Safety and Security - Birthright Israel: Shorashim
COVID-19 FAQs
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FAQ - Safety & Security

Security

  • The Birthright Israel program is approved with the "situation room", administered by the Israeli Ministry of Education, who is in contact with the military & police. They issue specific guidelines as to where it is safe to travel & the best routes to use.
  • Changes in itineraries are made, if necessary, due to weather or security-related concerns.
  • Each group is accompanied by a licensed security escort/trained first aid.
  • Groups travel with cellular phones & a GPS (Global Positioning System) app, so that "situation room" is aware of each group's location.
  • Travel by public transportation is not allowed.
  • All participants have a security orientation upon arrival in Israel, which includes travel safety tips & free time guidelines.
  • A 24-hour emergency number in Israel to use in the event of a family emergency or crisis at home will be sent to participants along with trip itineraries.

 

Medical Issues

  • All participants are responsible for having insurance that covers them while in Israel.
  • Shorashim offers limited, secondary medical insurance from an Israeli HMO while on the ground in Israel, but participants must have or purchase existing medical coverage that provides for coverage in Israel. The insurance provided by Shorashim does not cover pre-existing conditions, follow-up treatment, psychiatric conditions or illness cause by drug/alcohol use or abuse. Participants should contact their local insurance carrier to understand their coverage overseas & to confirm reimbursement policies.
  • Shorashim will not be responsible for any pre-existing conditions or any medical conditions during the trip.
  • Participants should consult with their physician regarding any existing medical conditions.
  • Necessary medication should be brought for the entire trip, along with a copy of the prescription.
  • Participants must indicate all medication currently prescribed, ongoing treatments, & any medical issues that are relevant to a program in your Birthright Israel Application & interview
  • Shorashim may require additional medical forms, including a doctor's note &/or waivers, due to any conditions or medical history.
  • If Shorashim determines that, for any reason, an applicant is not fit to participate in the Birthright Israel program, it is at our total discretion to deny the application.

We ask our participants to abide by common sense travel tips, so that their trip to Israel can be both safe & memorable.

General Travel Tips:

  • Make a copy of your passport & keep it with you.
  • Store your passport & important travel information in a safe place, like a safe in your hotel.
  • Keep cameras inside a secure bag.
  • Travel light as the groups move around a lot & you will be less likely to lose or forget something.
  • Do not leave any packages or bags unattended. 
  • Participants are not allowed to have anyone enter the room besides the assigned roommates
  • Make sure to pack all prescription & over-the-counter medications in your carry-on bag.

Anyone who leaves the group without prior approval will immediately be removed from the program & forfeit his/her deposit.

Please keep in mind that all information below is directly from Birthright Israel (Last update: July 14, 2020)

The safety and well-being of our participants & staff is Birthright Israel's highest priority & foremost concern.

They are in close touch with the Israeli Ministry of Health and have created a special health advisory board to ensure a safe, fun & enjoyable Birthright Israel experience. Under their guidance, Birthright Israel will maintain the highest level of precautions & make adjustments wherever necessary.

Birthright Israel & Shorashim highly recommends applying & saving a spot for winter trips due to limited spots & very high demand. Please keep in mind that your deposit is refundable.

Frequently asked questions are addressed below:

How can Birthright Israel trips operate if all people arriving in Israel need to go into quarantine?

Birthright Israel is in close contact with Israel’s Ministry of Health regarding the COVID-19 virus. All future trips scheduled to depart from November - March are continuing as planned pending the mandatory 14-day quarantine for international travelers be lifted.  Should the quarantine requirement not be lifted, trips will be cancelled & you will be offered the opportunity to change your trip date, carry over your deposit to the next summer or winter season or receive a refund, whichever you prefer.

Will any Birthright Israel trips be affected by the Coronavirus outbreak?

While Israel has opened most of its internal tourism & other services, there is still a 14-day quarantine for all those arriving from abroad. Birthright Israel trips scheduled for May - October have been postponed.  

Will participants be tested for COVID-19 before joining the group?

Trips will not recommence until an effective COVID- 19 test is available to participants and staff prior to flight departure or joining the group in Israel.  Should trips be cancelled, you will be offered the opportunity to change your trip date, carry over your deposit to the next summer or winter season or receive a refund, whichever you prefer.

What if I test positive for COVID-19 prior to joining the group?

If you will test positive for COVID- 19 prior to joining the group, you will not be able to join the trip & will be offered the opportunity to change your trip date, carry over your deposit to the next summer or winter season or receive a refund, whichever you prefer.

What happens if Birthright Israel decides to cancel my trip to Israel due to the Coronavirus?

In the event that your trip is cancelled due to the Coronavirus, you will be offered the opportunity to change your trip date this summer, carry over your deposit to the next winter or summer season or receive a refund, whichever you prefer.

How will my trip be different from a regular trip due to COVID-19?

While Birthright Israel still doesn’t know the specifics about trips scheduled to depart in a few months. they can assure you that the safety and well-being of participants & staff is theirhighest priority and foremost concern.

Birthright Israel is working closely with their special health advisory board & they take all necessary measures to ensure a safe, fun & enjoyable Birthright Israel experience. Under the guidance of this board, Birthright Israel will maintain the highest level of precautions & make adjustments wherever necessary.

It’s likely that many logistical precautions & hygiene rules will be set as standard during the trip in order to maintain a safe environment for all. 

Every aspect of the trip from flights, staff, accommodations, trip itinerary & food will be taken into account and be adjusted on daily basis, if necessary.

What happens if Birthright Israel decides to cancel my trip to Israel due to the Coronavirus?

In the event that your trip is cancelled due to the Coronavirus, you will be offered the opportunity to change your trip date this summer, carry over your deposit to the next winter or summer season or receive a refund, whichever you prefer.

Until when can I decide to change my mind about traveling if my trip is in November– March?

All trips have a 65 days cancellation deadline.  If you change your mind before your scheduled flight cancellation deadline, all you need to do is email your trip organizer & ask for a refund of your deposit or that it be carried over to the next  summer or winter season.

What if I change my mind a few days before the trip and don’t feel it is safe to travel?

If you change your mind after the above deadline has passed (depending on your travel date), & all trips are happening as planned, your deposit will not be refunded.

What if I ordered a domestic flight?

Due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus, you are encouraged to purchase domestics flights with flexible cancellation policies. Birthright Israel & Shorashim will not compensate any domestic flight costs in the event your trip is cancelled.

Can I extend my flight?

Birthright Israel will not be accepting flight extension requests at this point and your trip organizer will contact you once extensions are once again available.

 

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