COVID 19 PROTOCOL AND CONDITIONS FOR 2021
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- A. PURPOSE OF DOCUMENT
This document has been prepared for the benefit of agent partners of Our Courses Limited to additional protocols terms and conditions under which we accept student bookings by them for our English Language Programme(s). It should be read in conjunction with our PARTNER AGENT TERMS AND CONDITIONS 2021 document.
- B. WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO BEFORE YOUR ARRIVAL IN IRELAND?
Firstly, we strongly advise all our agent partners to refer to the latest regulations produced by the Irish Government. The web address is: gov.ie – Travelling to Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic (www.gov.ie) . At the present time the regulations include:
1. Passenger Locator Form:
All passengers must complete the Irish Government a Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form – see https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/ab900-covid-19-passenger-locator-form/. We recommend that this be coordinated by our representative Agent Partner to ensure all their booked leaders and students complete the online form. This will support a trouble-free entry into Ireland from an Immigration Services perspective.
2. Covid 19 Pre-Arrival Testing:
All passengers arriving in Ireland must have written evidence that the got a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their arrival into Ireland. Agent partners, their leaders and students will be required to produce this written evidence to Immigration Officers on arrival at Dublin Airport. Failure to have this evidence is an offence and may be subject to prosecution, punishable by a fine not exceeding €2,500 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.
3. Quarantine Upon Arrival in Ireland:
A legal requirement to quarantine has been introduced for all agent partners, leaders and students with very limited exceptions. This Irish Government states that a 14-day quarantine period must be undertaken by our agent partners, leaders and students at their host family address which they will have specified on the Passenger Locator Form which they completed online prior to taking their flight. If an agent partner, leader or student does not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory quarantine they are committing an offence and can be fined up to €2,500 or get a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both.
Agent partners, leaders and students may only leave their host family’s house during the quarantine period for unavoidable reasons of an emergency nature to protect their health or welfare, or to leave the country. Presently, the regulations state that you may leave your host family’s house to take a PCR test no less than 5 days after your arrival. Your period of quarantine can end if you receive written confirmation that the result of your PCR test is negative. Agent partners, leaders and students must retain the written confirmation of test results for at least 14 days. We will work with leaders to support test results storage. If your journey to Ireland began in South Africa or Brazil, you must complete the full 14 days of quarantine regardless of whether you have a negative test result.
In practical terms, the Our Courses directors will work with our agent partners to organise a PCR test 5 days after the arrival of all agent partners, leaders and students into Ireland. We are hopeful that the Irish Government will relax this COVID 19 PROTOCOL AND CONDITIONS FOR 2021
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regulation for EU nationals travelling here prior to our 2021 Summer Programme as the current EU wide vaccination programme is put in place. We are also hopeful that the Irish Government will approve a €20 antigen test, in place of the full PCR test, costing €120 per person, prior to our Summer 2021 Programme commencing.
All costs relating to meeting Government test regulations will be paid by the leader or student in advance of their arrival in Ireland. We will update our agent partners on regulatory changes as they arise.
- C. WHAT IS THE ARRIVAL PROTOCOL ON FIRST DAY OF ARRIVAL?
All agent partners, leaders and students upon arrival in Carlow will receive an Our Courses arrival pack containing all the necessary information on their programme including our Covid-19 protocols and regulations. Dependent on quarantine regulations on the arrival date, they will then be brought to their host family home and enter the quarantine period.
After completion of the quarantine period, and assuming they are Covid-19 free, they may then join the full summer programme in our school. Students while in quarantine will receive online tuition. They should bring their IPad, IPhone, Android phone or laptop to Ireland with them online tuition access purposes.
Our Team will guide all new arrivals clearly and safely through the necessary steps required to optimise student and leader safety during their stay in Ireland. Full school layout and staff I.D information is also provided.
During our Introductory Presentation on the day of arrival at school, students and leaders will be assisted in the completion of a Covid-19 health check form. They will also be provided with the required Covid-19 protocol relating to their programme.
- D. HOW WILL OUR COURSES MANAGE COVID-19 PROTOCOL IN CLASS?
The Our Courses management team minimize the number of fellow student’s sharing classrooms in accordance with current Department of Education Covid-19 guidelines. All students will have the required one metre distance in place between themselves and their fellow class students. Online courses, if required, will have between 10 and 15 students per level. Day time classes will be 15 hours per week and Evening classes will be 4 hours per week.
When students are in the school building for tuition, breaks and lunch times will be staggered to facilitate Covid-19 compliance. We have adapted and implemented enhanced procedures in the Our Courses school areas.
