COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This page will be updated regularly with answers to frequently asked questions about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, particularly as they relate to Amizade international and domestic travel programs.

Updated 12/01/2021

What is the current status of Amizade travel programming?

Amizade’s goal is to provide a safe environment for all members of our community, including students, faculty, and host communities where we operate. The global COVID-19 pandemic is continuously evolving. At this time, we have restarted staff travel and plan to begin in-person group travel programs in January 2022.

In addition to country entry requirements, what requirements does Amizade have in place for programs?

All students and faculty are required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination 14 days prior to departure. This includes a booster for anyone whose full vaccine dose is more than six months old.  All participants are required to have an antigen test for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to travel. If a positive result occurs, participants are advised to immediately confirm with a PCR test. If positive again, participants are not allowed to join the program and are advised to self-isolate and consult their physician.

How will students be informed of local/host country requirements and program requirements pertaining to COVID-19 risk mitigation before and during the program should they change?

Students will be informed of all local/host country and program requirements through a pre-departure orientation, an on-site orientation, and location-specific handbooks that are provided to every student. Amizade closely monitors all host country requirements for changes. Amizade’s site director will be available to students throughout the program and will promptly inform all participants of any changes to these requirements.

Do Amizade program fees include insurance for all participants? If so, what things are covered?

Amizade’s fees for international programs include health insurance for all participants. Full details can be found here.  If a group chooses not to purchase insurance through Amizade, the group must provide proof of equal or greater coverage and outline an appropriate emergency response plan. The student and/or the home institution will be responsible for making all claims to the insurance provider and covering all costs as needed prior to reimbursement. At this time, Amizade’s fees for U.S. based domestic programs do not include insurance.

What is Amizade’s protocol if a student tests positive for COVID-19 or may have been exposed?

If a student shows two or more COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have been exposed, they must self-isolate until there is a clear test result. Typical test result wait times vary based on lab capacity and demand and range from 1 day to 5 days. Amizade will advise the student on the appropriate self-isolation measures on a case-by-case basis, which will consider size of housing, ventilation measures, access to bathrooms, and other considerations.

 

How will Amizade support a student during quarantine/isolation procedures, including past the program’s end date?

Amizade’s in-country site directors will help the student secure private accommodations with internet access for quarantine, including past the program’s end date. Amizade’s site directors can also assist the student with arranging any testing appointments and/or doctor’s appointments, including past the program’s end date.  Amizade’s site director will assist with airport transfer past the program’s end date when the quarantined student tests negative and is able to return home.  Student and/or the home institution will be responsible for making all claims to the insurance provider and covering all costs as needed prior to reimbursement.

What training has been provided to local staff on COVID-19 procedures?

Amizade site directors have attended training summits and received updated documents detailing COVID-19 protocols. In the weeks prior to each program departure, an Amizade home office staff member and Amizade’s in-country site director will engage in one-on-one meetings to go over all of the most up-to-date COVID-19 procedures in detail. This training applies to all site directors.

What is both the threshold and process to alter or suspend program activities in the event that COVID-19 cases spike, travel restrictions or stay at home guidelines are activated, and additional precautions are necessary?

Amizade will adhere to our Guidelines for Site travel to determine when programs need to be altered or suspended. Because local case and hospitalization rates change so frequently, local regulations come and go, and our understanding of the virus and vaccine effectiveness is evolving rapidly, Amizade looks at not one single data set, but a series of questions to help guide our decisions as to the ability for a program to safely operate. Amizade reserves the right to amend or suspend programs at any time. If a program is in progress when stay at home or travel restriction measures are activated, Amizade will adhere to all local policies and regulations.

What changes to student housing have been made to address COVID-19?

Per Amizade’s policy, students will stay in no more than double occupancy rooms in any housing situation.

What happens if someone in the homestay contracts COVID-19?

If someone in the homestay is showing two or more COVID-19 symptoms, we will immediately require testing for the person showing symptoms. The student should self-isolate away from the person with symptoms until there is a clear negative test result. Amizade will advise the student on the appropriate self-isolation on a case-by-case basis, which will consider size of housing, ventilation measures, access to bathrooms, and other considerations.  In the event that the student must be removed from the homestay, Amizade’s in-country site director will secure appropriate accommodations until there is a clear negative test result for anyone who has contracted or been exposed to COVID-19 or until the end of the program, whichever comes first. Depending on the specific situation, Amizade or quarantine insurance may cover additional housing costs in the event that someone in the homestay who is not the student contracts COVID-19. 

Who will be responsible for costs associated with quarantine?

Please reference the charts below for details on expense responsibilities.

Amizade International Programs

Scenario Expense Responsibility
Pre-departure testing in the U.S. Participant*
Antigen testing during a program Participant*
Quarantine lodging while waiting for the PCR result Amizade
Quarantine lodging after a positive PCR test administered by a medical professional Participant group/Institution; CISI Insurance will reimburse after participants submits the claim
COVID-19 Medical related expenses (hospitalization, clinic visit, medicine, etc.) Participant group/Institution; CISI Insurance will reimburse after participants submits the claim
Testing to enter the U.S.;  Antigen only Participant*

Amizade Domestic Programs

Scenario Expense Responsability
Pre-departure testing in the U.S. Participant*
Antigen testing during a program Participant*
Quarantine lodging while waiting for the PCR result Amizade
Quarantine lodging after a positive PCR test administered by a medical professional Participant or group institution
COVID-19 Medical related expenses (hospitalization, clinic visit, medicine, etc.) Participant’s private health insurance

* White House executive order expected to be published on January 15, 2022 which would require all private insurance providers to reimburse the costs of at-home COVID-19 tests.

Will students be permitted to travel within the host country (but outside the host city) or outside the host country in their personal time?

At this time, travel to other countries outside of the host country during the program is strictly forbidden. Travel to other communities and cities within the country must be approved in advance on a case-by-case basis, but we strongly advise against all unnecessary, non-program-related travel.

COVID-19 HEALTH & SAFETY MEASURES

Learn more about what Amizade is doing to keep education and community partners safe.