COVID-19 policies

 

Introduction

The COVID-19 situation remains fluid. On this page, we provide regularly updated information about our policies and protocols. Current version: August 1, 2022.

 

COVID-19 program measures

The safety of participants, staff, and local partners and hosts is a top priority and we are monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation closely. All GEI team members are fully vaccinated to protect their safety and the safety of all our participants. We further require that all participants of our programs be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 at least 14 days before travelling to one of our destinations. In addition, we try to work as much as possible with suppliers, partners, and hosts whose personnel have been fully vaccinated as well.

 
We are taking additional recommended prevention and response measures, including:

  • A COVID-19 Safety Officer will be assigned to each program. The Safety Officer will be responsible for ensuring best practice is followed throughout the program by monitoring behavior, environment, and adherence to agreed hygiene measures. For groups with up to 20 participants, the Program Manager or Guide will play this role and will be supported by other team members who will be on standby in case of an emergency. For larger groups, the Program Manager or Guide will play this role as well as a second member of our team who will be appointed to be with the group.
  • Participants are thoroughly briefed upon arrival about COVID-19 policies and guidelines.
  • GEI team members on the ground will be wearing a proper mask (see our internal handbook for information on the type of masks used) throughout the duration of the program.
  • Participants will wear a mask (see our internal handbook for information on the type of masks we recommend using) for the duration of the program, except in locations where masks are not required.  Participants are required to supply their own masks. We recommend the use of KN95 masks.
  • GEI team members, guests, suppliers and partners must regularly wash their hands and use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% of alcohol. Hand sanitizers are available in each vehicle.
  • Vehicles used will be properly sanitized and wiped down in the morning before the start of the daily activities.
  • GEI team members on the ground will take their temperatures on a daily basis to monitor for fever and will not work if they are sick.
  • The temperature of the drivers will be also taken on a daily basis and any driver who has fever will be replaced immediately.
  • Daily temperature checks and visual assessment of participants will be conducted and recorded by the GEI Safety Officer/Guide each morning. Additionally, participants will also be asked to self-monitor and immediately inform the GEI Safety Officer/Guide if they have a forehead temperature of 37.5 C or higher (36.5 C if the temperature is taken on the wrist) and/or if they are feeling unwell.  
  • During the daily monitoring by GEI, the Safety Officer/Guide will do the following: 

 

      1. Take every participant’s temperature each morning.  In case self-monitoring has been agreed upon, daily visual assessments will still be conducted by the Safety Officer/Guide.
      2. Wear a face mask while doing the readings, and so must each program participant.  
      3. Have a clip board with a participant list for every day, where the reading of each participant will be recorded, thus always keeping the record up to date.  
      4. If the temperature check by the Safety Officer/Guide shows that a participant has an initial elevated temperature (37.5 C or higher – value of 36.2 C for wrist temperature), the test will be repeated 10 minutes later. If the temperature is then still higher than 37.5 C or 36.2 C for the wrist, the participant will be sent to an isolation room, and the temperature check will be repeated an hour later by the Safety Officer or by a GEI member of staff. If the temperature is still high an hour later, the GEI Safety officer or GEI member of staff will call a nurse or doctor. If the group is out in the field, the participant will be requested to wear a face mask and will be seated on the back seat of the vehicle used, until the temperature check can be repeated an hour later. If the temperature is still high an hour later, the participant will be taken to the nearest hospital for a check-up. The GEI Safety Officer and medical professionals will decide if a rapid test and/or PCR test must be taken and will advise the participant accordingly. The cost of the tests and isolation rooms will be at the participants’ expense.
      5. In the event of a positive diagnosis, a decision on whether the other program participants need to be tested and possibly even self-isolated as well is taken together with local health authorities. The tests will be at the participants own costs. Isolation rooms will be made available at the hotels and lodges at the participants’ own cost.
      6. Furthermore, GEI’s Head Office will decide together with the client and the local health authorities whether to proceed with or cancel the program.

 

  • Our leadership team will continue to actively monitor the recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and local authorities and will implement best-practices accordingly.

