UPDATED September 16, 2022


Global Volunteers’ Covid 19 Policy for Service Programs in the U.S. and Abroad

The U.S. government does not require US citizens and immigrants to be vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test prior to arriving in the United States. Consequently, Global Volunteers no longer requires volunteers to be vaccinated against Covid19 to serve on most Global Volunteers service programs. Proof of vaccination or negative test continues to be required in those countries and communities which require proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Global Volunteers strongly encourages all volunteers to take an at home COVID-19 test prior to departing for their service program.  In the event of a positive test result, you should not join the team and instead should follow CDC guidelines regarding isolation, quarantine, and limiting travel.  At home tests can be ordered here.

Global Volunteers strongly recommends you follow CDC guidelines.

  • Travelers should be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines and follow all CDC guidelines.
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell) get tested before departing.
  • Wear high-quality masks when indoors as appropriate.
  • If exposed to COVID-19, wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day 5.
  • During the service program, isolate if you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results.
  • If your results are positive, follow CDC’s full isolation recommendations.
  • If your results are negative, you can end isolation.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19,
  • Isolate from others for at least 5 days.
  • You are responsible for any isolation costs incurred which are over and above Global Volunteers’ standard food, transportation, and lodging costs.
  • Wear a high-quality mask when you must be around others.
  • Isolation can be ended at Day Six if you no longer have symptoms or have not had a fever for 24 hours and your symptoms have improved.
  • Wear a high-quality mask through day 10.
  • Avoid being around people who are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 until day 11.

If you test positive for COVID-19 and are required to stay at home, Global Volunteers will allow you to:

  • transfer and register to a later service program starting within one year of your original service program arrival date with no transfer fees.
  • take a partial refund of your service program contribution based upon the terms of the Agreement.  Read more here.
  • bank your service program contribution for use on a future service program with no transfer fees. You would need to register within one year of your original service program arrival date.

Please read Global Volunteers’ Covid vaccination and testing requirements for the country and community where you intend to serve. We update this chart as new information is provided and do our best to ensure its accuracy. However, each volunteer is responsible for following the vaccination and testing requirements set by the country and community they are travelling to.

Our goal is to protect you, other volunteers, and community members from contracting the virus.


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers very specific guidelines for vaccinated individuals interacting with unvaccinated people. As the science about living alongside the virus evolves, the guidelines continue to change. Global Volunteers will follow the guidelines in place at the time of your service program.

Global Volunteers’ mantra is “safety trumps everything.” This means we do everything reasonable to create a safe environment for you and all volunteers. However, as is the case during all Global Volunteers service programs, each volunteer is responsible for their own safety and must likewise help protect the safety of their teammates and the local people. Global Volunteers will require all volunteers to comply with the CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines and to honor and respect the local communities’ COVID-19 requirements.

Global Volunteers’ policy is to assist you in finding appropriate accommodations and help you rearrange your travel when possible. Any expenses you incur because of a quarantine or other conditions that impact your ability to return home are your responsibility.

Any volunteers who show symptoms of COVID-19 are separated from healthy team members. Because you are responsible for any medical costs incurred, we recommend you confirm with your health insurance company before leaving home that your medical expenses would be covered. We also recommend your purchase a supplemental travel medical insurance policy.

Service Program refunds are based on the cancellation date:

Over 60 days: $350 deposit is not refunded. 100 percent of balance is refunded
60 to 30 days: $350 deposit is not refunded. 55 percent of balance is refunded.
Less than 30 days: $350 deposit is not refunded. 25 percent of balance is refunded.

For more details, please see our  Policies, Terms and Conditions page.

No. We don’t require additional medical or travel insurance; however, we always strongly recommend that each volunteer purchase such an insurance policy. Please read the fine print on these insurance policies because some policies include exceptions/exemptions for COVID-19.

Personal Hygiene

Soap and clean water for handwashing are available at the lodging, dining and work sites. We recommend you bring antibacterial wipes or lotion for personal hygiene.

Single Accomodation Option

Where possible, volunteers can purchase a single supplement (with options for rooming with members of your household).

Healthcare Facility Access

Volunteers are advised of the distance to, contact information of, and procedure for accessing nearby healthcare facilities. Additional instruction is conducted during orientation and provided in volunteer preparation materials.

US Citizen Services Registration

Volunteers are provided instructions for individual registration with the U.S. Embassy prior to departure from the US.

Call 651-407-6100 to speak to a service program expert!