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Measures against COVID-19
The operations of the Rescue Center and the projects on the nesting beaches were under constant evaluation with regard to COVID-19 during 2020 and 2021. We implemented continuous monitoring as well as measures to minimize the likelihood of cases between staff and volunteers, and address the issues based on guidance and measures taken by the health authorities.
We aspire to achieve the same in 2022. Experience, diligence and flexibility will be applied in carrying out the projects accordance with public health regulations in force at any given time in Greece and internationally. The teamwork in ARCHELON’s projects must not be put to risk because of COVID-19.
What is for ARCHELON to do?
We keep low the maximum allowed number of volunteers in each project, so as to avoid congestion in the living areas and cars
- We provide spaces for self-isolation of a small number of people in each project
- We reduce the renewal rate of participants, by setting a minimum stay of 5 weeks (for a small number of Greek speakers at 3 weeks) and by giving priority to applications from those requesting participation for a period longer than 5 weeks
- We arrange the arrival and departure dates of each volunteer so that a place is available in the self-isolation area upon their arrival and the maximum allowed number of participants in the program is not exceeded
- We provide clear instructions for all participants and protocols to be implemented by the field leaders in different cases, following the guidance of the competent health authorities.
What is up to the volunteers to do? The following measures are applied, regardless of their country of origin:
Every participant in the ARCHELON projects must have a valid certificate of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19, which must cover the whole period of their participation. Citizens of the EU are invited to present their European Certificate of Vaccination.
- Everyone arriving at the ARCHELON camps or the Rescue Center, either from abroad or from Greece, must present a negative result in a molecular detection test of COVID-19 (PCR), done within 72 hours before their arrival. The test results must be forwarded by e-mail to the Volunteer Officer, before the volunteer arrives. No one will be able to participate in the projects if the above are not observed.
- If, unluckily, the pre-arrival COVID-19 test comes out positive, the volunteer should contact the Volunteer Officer so that their participation can be rescheduled or canceled.
- Once the volunteers arrive at the camp or Rescue Center, they should remain in self-isolation for 3 days, wearing a face mask and using the designated areas carefully. Other team members will take care of their supplies, food, etc. On the 4th day, they should perform a self- test and it the test results are negative they will begin their participation.
- In the camps of ARCHELON and in the Rescue Center it is obligatory to apply social distancing and disinfection of spaces and hands and the use of a face mask as required by the public health measures in effect.
- If, unluckily, the post-isolation COVID-19 test comes out positive, the volunteer should remain in self isolation until their test come out negative (up to 2 weeks). The space for their self-isolation will be sought at first in the camp site or the Rescue Centre and, if deemed necessary, in other premises, following the guidance of the health authorities.
- If any participant tests positive during the project, medical advice and guidance from the public health authorities will be sought. The whole team will be checked and asked to be extremely careful to avoid the spread of the virus.
The above measures are based on the experience of 2021. It is not to be excluded, of course, that we may need to adapt again and again to situations such as the imposition of local quarantine in different parts of the world, or in the areas of our programs, to any constant changes in travel restrictions, or cancellation of many flights.
If there is a need to change these above mentioned measures, participants will be notified in due time.
Observing the above and dealing with any new situations created due to the pandemic will not be easy. It will take patience and understanding from all of us, but in the end, it is the cause that matters and sea turtle conservation makes it worthwhile.
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