COVID-19 Travel Updates and E3V Guidelines

To say that a lot has changed in last year is an understatement, but I know one thing has not:  That’s your passion to do what always appears in my email signature… “go4acts1:8now!”

COVID-19 realities and anti-coronavirus measures change on us every week in two different countries.  But E3V is continuing to engage in global Gospel activity. We are doing it differently.  

With all of the changes going on, we want to keep you updated and aware of Guatemala, USA, and E3V guidelines.

The US Embassy in Guatemala has released information regarding travel to Guatemala. “All passengers age 10 and over arriving in Guatemala by air and land are required to obtain one of the following:

  • A negative COVID-19 PCR or an Antigen test within 72 hours prior to check in at the airport, or arrival at the land border.
  • If you have recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months, a medical certificate from the healthcare facility where you received treatment showing evidence of the date of your diagnosis, and confirmation of your recovery.
  • Evidence that you have received a complete COVID-19 vaccination course, with the second dose being administered at least two weeks before arrival in Guatemala.”

All travelers entering to the U.S. are now required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed entry. All travelers returning to the United States, whether citizens or non-citizens, will be required to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test, before they will be allowed to board return flights. This test must be administered within the 3 days before the return flight departs for the U.S.

In light of the required test for reentry to the U.S., E3 Volunteers has developed the following plan:

  • E3 Volunteers has a relationship with Blue Medical, which is a very reputable private hospital/clinic in Guatemala City.
    • All teams will be taken to Blue Medical for testing on their last full day in-country.
      • Blue Medical does rapid testing, with test reports typically available within two hours of the test.
    • Team members will be responsible for the cost of their own testing.
      • The cost of the test is Q365.00 (approximately $53.00) 
      • Team members can choose one of three ways to pay for their test:
        • Credit/debit card
        • Quetzales (paid directly to Blue Medical)
        • U.S. Dollars (paid to E3 Volunteers through the Mission Team Mobilizer)

We have also been made aware of insurance (from a new provider) that will provide COVID-19 coverage for travelers. If you would like more information about this, please reach out to me, and we can discuss how to secure this insurance for your team members.

Below is the E3 Volunteers COVID-19 Mitigation Policy, which outlines the steps we will take to protect team members, as well as steps that will be taken in the unlikely event of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. 

Mitigation Practices

Masks
All mission team members will be required to wear masks at all times. The only exceptions are when individuals are in their rooms at lodging facilities, and during meals (in accordance with government guidelines). Masks MUST be worn during all ministry activities.

Physical Distancing
Physical distancing will be practiced at all times. Transportation capacities will be determined based on current government restrictions in the country where the team is serving.

Personal Sanitization
All mission team members are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer with them. In the event that team members do not have hand sanitizer, each Mobilizer will have adequate amounts of hand sanitizer to be made available to team members.

Lodging
E3 Volunteers makes every attempt to scrutinize all lodging utilized by mission teams. Lodging facilities are chosen based on their willingness to provide safe, sanitized lodging for team members. 

Transportation
All transportation contractors are required to ensure that vehicles are properly sanitized prior to boarding by team members, and that appropriate physical distancing is observed, in accordance with local government guidelines and restrictions.

COVID-19 Treatment While In-Country
NOTE: Unless travelers have purchased insurance that specifically covers COVID-19, all in-country expenses related to the diagnosis and/or treatment of COVID-19 will be the sole responsibility of the mission team member/traveler.

In the unlikely event that a mission team member exhibits symptoms of or is diagnosed with COVID-19, the following measures will be taken:

Quarantine
Individuals displaying symptoms of or diagnosed with COVID-19 will be immediately separated from the remainder of the team and placed in quarantine. If on the field, individuals will be quarantined in the team lodging facility. If near the Baptist Theological Seminary in Guatemala City, individuals will be quarantined at the lodging on the campus of the seminary.

Travel to Nearest Private Hospital
If hospitalization is necessary, every effort will be made to transport the individual back to Guatemala City. A private hospital will be sought out and the individual will be taken to that hospital for treatment.

Disinfecting Belongings
Individuals in quarantine will be provided with disinfectant spray and/or a UV disinfectant lamp. It is recommended that the personal belongings of individuals displaying symptoms of or diagnosed with COVID-19 be disinfected, to prevent any possible spread of the virus.

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