We are required to introduce COVID-19 safety management systems in the form of enhanced hygiene, cleaning and disinfection, employee training, health checks and physical distancing into the daily routine. The systems will apply to all attending management team members, teachers, agent partners, leaders and students. We have introduced and implemented touchless solutions where possible.
The 2021 enhanced health and safety regime is required to protect everybody in the school environment against the transmission of the Covid-19 virus to, or between, each other. These guidelines have been created with reference to the Irish Government’s Roadmap for Re-opening Society and Business. Our full Re-Opening Policy Document is available on our website www.ourcourses.com COVID 19 PROTOCOL AND CONDITIONS FOR 2021
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- E. WILL OUR COURSES CLASSES BE FACE-TO-FACE?
Our Courses classes will commence on a face-to-face basis will comply with current Department of Education. However, this may change in accordance with Irish Government policy at the programme time. For example, we may be instructed by government mid programme to cease face-to-face teaching and move to an online class environment if instructed to do so for health and safety reasons.
We note that in this case all online student classes will be delivered by teacher who has been allocated to tutor a particular using our state-of-the art online learning systems.
- F. WILL OUR COURSES BE OFFERING ACCOMMODATION?
Yes, Our Courses will provide homestay accommodation for all visiting students on our programmes. Our host families will be issued with best practice advice and guidance for keeping their homes safe from a Covid-19 health and safety perspective.
We will share regular government updates on social distancing and latest regulations with our host families through their online hosting app. During the Covid-19 risk period of 2021, we will not use the accommodation services of any host families who are categorised as being within a high-risk group. We will ensure that relevant personal medical information of our students is shared with their host parent(s) in advance of the student’s arrival in Carlow.
- G. CAN STUDENTS SELF ISOLATE IN HOMESTAY ACCOMODATION?
Yes, and guidance on self-isolation when required will be provided to students and their host family if a student, host family member or Our Courses staff member is displaying symptoms of Covid-19. We will also keep our agent partners and our host families fully updated on the latest Irish Government Covid-19 Protocols.
- H. WILL AIRPORT TRANSFERS BE OFFERED?
Yes, Our Courses provide safe airport transfers delivered by our experienced and trusted providers. To avoid taking public transport, we encourage Our Courses students to book this service. Our contractors are already fully trained in best practice as they currently provide transport services to local schools. They are committed to ensure that cleanliness and social distancing measures are in place. They follow the most recent guidelines set out by the Irish Government regarding school transport protocols. Ongoing monitoring of transport vehicles will be carried out by Our Courses directors during our programmes.
- I. MUST AGENT PARTNERS, LEADERS AND STUDENTS WEAR FACE MASKS?
All agent partners, leaders and students attending an Our Courses programmes will be required to wear suitable face masks when present at any of the Our Courses teaching, leisure and social environments. We request that they equip themselves with suitable face coverings before travelling to Ireland.
Current Irish regulations clearly state you must wear a face covering when in taxis, public transport, shops, visits and attractions and any social gathering which takes place outside your host family accommodation. We will advise students of the up-to-date regulations upon their arrival in Carlow and of any changes during their stay. It is mandatory for all students to wear a suitable face mask when in class or on the school premises. We have COVID 19 PROTOCOL AND CONDITIONS FOR 2021
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significant outdoor space in our summer school where students will be permitted to remove the face masks on condition that they still maintaining social distancing.
It is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that face coverings are worn in situations in which social distancing is not possible. For WHO advice on how to use face coverings please refer to: Masks and COVID-19
- J. WHAT CAN STUDENTS DO DURING A SELF-ISOLATION PERIOD?
If the national post-quarantine requirement is still in place when students arrive, they will be able to access their course online while self-isolating. These online classes will be held in conjunction with the face-to-face course curriculum which the student booked. The online group will include fellow students who will be part of their own face-to-face classroom which they will join after the end of their isolation period. The online classes will be conducted by the students allocated teacher.
- K. WHAT COVID-19 PREVENTATIVE MEASURES HAVE OUR COURSES IN PLACE? a. Allocating students and teachers to specific rooms and timetables known as a bubble. If either contract Covid-19 virus then fewer students will have had contact with the infected person.
- b. Staggering class start times and break times so that we minimise contact in bathrooms, entranceways, corridors, and reception.
- c. Providing sanitisation stations to allow students clean their hands regularly.
- d. Anti-bacterial wipes will be available for students to clean their desks and chairs before and after use.
- e. Our facilities have excellent ventilation and will be cleaned regularly.
- f. Adhering to social distancing measures within the classroom in line with the guidance of the Irish government. This is currently 1 metre.
- g. Limiting the access to social areas including IT suites, canteen and student lounge.
- h. Cancellation of large group gatherings such as dances and cinema trips which our students enjoyed in previous years.
