the EXCO (Excecutive Committee), which represents Servas International, has published a Covid-19 hosting and travel policy.
Summary of the policy:
➢ All government travel policies and restrictions related to Covid 19 in both the host and traveler countries must be respected for Servas travel.
➢ Additionally, hosts and travellers can ask each other regarding their Covid-19 related status and expect a reply.
➢ It is up to the host and traveller to decide if Covid-19 vaccinations, tests, or other considerations are needed before they meet, as long as it is not in contravention of the Government policies referred to in (1) above.
➢ Travellers need to be aware of the Covid-19 rules and conditions in a country they plan to visit.
Background information and reasons for proposing this policy:
Covid-19 has disrupted travel around the world, and there are serious safety concerns with respect to travel for Servas hosts and travellers. Servas needs a consistent policy for when travel is allowed, and the ability to ask for Covid-19 related status of either hosts or travellers.
It is expected Servas members will always respect the rules and customs of countries they visit. This is no different with Covid-19.
Countries and local jurisdictions have policies regarding the management of Covid-19. Travellers and hosts must understand and be prepared for these policies prior to travel. For example, in some countries on arrival travelellers may be required to go into quarantine at their own expense. It would be awkward to say the least for a traveller to arrive in a country
and be unaware of such conditions.
The Covid-19 pandemic is being addressed using many different techniques including vaccinations, PCR or other tests, social distancing, wearing masks, and others. For the safety of both the hosts and travellers, it is reasonable they can ask for this information, and expect an honest reply, to use as a basis for their decision to meet.
Example If a traveller wishes to visit a host in a country, they first need to ensure travel is allowed from their own country, and travel is allowed in the country and region they wish to visit. If any government restrictions are in place, such as quarantine, masking rules, or social distancing,
the traveller must be willing to abide by these rules before they request travel.The traveller can then contact a host and request a stay. Only if the traveller wants the information, they may ask the host for their Covid-19 vaccination status, or other related information the traveller would like to know. The host is expected to honestly answer.
When a host is contacted by a traveller, if the host wants the information they may ask the traveller for their vaccination status or other Covid-19 related information and expect an honest answer.
It is up to the host and traveller to decide if any Covid-19 information needs to be shared, and if any restrictions or accommodations need to be done for their visit, as long as it is not in violation of the Government policies of that jurisdiction. This Policy was based on a Motion (see below) presented by Jim Leask and Paul Nielsen, co-members of SI MTS (Servas International Membership and Technology Secretariat)
Servas hosts and travellers should respect the following restrictions with respect to the Covid- 19 pandemic, if any travel restrictions are in effect for any country in the world:
1. All government travel restrictions should be followed by hosts and travellers.
a. If travel restrictions are different between a country or region within the
country, the more restrictive policy should be used.
b. Restrictions applied by either the host’s country, or the traveller’s country must be followed.
2. Travellers are responsible for being informed of the Covid-19 country or jurisdiction polices and be prepared for costs associated prior to their arrival.
a. Any quarantine or other restrictions must be adhered to.
3. If travel is allowed by respective Government authorities, the host and traveller should follow these guidelines:
a. There should be no hesitation from either a host or traveller to ask for their Covid-19 vaccination status, Covid-19 test results, or other Covid-19 related status. It is expected to receive an appropriate and accurate response.
b. It is expected that a host or traveller shall have no hesitation or objection to disclose their Covid-19 related status to continue as a host or traveler during the Covid-19 pandemic.
c. A host has the right to ask for the Covid-19 related status of the traveller and may apply restrictions for the visit.
d. A traveller has the right to ask the Covid-19 related status of the host and may apply restrictions for their visit.