Updated March 12, 2020
Since the beginning of the global COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak, Up with People has closely monitored the evolving situation worldwide. At all times, our number one priority has been and continues to be protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of our international participants, our host families, and all constituents with whom we interact daily. This situation has evolved rapidly in a negative direction in the last 48 hours. Among other things, the World Health Organization has designated the current situation as a pandemic; the U.S. government has introduced an additional travel ban on international travel; and state and local governments worldwide are imposing limits on public gatherings.
With these factors in mind, Up with People has made the difficult decision that it is best that we suspend the Up with People spring tour as of Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
We are working with all current participants and their families to ensure safe travels home on that date, and will proactively communicate resumption of touring activities once the global health situation improves to a level where it is safe to do so.
Initial post, published March 5, 2020
Up with People is committed to keeping our cast members, host families. community partners and staff members safe. We share the concerns of the global community and are closely monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) internationally. We are following the up-to-the-minute guidance offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and leading health authorities in North America and Europe. We will be watching for any changes to guidance for domestic and international travel, particularly in regions affecting our upcoming tour routes.
As we monitor international health authority advisories, we are educating our current cast on the latest recommended protocols on good health habits to help minimize the spread of germs, developing program continuity plans to prepare for increased viral spread conditions and communicating regularly with upcoming community partners and the local health authorities in those areas.
Currently, the cities that are included in our upcoming tours are at the lowest level of risk of infection of COVID-19 and present no cause for alterations to our tour routes. In the event of an outbreak in a tour community or within our touring cast, we would follow regional public health partners’ lead on any quarantines, tour rerouting, or other health measures as necessary. Our focus will continue to be the safety of our cast members, community partners and staff.
We understand the seriousness of this issue and will be making the fact-based decisions we deem appropriate as the situation evolves. We will continue to update these decisions here on our website.
Our concern is for all who are affected by this health challenge, and we are hopeful for a swift resolution that keeps citizens across the globe safe and secure.
World Health Organization
WHO Travel Advice
Centers for Disease Control General COVID-19 Information
Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 Travel Information
German Federal Ministry of Health