FPI Covid-19 Updates | Field Projects International
 

COVID-19 has dramatically altered most of our lives, introducing uncertainty into our futures and challenging our ability to continue to do conservation on the ground. We’re in this together, and we appreciate your patience as we adapt to these fluid and challenging times. – The FPI Field Team

Current Status Summary:

  1. FPI’s summer programs in Peru are presently still open
  2. We encourage new candidates to apply, but to keep an open mind about future cancellations
  3. The application and payment deadlines have been extended to May 1st
  4. Final decisions on any possible field season changes will be no later than April 24th, if not sooner.
  5. Our cancellation policy during this pandemic has been updated to be much more flexible.
  6. This page was last updated on April 2nd.
 

FPI and COVID-19 FAQs 

  • Will summer 2020 programs in Peru be affected?
  • Under which conditions can I get a refund of my program fees?
  • What if I need to cancel for a COVID-related reason?
  • What is the situation in Peru, and how have they responded to the COVID-19 crisis?
  • What about flights?
  • Have program dates changed?
  • What about the risk to the animals?

As of April 2nd, we have consulted with our Peruvian partners and our field scientists, and have decided that our programs will remain active.  Of course, this may change due to factors beyond our control. The two major factors we consider are:

  1. Travel bans, quarantines, or shelter-in-place guidelines imposed by the Peruvian government on their own and foreign citizens
  2. The decision of the field station at Los Amigos to remain open and accept new researchers.

Updates will be posted on this page each day by noon PST.

If you have already made down payments or full payments towards your programs:

  1. If you have changed your mind and want to cancel your program with us, for any reason, if you cancel prior to May 1st, we will refund all fees except for $100 of a processing fee.
  2. If you want to remain in the program as we navigate this uncertain future together, you are most welcome to do so. As the situation changes, we commit to protecting your investment in us, as is listed below.

We will offer refunds in the following circumstances:

  1. If you change your mind and cancel participation in a program, for any reason, before May 1st, you will receive a full refund (minus $100 of processing fee), regardless of the amount of money you have paid (i.e. regardless of your stay duration).
  2. If you change your mind between May 1 and June 1st, for a non-COVID-related reason, you will receive 40% of your fees as a refund.
  3. If you change your mind after June 1st, for a non-COVID-related reason, you will receive no refund.

These conditions are in place because we transfer fees to the field station in time for them to prepare for your arrival. And if the cancellation is too late, those fees don’t become recoverable. These dates have been pushed much further than usual, to accommodate the current pandemic.

What if you need to cancel for a COVID-related reason? Read the next tab!

As of April 2nd, the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker estimates that Peru has 1,414 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 55 deaths and 537 recoveries. It therefore lags behind considerably in confirmed cases in comparison to the United States, several European countries, and China. 

On Sunday, March 15th, the Peruvian government approved a Supreme Decree that pronounced a state of national emergency and obligatory social isolation for 15 days, as well as closed all land borders, airports, and ports of entry, to all non-citizens. Since then, they have also established a nighttime curfew already being enforced with substantial fines. 

On March 26th, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra extended the country’s state of emergency for Covid-19 until April 12th.

Prior to these measures, the Peruvian Ministry of Health had heeded WHO advice and enhanced their precautionary health measures at airports, and their CDC had allocated an emergency budget for laboratory work and patient care. 

Our Peruvian partners are hopeful that the government’s swift and drastic measures will contain the situation. We keep in close touch with them and will update this page as new information comes in.

Travel costs appear to be much more affordable at the moment as airlines struggle to fill seats. This means that you will likely be able to delay flight purchases for some time without risking large rate increases. We currently suggest waiting approximately a month before your start date to book. We also recommend looking for additional travel insurance coverage that will refund tickets should a government travel ban prevent your journey.

Scott’s Flights is a service that typically collects extremely affordable and short-lived flights to send to its members. However, they have a public page with updated and reliable information on how to approach booking flights during the pandemic, including the rules, by airline, on cancellation and refunds. Please visit this page before booking flights.

As we always have, since our programs attract people from all over the globe, we don’t participate directly in coordinating your travel. But, as always, we are here if you have questions. 

The enrollment period for our programs is now extended to May 1st. At this moment in time, we plan to carry out our research programs as scheduled. Should we consider a delayed start due to unpredictable travel bans or health concerns, we will promptly email all program participants to discuss further options. Our lines of communication are always open, so do not hesitate to reach out for any further clarification.

Handling primates is a privilege and not a right. In order to keep them safe, we take personal protective equipment seriously, using gloves and masks for all moments of direct contact during the annual health check. We will only conduct this program if we can be sure we do not endanger the primates by potentially transmitting the disease to them. To control for this, we are currently working on a system by which we can evaluate each person prior to their participation in the program, including doing some local testing ourselves!

 

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