If starting a 12 month program in October 21, or any program from the end of October 21, yes. Please see section 6.1 of Program Policy here https://www.remoteyear.com/program-policies
Given the risk posed to our customers and participants, and to the local community in which we host Remote Year programs, Remote Year has decided the fairest and most responsible policy given the risks from an individual contracting COVID-19 is not to allow exemptions from its vaccination requirement for any reason at this time.
As a travel company which facilitates the movement of groups of people around the world, we are always mindful of how to deliver the best experience to those who choose to travel with us, while ensuring we are respectful, fair, and responsible to the communities into which we travel.
Since we have started operating in LatAm and Europe since March 2021, we have observed first hand the negative impact to people’s experiences from even just one Remote Year participant contracting COVID-19.
On a broader level, there is increasing research showing the effectiveness of vaccines on preventing the transmission of COVID-19, as well as reduced symptoms for those who have been vaccinated, thereby resulting in reduced need for medical assistance.
Although we respect an individual’s choice to make health decisions for themselves, we are firmly committed to protecting our customers and the local communities in which we host our programs. It is through this lens that we have decided to update our policy regarding COVID-19 vaccination requirements to travel with us.
We are not suggesting that people must get vaccinated to travel. Vaccination is a personal choice, which we fully respect.
In line with our change in vaccination requirement, this is not something which we ask for. However, this may be needed as part of local entry requirements to a country. We also recommend that you do a test just before travelling so you can be sure you are not infected with COVID-19 but not showing symptoms.
While we will do everything in our power to ensure our programs proceed as planned, we know that the global environment requires flexibility. Before canceling a program, we will determine if another routing option that provides an equal experience would be possible and offer this as an alternative.
If a program must be canceled, whenever possible, we will do our best to notify you at least 30 days before cancellation. If a program has been canceled, we will work with you to either place you on another program or issue a refund for any payments made to Remote Year.
If someone receives a positive COVID test prior to arrival, we will either work with them so they can join the program at a later date, or offer credit and work with them to place them on a future program.
If someone becomes sick despite precautions, we will immediately notify the community and offer access to a private quarantine option to isolate the individual from the rest of the group, if needed. Depending on the specific situation, we have to consider the full context and evaluate the risk levels of transmission to community members. The considered risk level, alongside advice from International SOS, will then determine further swift and appropriate action.
For the rest of the community on the ground with the COVID positive individual, we will ensure everyone has testing options and conduct a risk assessment for each individual based on a low, medium, and high-risk rating.
At the time, we will inform program participants what determines ‘close contact,’ so that proper individual assessments can be made.
If any of our program participants potentially contract COVID, we will do our best to make sure they and the Remote Year community are cared for by facilitating any operational & supportive measures that need to be taken. Any costs to do so incurred by Remote Year will be passed on. (i.e. Additional accommodation required to facilitate isolation.) Program participants are responsible for all costs associated with COVID treatment & quarantine, and therefore we highly advise all program participants to obtain travel insurance that would cover this.
In the case of suspected COVID within the group, we may ask you to provide proof of a recent negative COVID test to attend any subsequent Remote Year events and access the Remote Year coworking space until we are satisfied the risk level is back to low.
No, it does not happen often, but it has happened before. In the cases that it has occurred, the COVID positive member recovered without any issues and the community was able to finish their experience safely and happily.
No, but we do everything we can to make testing simple. The costs for any tests taken between destinations or any additional tests needed if COVID is suspected within the group are to be paid by individual program participants and are not covered by Remote Year. Tests in most of our cities will vary from $25-$100 depending on if you would like an antigen or PCR test. We advise you to speak to your Travel Insurance company if you would like to reclaim any such costs.
Yes, we believe this is necessary to protect each program participant, and, in some instances, is required by some local governments. Travel and Health insurance, which covers COVID-19 related issues, is readily available and affordable. Remote Year can help connect you with a provider with options. You will be asked for proof of appropriate insurance before departure.
Yes, Remote Year will have testing options for those that need it in each destination so that the whole process is as seamless as possible. Often this can be booked via the Remote Year Marketplace. Details on how to do this will be provided at the appropriate time.
Yes, before selecting a destination, we look at a variety of factors related to safety and security, as well as the experience we can deliver for our community.
We have seen that things can change with COVID, so if we believe the experience in one of our destinations will be compromised, or if the safety of our community is at an increased risk, we will implement one of our predetermined backup plans, which vary for any given situation and program.
We are working tirelessly to monitor and evolve our approach to COVID using the guidance of our safety and security partner, International SOS, and the local government for each destination.
If new local restrictions are placed on a destination, we will work with our on-the-ground team and safety advisors to determine the full impact of the new restrictions. If it is determined that these restrictions have too great an impact on our program experience or the overall safety of our community, we would either cancel the program or offer an alternative destination.
We follow the same protocol with our staff as we do for Remote Year program participants. We ensure that our staff has a place to isolate and medical attention if needed, and we provide relevant support from the Remote Year staff to ensure minimal or no disruption to the program.