Travel guidance for international development partners during the pandemic
Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and its project partners have a shared objective in delivering programming to achieve international development goals, including responding to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on developing countries and other beneficiary countries.
Unlike natural disasters and civil conflict, the pandemic entails considering not only the health and safety of project staff and participants but also preventing harm to people in Canada and abroad by the spread of COVID-19 through travel.
In this context, the Government of Canada recommends travellers to review the travel health notice for COVID-19 and International Travel, and to practise enhanced health precautions when travelling internationally.
In discharging their duty of care, international development partners should consider whether travel is essential. They should also consider whether international travel can contribute to effective programming activities in the current context, whether the risks outweigh the benefits and whether delaying activities or using alternative means, such as distance education and virtual activities, is more prudent.
In particular, international development partners need to consider the following risks:
- International travel by partner project staff and participants could contribute to the spread of the virus and its variants in Canada and in other countries, including to local partners and beneficiaries
- Authorities may impose lockdowns, restrictions on travel, and other measures to prevent the spread of the virus at any time, without warning and that, as a result, project staff and participants may not be able to travel within countries or return home as planned
- Health insurance may be difficult to obtain and access to health care and COVID-19 tests may not be readily available in some countries and regions
- Some travellers may be more vulnerable to the effects of the virus because of their underlying health conditions, age or other factors
- Canadian missions may have limited capacity to offer consular services
If international development partners choose to resume travel, whether international or within countries or regions, GAC will not cover travel costs beyond what project financial instruments and other relevant program authorities already offer. Partners will be responsible for covering costs not eligible for GAC reimbursement, such as COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and quarantine costs.
This guidance will continue to be updated as the pandemic context for travel changes.
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