May 11,2023 (see below for modifications)

May 11 – Ended the COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Policy in Light of WHO’s Declaration on the End of the Global Health Emergency.

May 11, 2023 Statement
Ending the COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Policy in Light of WHO’s Declaration on the End of the Global Health Emergency. Vaccination remains highly recommended.

We are pleased to announce that, in response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recent declaration of the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency, we will be ending the Sea|mester COVID-19 vaccine policy, effective immediately. This decision comes as a result of the significant progress made globally in combating the virus and the WHO’s determination that the emergency phase has concluded.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sea|mester has prioritized the health and safety of our participants, staff, and communities. Implementing the vaccine policy was a crucial measure to mitigate the risks associated with the virus, ensure the well-being of everyone involved, and align with prevailing public health guidelines.

With the WHO’s recognition that the global health emergency has ended, we can shift our focus toward a post-pandemic environment. This milestone reflects the collective efforts of individuals, healthcare professionals, scientists, and global communities to curb the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its impact on our daily lives.

As we navigate this transition, we will continue to monitor and follow guidance from reputable health organizations, including the WHO and local health authorities. Our commitment to maintaining a safe environment remains paramount, and we will adjust our policies and protocols accordingly as circumstances evolve.

We sincerely thank all our participants, families, and staff members for their understanding, resilience, and cooperation throughout this challenging period. While we celebrate this milestone, we also acknowledge that the impact of COVID-19 may persist in various regions around the world. We urge everyone to continue practicing good hygiene and strongly recommend receiving a COVID-19 vaccination if they haven’t done so already. Taking individual responsibility and collective action can further contribute to the global recovery process.

Sea|mester is excited to move forward, embracing the opportunities that lie ahead and continuing to provide transformative experiences for everyone involved. We remain dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive environment that fosters personal growth, skill development, and intercultural understanding.

10-day Pre-Program Precautionary Period

We encourage all students to consider the ten days leading up to the program start date as a “precautionary period” where they select to operate in an environment of enhanced COVID-19 risk mitigation, reducing the risk of unnecessary exposure when appropriate.

Our pre-trip risk mitigation strategies culminate on travel day and during the onboarding process.

1. Pre-Departure Testing for Symptomatic Individuals
To avoid both the risk of transmission and the unnecessary expense of shore-side accommodation, we strongly recommend that any student experiencing COVID-like symptoms complete a rapid antigen test before traveling to the program.

2. Testing upon Arrival
On arrival, students may be required to take a rapid antigen test before joining the vessel. Any student testing positive will be denied boarding and must isolate ashore for the appropriate duration as defined by the GXG Ending Isolation Protocol (refer to the linked document in the section below). All costs associated with this isolation period will be the student’s responsibility.

Naturally, students and parents want to know how we would respond to a diagnosed case of COVID-19 in our program.

Our response strategy would naturally require the individual who tested positive to wear a mask and then isolate to the extent possible. This is difficult aboard a vessel, so we will look to relocate any student who tests positive to shoreside accommodation as soon as practical. Students should carry insurance that will cover them should isolation be necessary, as the cost of food and individualized accommodation is the student’s responsibility. Depending on the age of the student,
severity of the symptoms and/or program schedule, we may require a parent/guardian to travel to the isolation location to assist their student during this period. Ending the isolation period is determined by the following protocol:

Ending Isolation Protocol

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