures while you are abroad, and your host community may still be receiving vaccinations when you arrive.
As of March 18, 2021 Amizade is requiring all participants to provide proof of vaccination prior to traveling on any in-person Amizade program, whether domestic or international. After careful consideration, this policy has been deemed necessary in order to reduce the risk of transmission or contraction of the COVID-19 virus. Please make note of this requirement if you’re currently working with an Amizade representative to plan an in-person travel experience.
A MESSAGE TO OUR COMMUNITY
We want to take a moment to express our solidarity with the international community during this very complex and difficult time. We are learning details and attempting to get information to you as quickly as possible. This has proven to be very difficult during such a rapidly fluid situation. As a small non-profit organization, we appreciate your understanding as we navigate our situation as well. Our host communities and program participants have always been, and will remain, our greatest priorities. If we can help support you, please let us know.
Additional information on Amizade’s COVID-19 response can be found here.