 

Country-specific COVID-19 policies & protocols


            

            

                        
            
            
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Additional information

Data protection

GDPR: Policy on the protection and processing of personal data of program participants

This Policy regards all personal data of yours that we have obtained - whether from you directly or indirectly from any entity - for the planning and organization of your GEI program and related GEI services.

These data will be processed and handled by us in accordance with our policies, with the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), and with the principles of fairness, lawfulness, transparency, purpose limitation, accuracy, storage limitation, integrity and confidentiality, and accountability, as well as the utmost protection of your privacy.

Sensitive data processing will only take place in relation to data regarding your health condition (such as diseases, allergies or food intolerances) or judicial data of relevance to your participation in the GEI program.

All data shall be processed exclusively for GEI institutional purposes, connected or related to the activities carried out by GEI, such as the planning and organization of your GEI program, the accomplishment of bureaucratic practices for your entry in your program destination, and the performance of the contractual obligations of GEI in connection with your program stay.

In particular, the data supplied or collected may be processed for the following purposes:

  • To fulfill the obligations established by any applicable law;
  • To execute the contractual obligations with reference to your enrolment with the GEI program (such as, but not limited to, program content and logistics bookings, program attendance certification, or participant health and safety protection); and
  • To take the necessary actions in the case of an accident or aggression.

Sensitive data regarding your health conditions and food habits will only be processed for the purpose of protecting your safety or of fulfilling the obligations established by any applicable law.

Sensitive data regarding judicial measures which may have been provided to GEI by public bodies will be processed only for purposes relating to a health or safety emergency and complying with any applicable mandatory provision of any applicable law.

Submittal and processing of personal data is necessary in order to achieve the purposes above specified.

Any refusal will make it impossible to carry out the necessary activities and the correct administrative and didactic management of your program necessary to accomplish the contractual obligations of GEI in connection with your program stay, as well as the obligations imposed by law.

Data - including sensitive data - will be collected and processed automatically and/or manually, and by adopting the respective minimum safety measures.

The data will be handled only by the persons who are in charge of and responsible for the related program activities and services.

Your data may be communicated, in compliance with the rules above indicated, to public or private subjects to whom they may be necessary in order to carry out the planning and organization of your GEI program, and to fulfill obligations set forth by applicable laws.

Sensitive data may be communicated to public bodies and authorities (such as public hospitals, public safety authorities, police offices, courts, magistrates and the like) and to private subjects (such as private hospitals and clinics, security supervisors, insurance companies and the like) only for purposes relating to health and safety emergency and for the purposes of fulfilling obligations set forth by applicable laws.

You will be able to exercise any and all rights foreseen, among others, by the GDPR, electronically available at https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection_en.

This includes, among others, the following rights:

  • You have the right to obtain confirmation of the existence or not of personal data, even if not yet recorded, and their communication in intelligible form.
  • You have the right to obtain indication a) of the origin of the personal data, b) of the ends and methods of their processing, c) of the logics applied in the event of processing being carried out with the aid of electronic equipment, d) of the identification data of your data manager at GEI, and e) of the organizations and categories of organizations to whom personal data can be communicated or who are likely to get to know them at the program destination(s).
  • You have the right to obtain a) the update, the rectification or, if you have the interest to, the integration of the data, b) the cancellation, transformation in anonymous form or blockage of any data processed unlawfully, including those whose storage is not necessary in relation to the aims for which the data were collected or later processed, and c) a statement that the operations indicated in a) and b), including their content, have been made known to those to whom the data have been communicated or released, except in the case of this being found to be impossible or requiring the use of means which are clearly disproportionate to the protected right.
  • You have the right to completely or partially oppose a) for legitimate reasons, the processing of personal data even if relevant to the aims of their collection, and b) the processing of personal data for the purpose of sending publicity material, direct sales or for carrying out market research or commercial communications.

The Data Controller for your data is GEI. In order to exercise the rights mentioned in 7. above, you can contact us at 251 State Street, #204 (c/o Mlekoday), Schenectady, NY 12305, USA, or by sending an email to programs@global-engagement.org.

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