Travel Alerts and COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQ
This page is to help keep you informed of how we are handling the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation with regards to our chapters, the Tribe community, and the global situation at large.
We know that the recent increase in travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19 is concerning to you as Tribe members, travelers, and global citizens, and we are grateful for the outpouring of support and patience that our Tribe members have shared with us over the past few weeks. Your continuing support, flexibility, and non-panicked responses have reinforced that this Tribe is comprised of incredible people who have the community’s best interests at heart, and we’re thrilled to see the camaraderie that Tribers have shown to each other in navigating the challenges of the virus.
We are working tirelessly to stay updated on health and travel-related developments, and have compiled the below FAQ to help you understand our approach to the coronavirus situation with regards to our chapters and community.
Please keep in mind that while we will endeavour to keep the below information up to date as best we can, we are not public health professionals, and you should continue to monitor government and public health websites and the policies of relevant service providers to ensure you are fully informed with the latest information. The below may change at any time, so please check back regularly for updates as necessary.
Chapter Travel Alert Updates:
Japan (March 20-April 17) - rescheduled (dates TBD)
Buenos Aires (March 20-April 17) - rescheduled (end of 2019)
Lima (March 20-April 17) - rescheduled (dates TBD)
All April 24-May 22 chapters - rescheduled (dates TBD)
South Korea (May 29 - June 26) - rescheduled (dates TBD)
All May 29-June 26 chapters - rescheduled (dates TBD)
All July 3-Jul 31 chapters - rescheduled (dates TBD)
All August 7-September 4 chapters - cancelled
What is WiFi Tribe’s approach to health and safety during the COVID-19 outbreak? Are you cancelling chapters?
Your health and safety are our #1 priority, and we will continue doing everything we can to provide safe environments for you. As noted above, we have already rescheduled/cancelled numerous chapters due to anticipated health concerns and travel restrictions, and will continue to modify any of our chapters as necessary. Our first commitment will always be to the safety and well-being of our members and community.
We also understand that WiFi Tribe chapters are the primary housing plan for many of our members, and we will endeavour to continue providing our services wherever safe and communicating as quickly as we can. We are also looking into extending some chapters in lower-risk destinations for 2-3 month periods to minimize month-to-month travel during this time.
In order to make the best possible decisions about our upcoming chapters, we have been consulting the guidance of the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Travel Advisory, Center For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), and local government advisories. If public health concerns or travel restrictions necessitate the cancellation of a chapter, we will reschedule the chapter and inform you as quickly as possible. Where possible, we will aim to offer you alternative solutions in lower-risk areas nearby.
We continue to closely monitor the situations in all upcoming destinations and will respond accordingly to any new developments. We will communicate any relevant developments or rescheduled chapters to you primarily via email and possibly slack; if you do not receive an email from us, you can rest comfortably assured that your chapter is still on the calendar.
What are my options if my chapter gets rescheduled or if I need to cancel due to COVID-19?
We are committed to rescheduling chapters in higher-risk locations per the guidance of the above public health sources, but are aiming to continue with as many lower-risk chapters as possible to continue providing planned accommodation for fully nomadic members that are relying on WiFi Tribe accommodation for upcoming months.
However, we are aware that the uncertainty in the current travel climate can make it stressful for Tribe members who are booked onto upcoming chapters. If you’ve paid in full for a chapter which is being rescheduled or you’re unable to attend due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we have two options to give both sides more flexibility in these uncertain times:
- Full credit: We will credit the full payment you've made towards any other future chapter. Additionally, due to the nature of the situation, we are adding extra flexibility by extending your chapter plan by 6 months. This will compensate for the lost time over the next couple of months as we take a travel pause along with the rest of the world.
- Partial refund: Alternatively, you may request a 30% refund of your total chapter fee, in which case your $300 deposit will also be released so that you can apply it again for a future chapter. (Deposits will not be refunded, but released for future use.)
Which chapters qualify for this custom cancellation policy?
We've introduced this custom cancellation policy to provide additional flexibility to our members in these uncertain times. As of right now, it will only apply for chapters starting Mar 20 or Apr 24. Any subsequent chapters will default back to our regular refund timing terms and conditions, which are HERE for reference.
What happens if someone on my chapter gets sick with COVID-19?
Like other non-medical companies and travel services, we will follow the guidance of public health experts and local medical professionals to ensure sick members receive necessary and available healthcare while minimizing the risk of exposure of other members to the virus. In mild cases, we would follow the recommendations of the CDC, which dictate that the member would be quarantined for recovery in a location isolated from the group. Additional measures will be taken according to the prevailing suggestions of public health experts.
How can I help reduce the risk of exposure?
All members should help protect the Tribe and local community by exercising extra vigilance and pro-activity and taking responsibility for personal health. If you experience cold or flu-like symptoms, you should seek medical advice (whether while traveling or on the ground), keep your chapter host informed, wear a mask preventatively to be considerate of others, and help contain the spread of germs by washing hands frequently and disinfecting surfaces you’ve touched. Members should also limit the sharing of food and drinks to reduce the risk of exposure.
What will happen if my group gets locked-in due to a city-wide quarantine while we are there?
Because of our conservative approach to proceeding only with lower-risk chapters, we are hopeful that we will not face a city-wide quarantine situation. If we do, we will address it on a case-by-case basis, as our response will depend on contextual factors, including government instructions and the situation on the ground. We recommend you consult your country’s embassy or consulate for more information on how to proceed in such a case. U.S. citizens are highly encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (STEP), which will help the U.S. embassy contact you and provide assistance during an emergency overseas.
What preventive measures can I take during travelling to protect the Tribe and local communities?
As stated above, preventative health care practices are of the utmost importance to ensure the Tribe and local/global communities stay healthy. Follow the WHO’s guidance, including washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact with others. We recommend avoiding large public gatherings (many of which are cancelled during this time anyway) and always avoiding contact with anyone displaying cold or flu-like symptoms. See the WHO suggestions for further tips on avoiding the virus.
If you do experience cold or flu-like symptoms at home or while on chapter, seek medical advice, and help contain the spread of germs by washing hands frequently and disinfecting surfaces you’ve touched.
If you'd like to discuss anything further with us, you can email us at email@example.com and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.