As the world is opening up & taking baby steps towards the ‘new normal’, Volunteering Solutions is all set to restart the programs, abiding by all safety measures & precautions. The past few months have been a challenging and testing time for everyone across the world as we have been hit by the COVID-19 in the most unexpected ways possible. On the whole, millions of people have been infected worldwide due to the virus, although the recovery rate has been impressive.
Volunteering Solutions will strongly recommend all the participants to seek international travel advice from their respective governments and make a personal decision if they wish to travel during this period. If you've been vaccinated already, then you can let us know about the same and we shall help you in figuring out how & where you can travel and volunteer.
The CDC (Centres for Disease Control & Prevention) has put out a detailed list of countries mentioning the risk factors associated with traveling. Other than that, the UK Government has also been regularly providing detailed guidance on countries around the world, updating about current restrictions, entry requirements, public health advice, etc. The United States is currently focusing majorly on the vaccination drives with the hope to resume international leisure travel soon, by summer 2021. No matter where we plan to travel, it is extremely important to understand that the host communities might get affected due to your certain negligence. All we can do is maintain proper precautions, be careful of our actions and ensure that we're all together in this war against Coronavirus.
Volunteering Solutions is relentlessly focusing on the well-being of the volunteers as well as the host communities across the globe.
We are putting in our best efforts to support the host communities and plan to reopen our programs gradually in the coming months , depending on the latest travel advisories in each country and the local government restrictions in place.
It is essentially impossible to predict how this global situation will continue to evolve in the months to come. Vaccination developments are surely giving us hope that some sort of normality will return sooner rather than later. Nevertheless, the situation is something we must remain patient with, and whichever destinations do reopen, volunteers will need to follow the local precautions accordingly.
Which programs are currently open for volunteers?
It is important to note that we are currently reopening our volunteer programs in those countries where the local government and public health guidelines deem it safe. As per the new travel guidelines, most of these countries will require a proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test, taken 72 hrs prior to travel.
Given below is a list of tentative opening times for each destination which will be opening soon and of those destinations where programs are open currently. We're offering flexible booking policy for all our volunteers who are keen to join us and make a difference in the post pandemic world.
Oceania and Pacific
For other locations and programs, we are accepting bookings for 2021 - 2022 and we'll update you soon about further reopenings.
Our Flexible Booking Policy
We’re offering the best we can! Participants can avail the flexible booking policy to change travel dates and program destination during this period of uncertainty. All volunteers can change their travel destination, volunteer project or trip dates free of cost as long as you contact us more than 14 days before your start date. If you don’t know when you will be able to travel, we can hold any program fee you’ve paid as a credit on your 'My Account', until you decide when to travel. Our flexible booking policy means that once you’ve paid your registration fee, your money is protected. Any program fee paid by the participants can be used as a credit towards a future trip. Currently we are only offering a travel credit facility for you to travel at a later date in case of any cancellation due to Covid 19 travel restrictions. We are not offering full cash refunds and only travel credits are being offered towards a future trip.
Covid-19 & Travel Insurance
Volunteering Solutions in partnership with Seven Corners Insurance is offering comprehensive travel and medical insurance that covers any expenses related to Covid-19 as well. These benefits include emergency medical and trip interruption coverage for you personally or a travel companion who contracts Covid-19 or goes under quarantine when traveling. In case you unexpectedly catch Covid-19 at home before you leave for your trip, you may also be eligible for trip cancellation coverage, which represents compensation for any pre-paid non-refundable travel expenses such as flights, hotels, and excursions. We are hopeful that this catastrophe will soon be a talk of the past, and we'll all be able to join hands to volunteer abroad, spreading happiness & make a difference.
Covid-19 & Volunteer Travel - FAQs
How can I change my travel dates and still go volunteering abroad in 2021-2022 (or maybe later)?
We know that your wanderlustful soul is keeping you on your toes - and we’re offering greater flexibility for changes to travel dates and destinations during this period of uncertainty when the world is still coping up from the pandemic woes. You can reschedule your volunteering trip abroad anytime in 2021 (or later) and we'll be glad to offer you the dates of your choice.
In case you don’t know when you will be able to travel, we shall be happy to hold your registration and any program fee you’ve paid as a credit on your ‘My Account’ until you decide when & where you'd want to travel to.
In case I want to book my volunteering trip now, what are the essential things that I need to consider?
Since our programs have already started to resume and you are planning to make your bookings now, make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Get a comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy and make sure it covers you for the eventualities that you are most concerned about.
- Book refundable flight tickets or wait until the situation gets better. Since we're flexible with changing your program dates & destination, we'd ask you to wait for some time now, and book your flights only when you're closer to your departure date.
- Do take care of yourself in the best possible manner, try to avoid going out if it's not extremely necessary, and follow the precautionary measures that have been rolled out by the international health organizations.
What are the necessary precautions being taken in this hour of need?
As they say, ‘Precaution is better than cure’ and we are strictly enforcing the following, across all our volunteering destinations, in order to minimize the risks associated with Covid-19. It's our first priority to ensure the well-being of the volunteers as well as the host communities.
- Volunteers will have to get tested before 72 hours of joining the program.
- Volunteers will have to abide by the health and safety guidelines provided during the orientation.
- Volunteers will have to maintain proper social distancing while working on the project.
- Volunteers will have to cooperate with the in-country staff, for disinfecting and sanitizing the accommodation & project site.
What are the precautions that should be taken on a regular basis for your well-being?
- Wear a mask whenever you step out.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after eating, after you sneeze, cough, or blow your nose.
- If you do not have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care at the earliest.
- Maintain distance from anyone who seems to be sick or is coughing and sneezing.
- Make sure you cover your nose and mouth while sneezing using a disposable tissue and dispose of it immediately.