Safe travel policies reduce COVID-19 risks to Common Ground travelers and to the communities that host us.
As people get used to living with COVID and have their own levels of concern around exposure and contracting COVID, we continue to take necessary and reasonable steps to keep COVID out of our groups. After all, who wants to invest their time and resources to travel to Latin America and spend it in isolation. Our goal is to keep the individuals on our trips and the communities we come in contact with as safe as possible. See below our current COVID-19 policies.
Every traveler on a Common Ground program must complete the travel contract before they are allowed to join the group. In this contract, you will agree to providing proof of vaccination, abide by all local laws and provisions for COVID in addition to your trip leader’s requests for masking, distancing, testing, isolation, etc as necessary.
The nature of our Spanish immersion programs requires travelers to be in close contact with each other and local community members. Often these local community members represent at-risk populations. In an effort to be as responsible as possible to fellow travelers and local community members, Common Ground currently requires proof of vaccination for all travelers on its trips to Latin America. See travel agreement for any exceptions.
Negative COVID Tests
All travelers must present proof of a negative COVID Test within 72 hours of your program start. This can be a PCR or Antigen test, and can be administered at home with a witness, in a lab, in a pharmacy or by your local healthcare provider. See pre-departure paperwork for how to submit those negative COVID test results before joining your group.
Your host family is vaccinated and symptom free as of the start of your program. Should any host family member test positive during your stay, we will move you into another host family so that you can comfortably continue the rest of your stay without concern.
We take a symptom-based approach to testing. If a traveler is experiencing any symptoms relating to COVID, that traveler will take an over the counter home test. If the test results are negative, the traveler will continue on with their program. All testing expenses are the traveler’s responsibility. If the results are positive, the traveler will isolate for 5 days, and then be required to wear a mask for the next 5 days as they rejoin the program.
Common Ground groups will adhere to local requirements for masking. Most indoor and outdoor settings no longer require masks, however some situations may require masking. Your trip leader will inform you of any masking needs should they arise for a particular community visit, transportation scenario, etc.
Isolation on immersion is usually a 5-day period followed by 5 days of masking after rejoining the program. Isolation may occur within the host family home if they have adequate space and are able to host you during your illness. Isolation may also occur in a nearby apartment. All isolation expenses are the traveler’s responsibility. Parents/guardians of minors on program agree to accompany and supervise their child during isolation should they test positive during the trip.