Germany’s Federal Foreign Office has revoked its global travel warning with effect from 1 October 2020. As a result, provided compliance with specified strict criteria is ensured, it is now again possible to send volunteers from Germany on assignment to countries that are not subject to a travel warning or restrictive security guidance.
Since the German government’s Covid repatriation operation was launched in March there have been no more international weltwärts assignments. All volunteers who were already abroad had to leave their place of assignment, with some of them able to continue their voluntary service in Germany. It was also not possible for new volunteers to start assignments abroad.
Germany’s Federal Foreign Office has revoked its global travel warning with effect from 1 October 2020. However, infection rates continue to rise in many weltwärts partner countries and it is impossible to say how the situation will develop. What does this mean for the weltwärts volunteer service? Many weltwärts countries are still subject to travel warnings or very restrictive travel and security guidance. These countries are, of course, still not possible as volunteer destinations.
Nonetheless, weltwärts assignments are starting up again and are to be possible from November 2020 in countries that are not subject to a travel warning. Needless to say, strict criteria will apply, relating to such aspects as local access to healthcare, the supply situation, quarantine conditions in the host country and availability of flights. And, of course, the volunteers themselves must not pose a risk of infection.
A detailed checklist with compulsory criteria has been provided to all organisations involved in the weltwärts volunteer service. It is their duty to use the list to conduct a detailed check to determine whether it is justifiable to send volunteers on assignment. It cannot be ensured that the German government will launch a new repatriation operation in response to the pandemic.
If it is not possible to depart for the country of assignment straight away, volunteers will be given the opportunity to do up to six months of their voluntary service in Germany, working in a development-related field.
In addition, in light of the current situation the financial contribution to be paid by civil-society organisations to help implement assignments will be reduced.
The sending organisations are still the primary and best source of information for all prospective volunteers and their families. They also have the responsibility for the international assignments they arrange. All organisations have been supplied with detailed information about the weltwärts programme’s policy and will be happy to answer any questions concerning where and under what conditions volunteers can go on assignment in future.
All places of assignment available on the weltwärts programme can be found using our search function.
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Travel warnings and security guidance on the Federal Foreign Office website
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