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Program Safety in the COVID-19 Era

Program Safety in the COVID-19 Era

As Rustic Pathways leads students to countries reopening all over the world, we remain committed to responsibly managing risk, protecting students, and respecting local communities. Risk is inherent to travel, and like all risks, the chance of contracting COVID-19 can be thoughtfully and carefully reduced through robust prevention. Our approach to COVID-19 rests on the five key principles below.

Enhanced Cleanliness:

Each Rustic Program has appointed a Hygiene Officer focused on implementing enhancements to already robust procedures:

  • Students taught and regularly reminded of proper-handwashing techniques and habits. Hand-washing stations are conveniently placed, and hand sanitizer supplied in areas where hand-washing may not be possible.
  • Rooms disinfected daily using appropriate cleaning supplies as a regular part of programming.
  • Increased cleaning of public areas, with extra attention to high-touch surfaces such as front desk counters, elevator buttons and public restrooms.

Small Group Sizes:

Group sizes will be capped at 24 students. Sessions with large numbers of students will be broken into smaller groups for the duration of the program.

Vaccinations for International Travel:

All students who are traveling to international (non-USA) destinations must be fully vaccinated.

Students traveling domestically will not need to demonstrate proof of vaccination.

Access to Testing:

Both as a departure requirement and/or simply for peace of mind, Rustic can facilitate access to COVID-19 testing for students while in-country.

Students will be required to provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure for all programs.

Mask Usage:

As we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rustic Pathways remains focused on protecting the health and well-being of employees, students and partner communities. Because our partner communities may not have access to vaccines, students may be required to mask while interacting with anyone who is not a staff or student with the group.

Many jurisdictions have stringent regulations on mask usage. We encourage all students to stay up to date and receive email notifications from Rustic Pathways to receive the latest information on local mask usage policies and requirements before traveling, as these local requirements continue to evolve.