Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and measures we are taking to keep our Globe Aware community healthy and safe
Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and measures we are taking to keep our Globe Aware community healthy and safety
As you undoubtedly know, the coronavirus COVID-19 is current pandemic impacting the whole globe. At Globe Aware, the safety and security of our community and volunteers has always been our top priority. Since the outbreak began, we have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely including the travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department and information updates issued by the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. and the World Health Organization in Switzerland.
The State Dept has issued an alert recommending against any international travel. This spring, many borders are closed or closing. There is no known end date for these alerts, and the situation is rapidly changing. This situation is SERIOUS but it is also TEMPORARY. Authorities during this pandemic call for social distancing, enhanced precautions worldwide, and for travelers to avoid contact with sick people, monitor health for fever and cough,and be vigilant about hand washing. As of March 2020 there are far more confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States than in any of the countries where we operate, other than China, where have currently suspended our China program. This is clearly an evolving situation and we will continue to watch closely. If there is a need to make any changes to our programs or itineraries, we will certainly communicate with you immediately. The safety and health of your children is obviously our first concern.
The majority of cases are considered mild, those 70 and older and particularly those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are considered at higher risk. Very few children have been effected.
The State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have issued regular updates to increase public awareness about lowering the potential risk of spreading the virus. The CDC, WHO, and U.S. Department of State have provided specific advice for international travel, enhanced entry screening procedures at airports nationwide, and detailed guidance to help minimize the spread of the virus in the general public.
Globe Aware, like the airlines, follows the lead of the CDC and State Department recommendations.
The World Health organization has declared this is a pandemic effecting the globe, so whether you are traveling or not, the CDC recommends that Americans:
- Avoid sick people
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands
- Wash your hands often
Globe Aware’s group insurance policy with Axis addresses the medical care of anyone who might become sick, and would attempt a medical evacuation if medically mandated. For those concerned about trip cancellation/trip interruption, additional coverage can be secured through a variety of sources, including, but not limited to: Nationwide Prime and HTH Gold. In these latter examples, they offer cancellation coverage such that in the case the CDC issues a travel warning to your destination country or region during your trip. Note that in order to be eligible to purchase trip interruption or quarantine coverage, you must also purchase trip cancellation coverage. A good source you can use to evaluate options is: www.squaremouth.com
In view of this we are for the time being making a temporary exception to our cancellation and rebooking policy so that you can be free to postpone your program at any time up until 19 days prior to the planned program start date, without incurring any cancellation fees. You will be issued a credit for future programs valid for 24 months, which can be used on any of our programs. This temporary exception to our standard cancellation policy is applicable for all volunteers who currently have registered and for all new reservations made through June 30, 2020. After this window, your supplies and food have already been purchased on location, accommodations will not reissue credit, therefore rebooking credit will entail deduction of $375 of the program fee.
The process to receive this temporary exception to our cancellation/rebooking policy is as follows:
Notify your intent to postpone by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org notifying your original program date and intent to cancel. If you do not receive reply within 24 hours of a business day, call 214-824-4562 to ensure you have received email notification acknowledging receipt of your cancellation.
We hope you will choose to join us as planned. We will continue to update you on any changes in itineraries or circumstance that may be relevant. In the meantime, we hope that this temporary exception to our policy will help put your mind to ease.