COVID-19 policy


Smokinya Foundation COVID-19 policy


Dear future Participants!

Below you can read our COVID policy:
– the plan that we have for different situations that might come up while participanting in a project in Bulgaria.

Given the situation that we are having nowadays we need to consider several scenarios, however, as the world is opening up again, a bit of extra consideration and organisation should not stop us from meeting personally and participating safely in international projects.

Please, keep in mind that you need to be committed to invest extra time and efforts to arrange your safe travel to the venue of the project and back home. Smokinya Foundation as the hosting organisation, and your local sending organisations will give all the support that is possible, but without your commitment and actions your participation will not happen.

Before arrival to the venue of the training (in Bulgaria) you are obliged to follow the health and safety regulations about traveling and testing for Covid-19 on your own expenses. Smokinya Foundation might ask the participants to take extra tests during the activity. Αt the end of the activity the host organization is going to provide the possibility for testing for those who need them to travel back to their countries. This test must be arranged on the costs of the participant.

Here are a few possible scenarios that we drafted:

Anyhow, please note that these are just some of the possible scenarios and measures will be adjusted to the very situation. Additionally, please note that the National Agency will have the final word on financial matters after they evaluate each possible case individually (which can take more time than the usual travel reimbursement procedure).

Arrival to the training
Only participants who show no Covid-19 symptoms and have not been in contact with infected persons in the last 14 days can participate in the project. You will need to confirm this at arrival. If someone develops symptoms while we are there, they will need to stop participating in the training and stay isolated in a designated place. Please make sure you have appropriate health insurance coverage in case you need medical support.

The project gets canceled
If the project gets canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, then the participant is required to cancel their flight (bus, train) and must ask for a possible monetary refund or voucher. If the participant receives a confirmation from the travel providers that they are not eligible for any refund (not even voucher), then Smokinya Foundation cannot guarantee to reimburse the tickets. If the participant is eligible for only some amount of refund (e.g. decreased by cancellation fee, etc.), Smokinya Foundation will consult the NA for possible solutions for each specific case, and Smokinya Foundation cannot guarantee up front to reimburse any remaining amounts.

The project will be cancelled if:
● The government of Bulgaria raises the level of restrictions based on weekly positive cases per capita in Bulgaria;
● More than half participating countries declare travel restrictions that will make the participation impossible, or extremely complicated, difficult and costly;
● The majority of the facilitators and project team members from Smokinya Foundation are not able to participate in the project due to Covid-19.

The flight/ bus/ train is canceled due to national travel restrictions
If the participant’s home country declares e.g. a state of emergency and closes the borders, the tickets will get automatically cancelled or the participant is required by law to cancel them on their own. In this case, the participant is entitled to a full refund for their ticket by the airlines (bus, train). Smokinya Foundation and its staff will not assist with claiming such refunds and it will be up to the participant to communicate with the airlines. The right to travel reimbursement by ESC cannot be applied.

The participant is infected by Covid-19 and cannot travel to the project
The reimbursement of the flight ticket is not guaranteed by Smokinya Foundation. If the tickets are already purchased, then the participant has to communicate with the airline on their own and ask for a possible refund resulting from flight cancellation.
Special case (not guaranteed): If Smokinya Foundation manages to find a new participant, who does not require to have their travel reimbursed (e.g. coming from neighboring country), Smokinya Foundation can consult the Bulgarian National agency for solutions. In this special case, Smokinya Foundation must be provided with an official document, stating that the participant has positively been tested for Covid-19 and also a confirmation from the airlines, that no refund is possible. Both of these documents have to be presented in English. Translation fees
will not be reimbursed.

The participant is in forced home (state) quarantine and cannot travel to the project
The reimbursement of the flight ticket is not guaranteed by Smokinya Foundation. If the tickets are already purchased, then the participant has to communicate with the airline on their own and ask for a possible refund resulting from flight cancellation.
Special case (not guaranteed): If Smokinya Foundation manages to find a new participant, who does not require to have their travel reimbursed (e.g. coming from neighboring country), Smokinya Foundation can consult the Bulgarian National agency for solutions. In this special case, Smokinya Foundation must be provided with an official document, stating that the participant has positively been tested for Covid-19 and also a confirmation from the airlines, that no refund is possible. Both of these documents have to be presented in English. Translation fees
will not be reimbursed.

The participant has to get tested for Covid-19 during the project
If the participant wishes to get tested for Covid-19 without having explicit symptoms, the participant shall have to pay for this medical test on their own. The average price in Bulgaria is approximately 30-80 Euros depending on the type of test. The EHIC card does not cover this medical test. It is up to the participant to try to find a travel insurance package that would cover this Covid-19 test.
If the participant shows relevant symptoms of Covid-19, a local Health authority will be contacted. If they recommend taking action (e.g. hospital transport where Covid-19 test will be performed), then the Covid-19 test should be for free using the EHIC card.

The participant is positively tested for Covid-19 during the project
If the participant gets infected by Covid-19 during the project (proved by a medical test), then the participant shall be transferred in a safe isolated room, either in the project venue or outside of it or get hospitalized in Bulgaria. The required travel medical insurance is supposed to cover repatriation, in case it won’t be possible for the participant to return home via plane/bus/train. Smokinya Foundation reimburses only the originally planned flight, the rest will be upon discussion.

At Smokinya Foundation premises
A mask or social distancing is required while we are inside eg. kitchen or when we are too close to a person (less than 1,5 metre). We expect everyone to be mindful of other people’s boundaries and respect everyone’s needs around this, and of course good personal hygiene is required. Smokinya Foundation and the accommodation that we are going to use will follow all the rules that are in place from the Bulgarian legislation concerning Covid-19 and the health suggestions of the health authorities.
This arrangement may not work for people who don’t want to follow many rules, so make sure that you are comfortable with these conditions before you confirm your participation.

Purchase of protective equipment
Smokinya Foundation will prepare basic protective equipment, disinfectants, face masks, thermometer. Every participant is also required to bring their own face masks in a sufficient amount. If there is a need for using the special mask (FFP2 or FFP3 masks), the participants have to cover this cost on their own.

In all scenarios, we kindly ask you to follow and respect the rules and recommendations declared by the Bulgarian Government and by Smokinya Foundation staff.