COVID-19 coronavirus and ARCHELON’s 2020 sea turtle conservation projects: FAQs
1. Is ARCHELON considering to cancel the 2020 projects because of COVID-19 coronavirus considerations?
A: The cancellation of the projects is not an option, we need to carry on to the best of our abilities. At the Rescue Centre injured sea turtles will continue their treatment. Conservation tasks on the nesting beaches and Amvrakikos will also continue, so that nests are protected and time- series of monitoring data remain uninterrupted. It is positive fact that all ARCHELON’s field projects are carried out on the beaches and at sea and the Rescue Centre is a semi open space.
2. Are there any particular risk assessments done for the projects in relation to the COVID-19 coronavirus situation?
A: The operation of the Rescue Centre was just assessed in the light of current information about the COVID-19 coronavirus (March 10, 2020). A plan has been drawn up to continuously monitor and address the likelihood of any outbreak amongst staff and volunteers. In addition, the Centre will remain closed for visitors, in line with the guidelines of the public authorities. The nesting beach projects and Amvrakikos are due to start in May/ June and their assessment is under way.
3. What if volunteers will not be able to travel to their projects as scheduled?
A: We hope that travel restrictions will not last for long. If a volunteer cannot travel on the dates expected, we will invite him/her to reschedule at the earliest possible date.
4. What if a volunteer cannot travel because he/ she gets infected or suspects to be infected by the COVID-19 coronavirus?
A: All the same, we will invite him/her to reschedule at the earliest possible date following their recovery. We would need a renewed doctor’s note on their state of health before they are admitted to the projects again.
5. What if a volunteer becomes sick while in the project?
A: A due diligence and emergency response process is already taking place at the Rescue centre, in line with the latest instructions of the health authorities'. We are also preparing a procedure to address the likelihood of any outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus amongst staff and volunteers for the nesting beaches and Amvrakikos projects. We remind you that volunteers must have their own health insurance.
6. Will re-scheduling a volunteer participation due to COVID-19 coronavirus be free- of-charge?
When rescheduling for the same type of project (e.g. Nesting beaches, Amvrakikos, Rescue Centre), and keeping the same duration of participation as scheduled, there will be neither extra charges, nor refunds due to changes in high/low season.
7. What if the duration of a re-scheduled participation due to COVID-19 coronavirus is different than the initially agreed?
A: In such cases the participation fees will be re-calculated according to the final dates and balanced with an extra payment or partial refund.
8. What if a volunteer wishes to cancel their participation due to COVID-19 coronavirus?
A: The cancellation policy in place continues to apply. However, in the case of a travel ban around the dates of scheduled travel, there will be a full refund of the volunteer fee paid minus banking costs.
9. What if a travel ban related to COVID-19 coronavirus affects a volunteer’s departure date from a project?
A: If such a case occurs, we will discuss with them the possibility of extending their participation period.
10. How will internships be affected in relation to COVID-19 coronavirus?
A: Everything said above concerning volunteers in ARCHELON’s projects is also valid for internships.