- i. Limiting numbers of students travelling on buses to Department of Education Coviid-19 recommended levels.
A comprehensive Covid-19 risk assessment has been carried out by the Our Courses directors based on current government guidance and regulations. Key measures in place include:
- L. WILL STAFF BE TESTED?
Our Courses staff, homestay providers leaders and visiting agent partners must adhere to Our Courses protocols. This will include government best practice at the programme time testing. We are hopeful that antigen tests will be adequate in this instance.
- M. WHAT HAPPENS IF A STUDENTS CONTRACTS THE VIRUS?
Our Courses have taken every precaution to ensure that a suspected isolated case, or a class bubble or cluster outbreak of the Covid-19 virus will be carefully monitored and managed using best practice safety measures. Staff, agent partners, leaders or students may present with symptoms of the virus, may contract it, or may infect others at the school or in their host family environment. An isolation room is set up at our school premises to manage suspect cases. Proper training on the protocol will be provided to all. COVID 19 PROTOCOL AND CONDITIONS FOR 2021
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For example, if any person presents with Covid-19 symptoms while they are on the school premises, and/or they find out they have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and/or display Covid-19 symptoms, they must:
- a. Immediately stay at least 2 metres away from others,
- b. go to the well-ventilated isolation room,
- c. avoid touching anything,
- d. cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or if they do not have tissues, cough and sneeze into the crook of their elbow,
- e. A senior member of our team will then organise quarantine and medical supervision as appropriate.
An Our Courses director will have responsibility on each programme to optimise the adherence to best practice monitoring and medical protocols by agent partners, leaders, students and staff.
Students must not come to the school and should remain in their host home if they find out they have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and/or display Covid-19 symptoms.
A person who suspects that they may have contracted Covid-19 must inform the host family parent member and their leader (if a student) of their condition. They must also inform our management team using the school’s emergency phone number.
National guidelines on Covid-19 from a health perspective can be accessed on the Health Service Executives website: https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/.
- N. WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY FOR A STUDENT DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19 WITHIN 21 DAYS OF THEIR DUE ARRIVAL DATE?
If a student is unable to travel to Carlow to attend a programme because they have been diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus we will refund any booking fees paid on their behalf to their agent partner. However, prior to any refund being either requested from us by the agent partner or being granted by us, we will require a written confirmation of the infected person’s diagnosis by a certified medical practitioner (hospital or private doctor).
- O. CAN A LEADER OR STUDENT WHO PREVIOUSLY CONTRACTED COVID-19 BUT HAS OVERCOME THEIR ILLNESS AND PREVIOULSY BEEN QUARRANTINED IN THEIR HOME COUNTRY TRAVEL TO IRELAND?
Any person who had previously contracted Covid-19 and has subsequently been deemed fit to return to school, college or work by their doctor in writing may travel to Carlow on one of the Our Courses programmes. However, the individual must declare the fact that they contracted the illness to us and must provide us with a certificate from a certified medical practitioner (hospital or private doctor) that they are fit to travel.
- P. WHAT HAPPENS IF AN AGENT PARTNER, LEADER OR STUDENT CONTRACTS COVID-19 OR HAS TO EXTEND THEIR STAY DUE TO CONTRACTING COVID-19?
If an agent partner, leader or student contacts Covid-19 or tests positive to a Covid-19 test while in Carlow, they must self-isolate at their host family’s home. If for any reason, a person who has tested positive is deemed to be of a potential high risk to their host family, we reserve the right to transfer the sick person to suitable alternative COVID 19 PROTOCOL AND CONDITIONS FOR 2021
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accommodation. In such instances, we will be strongly guided on a case-by-case basis by the advice of our medical advisers and the Irish Health Service Executive.
An additional charge will apply to compensate the host parents for caring for a sick isolating person in their home on a full 24 hours per day, 7 days per week basis. This charge will need to be paid through the agent partner prior to departure of the person from Ireland. The fees involved in this instance will be €35 per night (subject to change). This fee is also payable for any extra nights after the programme had ended incurred by the person recuperating from their virus. This infected person may have to travel back to the airport in isolation of their group. They will on departure from Carlow have to pay the €120 private Dublin Airport transfer cost. Responsibility for organising or altering pre-booked flight tickets will be between the agent partner and the infected person’s family.
Any fees and charges incurred in treating the person diagnosed with the Covid-19 virus will be the sole responsibility of the family or guardian of that person. This includes all medical charges arising for testing, diagnosis, medication, doctors’ fees and other medical supports and hospitalisation charges incurred in supporting a person who has contracted the Covid-19 virus. For this reason, we again stress that all agent partners, leaders and students travelling to carlow on one of our programmes should have their E111 and adequate medical insurance cover in place.