Traveling in 2021
FACTS and FAQs around Covid-19
Our J-1 programs are back and GeoVisions offices are fully open for business, getting ready to welcome Exchange Visitors (EVs) to the U.S. again!
We are making all necessary preparations with the goal, as always, to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our exchange program fellows, host companies, our staff members and in general the local host communities with whom our EVs come in contact with during their stay in the country.
GeoVisions is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and we continue to follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S State Department. GeoVisions is in constant contact with the Department of State officials, the U.S. Consulates Overseas, our sponsor colleagues and our international recruiting partners to provide support and align on best practices.
The following list of Frequently Asked Questions, will provide answers to some of the common inquiries we receive in a daily basis:
As any other year housing is not included for your exchange program, unless your specific host employer offers it directly. In either case, when GeoVisions provides leads for housing or your host employer organizes housing for you, protocols and safety measures are in place. GeoVisions verifies each housing option and ensures that compliance of maximum capacity and sanitary living conditions are followed. Strict regulations and protocols are also being set by employers who provide accommodation. However, it is the responsibility of each EV to follow these guidelines and procure for constant sanitation and disinfection of living spaces as well as best practices such as mask wearing, avoid meetings of more than 5 in close spaces and social distancing at all times.
Some of our Host Companies have also set safety protocols for its staff including personal protection equipment you must use for your job. If that is the case of your host employer, you will be informed prior to your arrival. Information will include details on any costs you will incur. We recommend that you be prepared to provide your own mask for work.
If after consulting with a doctor, testing for COVID-19 or an antibody test is recommended/ordered, it will only be covered by your medical insurance.
*Some cities and states, currently offer free testing to all residents. Check with your local health department for more details on their policies.
Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks slow the spread of COVID-19 because they help keep people who are infected from spreading respiratory droplets to others when they cough, sneeze, or talk.
Even if your host state does not mandate to wear a mask, we encourage you to do so at all times while in public spaces, while working and while meeting friends, as it will protect you and others around you.
Yes, your insurance will cover your evaluation and treatment the same as any other medical situation. (Deductibles may apply according to your policy).
Here is some information from your insurance provider:
HLP Travel Solutions
24-hour Travel Insurance Emergency Number: +1 (877) 826-2910
If you are currently in the US, and suspect that you’ve contracted COVID-19, please, isolate yourself, alert your employer and contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Here more information: https://www.geovisions.com/us-work-and-travel/student-resources/insurance-information/
CDC does not require that international travelers undergo mandatory federal quarantine, but recommends you get tested AND stay home and self-quarantine after travel for a few days and avoid crowds. Host companies and participants must follow all state and local ordinances regarding quarantine requirements as well.
Some of our Host Companies have also set safety protocols for its international staff including quarantine periods. If that is the case of your host employer, you will be informed prior to your arrival. Information will include details on the number of days, housing costs, and others.
According to the order issued by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on January 26, 2021 – To reduce introduction and spread of new variants of SARS-CoV-2[…] “It is required that all air passengers arriving to the U.S. from a foreign country to get tested for COVID-19 infection no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight.”
See CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions for more information about this requirement.
As with every country at this time, COVID-19 virus is still present within the U.S. at varying rates in different parts of the country. Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. Delaying travel and staying home would help to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated.
However, if you want to travel and participate in the program in the U.S. is important that you know that every state and every community has their own precautions in place, and varying local ordinances to keep community members safe. On the other hand, vaccination is rolling out at an average of 1 million per day. If the country maintains its current pace of vaccinating people, about half of the total population would be at least partially vaccinated around mid-May, and nearly all-around early August, reaching herd immunity by the summer. That give us a lot of hope.
This map is updated regularly
U.S. Embassies and Consulates have begun a phased resumption of routine visa services.
“[…] U.S. Embassies and Consulates have continued to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services since March 2020 and will continue to do so as they are able. As post-specific conditions improve, missions will begin providing additional services, culminating eventually in a complete resumption of routine visa services.”