COVID-19 and Other Infectious Illnesses

Safety Measures


Infectious illnesses, including COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), pose a risk to the well-being of communities and individuals worldwide. The risk of contracting such an illness, like other risks, cannot be eliminated. However, all team members can take steps to help reduce this risk: every individual has a responsibility toward maintaining the well-being of their team.


Earthwatch strongly encourages you to take precautions to help protect yourself and others from infectious illnesses, including common viral respiratory illnesses like COVID-19, flu, and RSV: 

  • Stay up-to-date with your vaccinations.
  • Practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently and covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Take steps to improve air quality, such as bringing in as much fresh air as possible, purifying indoor air, or gathering outdoors.
  • If you are sick, take precautions to limit the spread, such as staying away from others and/or wearing a mask. 

Prior to Travel

You are strongly encouraged to test for COVID-19 before traveling to your expedition, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms. If you are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19, do not travel to your expedition and call Earthwatch right away for the next steps.

Earthwatch is maintaining flexible transfer options to encourage responsible participation. In the event of a cancellation due to a documented positive test for COVID-19 before travel, you will have the option to transfer to another expedition or transfer your contribution into an Expedition Fund for use toward a future expedition.

In the Event of Symptoms or a Positive Test During the Team

During the team, you may be asked to test, mask, limit activities, isolate, seek medical attention and/or take other precautions if you or another person on site display symptoms of COVID-19 or other infectious illness.

You must bring a supply of face masks for personal use. You are expected to self-monitor throughout the expedition and report any symptoms to a Team Leader.

If you must isolate or depart from a program due to illness, you will not be entitled to a refund of the contribution for the program, or any expenses incurred by participation in the program. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance that will cover this eventuality.



For more information

More information on Earthwatch’s practices and expectations can be found in our COVID Disclosure Form

For additional health guidance, please refer to your travel health provider or public health authorities, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. State Department, and the World Health Organization (WHO).


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