COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: Health and Safety
The safety and wellbeing of our participants and volunteers is a top priority. We will continue to monitor the COVID pandemic and its impact on health, education, and travel considerations. We will also be exploring what vaccination and COVID testing protocols will need to be in place and communicating those plans to participants as quickly as possible. Lastly, we will maintain the health and safety protocols Global Encounters Camps has always had for participants to coordinate with us regarding health insurance, medications, chronic conditions, and more. As is done with every camp, we will have trained medical professionals on staff throughout the programme and will leverage our longstanding relationship with the Aga Khan Hospitals in our host countries for medical care.
What health and safety guidelines have Global Encounters Camps put in place?
We have developed health and safety guidelines informed by the latest recommendations from global public health entities (the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organisation) and health professionals, international and destination health authorities and trusted AKDN partners and local contacts. We also closely monitor travel advisories, the guidance of government officials around the world, and major media outlets so that we can quickly and effectively respond to potential travel restrictions or policy changes in the destinations we visit. Our approach is particular to each destination, meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements of each country or locality. Given COVID is dynamic, we are being flexible in our approach.
Before departure, we will share the most current COVID-19 considerations, information, and expectations with participants and their families. However, participants should anticipate the following health and safety measures when travelling with Global Encounters Camps (subject to change as the situation evolves).
- We require all participants and Global Encounters Camps volunteers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and complete any pre-trip testing or quarantine as required by your home country and the destination (we will inform you of any destination-specific requirements before departure).
- We will institute daily screening and will work with our participants and volunteers to maintain strict adherence to handwashing and personal hygiene.
- We will wear face masks in public when close to others who are not part of our group as required by local guidelines, destination partners or Global Encounters.
- We will practice physical distancing to the greatest extent possible when in public and around others who are not part of our group.
The Global Encounters Camps Teams are adapting our approach to programming, such as shifting activities and meals outdoors, when feasible. We intend on keeping the foundation of our programme intact to ensure participants have opportunities to bond with their peers and develop lifelong friendships.
Are COVID vaccines mandatory for participants and volunteers?
Yes, all applicants must be fully COVID vaccinated or must have the intent to be fully vaccinated two (2) weeks before departing for a Global Encounters Camp; this includes the booster if it is available in-country. As of 15 November 2021, the World Health Organisation has evaluated that the following vaccines against COVID-19 have met the necessary criteria for safety and efficacy:
- Johnson and Johnson
What is the definition of being fully COVID vaccinated?
Global Encounters Camps follows WHO guidelines on what is considered fully vaccinated. In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:
- Two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series (e.g., Pfizer or Moderna)
- Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen)
If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated.
I have received only one dose of the COVID vaccine. Am I eligible to attend camp?
To be eligible for camp, all participants and staff should be fully vaccinated (including booster, if it’s available and required in your country) two weeks before departing for camp.
What happens if I am unable to access the COVID vaccine?
For the safety of our community, it is a requirement to be fully vaccinated to join a Global Encounters Camp in 2022. Please reach out to your Jurisdiction Coordinator or the Global Encounters Camps Team ([email protected]) for support.
I am not currently eligible for COVID vaccines in my country due to my age. How should I respond to that question on my application?
Global Encounters acknowledges that at present time, there are Jurisdictions in the Jamat where adolescents do not have access to vaccines or where youth are not eligible to receive vaccines due to their age (under 18).
We encourage you to continue to complete an application and respond “YES” to the following question in the Travel Section of the application if you intend to get a vaccine in your country once it is made available: “We require all Global Encounters Camp participants and volunteers to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks before departure for camp. More information on the vaccines we accept can be found on the.ismaili/globalencounters. Have you received or do you intend to receive COVID-19 vaccinations?
Answering YES will enable the Admissions Committee an opportunity to review your application. Should you have additional questions specific to your country, please contact your Jurisdiction Coordinator.
What happens if a participant shows symptoms of COVID-19 while at camp?
If a participant presents symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while at the programme, various health and safety protocols will be activated. This includes measures to minimise contact with other group members and administration of a COVID-19 PCR test. The Global Encounters Camps Teams are familiar with testing locations at each destination. We will also be in close contact with the participant’s family to provide updates.
If a participant were to test positive for COVID-19, parents/guardians of all participants would be immediately notified. The specific response would be highly dependent on the situation, considering the destination, timing of the incident, and local and national health protocols.
If a participant tests positive for COVID-19 in the pre-departure period (>72 hours) from camp, quarantine at the destination for up to two weeks may be required, extending beyond the programme’s original return date.
Where will participants sleep?
Participants will be living in the Aga Khan Academy's residential blocks. Girls and boys will be living in separate buildings. Shared bathrooms and showers are located on each floor. Each dorm also has a shared student lounge. We have also prepared for separate quarantine and isolation accommodations, using the Aga Khan Academy Mombasa’s protocols as a best practice.
What happens if a Global Encounters Camp is cancelled?
If Global Encounters Camps determines that we cannot run residential programming, we will immediately communicate this decision to all applicants and their families. If applicants have been admitted into a camp and the camp is cancelled, participants will have the option to join CONNECT, our virtual camp, and will be deferred to future programmes.
Didn't find an answer to your question?
Feel free to contact your Jurisdiction Coordinator or our team at [email protected].