Greenheart Travel’s #1 priority is our travelers’ safety, both before and during each traveler’s program. With the recent news surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, we wanted to take a moment to update you on our programming for 2020, including program cancellations and info on future programs. The current global outbreak situation is unprecedented and unpredictable. There are changes and new restrictions being announced around the world every day, and we anticipate additional border closings and mandatory quarantines in the coming days and weeks.
We are carefully monitoring the US Government advisements, the news, as well as information from our participants and partners.
For Travelers Already Abroad
At the time of this writing, High School Abroad programs have not been affected by COVID-19 cases. Local staff and host families are instructed to follow any government instructions and protocol to maintain the safest program possible. Please remember to follow CDC and government guidelines such as maintaining at least 6 feet of distance, wearing a mask, and washing your hands.
While in most destinations there are now partial lockdown orders, intermittent online or hybrid schooling, and city curfews, these restrictions are currently not affecting our students’ day-to-day activities. Greenheart Travel and our in-country partners are keeping a close eye on the number of COVID-19 cases affecting Europe and any restrictions being put in place.
Please refer to the COVID-19 Conditions Addendum you signed prior to departing for further information on contingency plans.
For Travelers Signed Up for Future Start Dates
As of writing this post, U.S. citizens are currently prohibited from entering the E.U., Japan, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia as tourists. While the President of the European Commission announced late this month that the E.U. will open for vaccinated U.S. citizens this summer, there have been no clear indications of when those policy changes will go into effect and individual member states hold the right to continue to enforce stricter entry restrictions. This means that our volunteer-based Teaching Programs, Work Abroad Programs, Teach English in a Homestay, and High School Abroad trimester programs in those destinations are still unable to run until these restrictions lift. The government policy in each destination changes frequently, so please continue to monitor our website for any updates, including start dates.
As of the writing of this post, the only country we are able to run our Teach English in a Homestay program in is South Korea. Travelers to that destination are required to have a mandatory two-week quarantine upon arrival at their own expense prior to meeting their host families.
However, our applications are open and you can still apply for a program with a future start date. If you are signed up for a non-high school abroad program and are not able to enter your destination country on 6 weeks prior to your intended start date, please refer to the COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy.
For our High School Abroad Programs in Europe, entry restrictions do not apply to high school abroad students applying for student visas (applies to semester and academic year programs). At the time of this update we are waiting government announcements in order to resume programs in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Argentina. We predict the borders will open for students in time for Fall 2021 programs in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Argentina.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your program and these changes please respond to the email you received today from your program manager with this same information, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Travelers Interested in Summer 2021
If you are interested in signing up for a Summer 2021 program, we will keep you updated via email about program updates and entry restrictions as we have them.
At the current moment, the only teen destination we are accepting applications for is Costa Rica.
If you are not able to enter your destination country 6 weeks prior to your program start date, please refer to the COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy. If you have questions or concerns regarding your program and these changes please respond to any email you received from your program manager or contact us at email@example.com.
For Travelers Signed Up or Considering Leaving After September 1, 2021
We are also continuing to take applicants for programs after September 1, 2021. At this point, it is difficult to predict how long travel advisories and other travel barriers will be in place. Greenheart Travel will continue to monitor the situation and make changes as necessary. Greenheart Travel is keeping a close eye on the situation and will suspend or defer program intakes if it is determined that it is not safe or possible to travel at that time. We will make a decision about whether a program will run 6 weeks before each program start date.
Please read our full COVID-19 cancellation and deferral policies here for all future programs, before signing up.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your program after September 1, 2020, please email your program manager, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greenheart Travel encourages our participants who are able to seek vaccinations as this may become a requirement for entry to certain countries.
While vaccinations are just starting to roll out in the U.S. and our destination countries, there are currently no international standardization of vaccinations nor announcement of any required vaccinations prior to international travel. By the time our travelers’ programs will start, there is likely to be more movement and information surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and its implications for international travel, and we will keep you updated along the way. We are hopeful that the majority of the world will be vaccinated by Fall 2021, but we must be patient, so this means we cannot guarantee that people you interact with on program, such as host families, school colleagues or fellow students, will be vaccinated. At this stage, we feel that you should expect that your host community still be under some lockdown measures while you are abroad, and your host community may still be receiving vaccinations when you arrive.
Returning to the United States after your abroad program
Effective January 26, 2021, all travelers to the United States will be required to provide either a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel or provide a positive test result and documentation from a licensed health care provider or public health official of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. This COVID-19 test will not be covered by Greenheart Travel insurance, and Greenheart Travel will not responsible for any additional costs associated with flight changes, accommodation fees, or airport transfer fees incurred as a result of a positive COVID-19 test prior to departure.
A Message to Our Community
We want to take a minute to express our solidarity with the world community and thank you for your understanding in this difficult time. We are learning details and attempting to get information to you as quickly as possible, which is very difficult in such a rapidly fluid situation. As a small non-profit business, we also appreciate your understanding as we navigate our situation as well. Our participants have always been, and will remain, our number 1 priority. If we can help support you please let us know.