Covid Policies

We have sought independent medical advice about how to operate this year from someone who has been involved in Covid response at a high level. Our Covid policies below reflect this advice.

What is the situation in the UK?

Thanks to widespread early vaccination and booster rollout, combined with natural immunity, over 99% of adults and over 96% of teenagers in the UK are now estimated to have Covid antibodies.

Combined with better treaments, Covid-19 now has a lower infection fatality rate than influenza across all age groups in the UK, and excess mortality is lower than normal.

This has allowed the British government to remove all restrictions. Life in the UK is largely back to normal. There are recommendations but no mandates and people are free to make personal choices about the safety precautions they would like to take.

How will the Cambridge Scholars' Programme be operating this summer?

We think it is incredibly important for teenagers to be able to socialise together, to learn in person, and to have memorable experiences.

We will be following the requirements of the British government at the time. You can read the British government's guidelines for living with coronavirus here: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The main recommendations of the British government are as follows:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Let fresh air in if meeting indoors, or meet outside
  • Consider wearing a face covering in crowded, enclosed spaces

Please be aware that social distancing will not be possible between programme participants as there are various times when there won't be enough space, e.g. in classrooms, on our private transport for trips, and at meals.

Due to people's greater confidence from vaccines and natural immunity, and masks now being optional, mask wearing indoors is increasingly rare and nonexistent outdoors.

Since mask wearing is quite low in the UK, if you want to wear a mask at any point to protect yourself you may consider wearing a more effective mask. N95 / FFP2 masks are more effective than surgical masks which are more effective than cloth masks.

We ask that everyone respect each other's personal choices about what safety precautions they would like to take, if any.

How will classes run?

We plan for classes to be live and in person. The British government does not expect face masks to be worn in educational settings, but you may do so if you wish.

How will trips run?

The historic landmarks that we visit are reducing capacity to allow for greater social distancing between different groups of visitors.

They request that visitors socially distance from other groups wherever possible and that people with symptoms of Covid-19 do not visit. They currently recommend that visitors wear face masks while indoors.

Will the Paris trip run?

Yes. We will follow any requirements of the French government at the time.

Currently, to enter France from the UK, visitors must either:

  • Be double vaccinated (if aged 13-17)
  • Be double vaccinated and, if more than nine months have passed since your second dose, also boosted (if aged 18+)
  • Have proof of recovery from Covid within six months of entry
  • Test negative for Covid with a PCR test within 72 hours of entry or a rapid antigen test within 48 hours of entry
If you are unwell during the programme

If you feel unwell then you are encouraged to rest in your bedroom until feeling better. We will help anyone who feels unwell to get food and drink and we can use Zoom to let students join their classes from their bedroom if required.

Vaccination

Vaccination is recommended by health authorities in Britain and all over the world. Vaccination reduces the likelihood of catching Covid and is effective at preventing severe disease. There is no vaccine mandate in the UK but over 90% of the population aged 12 and over has been vaccinated.

An overwhelming majority of our participants are vaccinated and / or have natural immunity.

Possible disruption

We will do our best to run as described on this website. However, the programme relies on numerous people and suppliers, and there is a risk that we may need to make changes at short notice due to disruption from Covid.

Refunds

As there is ongoing risk of travel restrictions, we will ask for a small $100 deposit to secure your place in April. This will be fully refundable if we later need to cancel.

The rest of the tuition will be due by early June as we will then need to make payments for this summer to go ahead.

If we later need to cancel due to travel restrictions or anything else, we will refund all money that we have not yet spent. The tourism industry has been badly affected by the pandemic and travel restrictions, and so we are unable to cover the non-refundable essential costs (credit card processing fees, deposits to secure various bookings, etc) if we need to cancel. We will seek to delay payments as late as possible, so this refund is expected to be about 90% of the tuition in June and then about 80% of the tuition up until the programme starts. No staff will be paid unless the programme goes ahead.

If the programme goes ahead and you need to drop out at short notice, we will still incur all of the costs for your place so sadly will be unable to provide a refund. Please ensure you have suitable travel insurance that will cover you just in case.

Supervision if you are unable to fly home

The UK no longer requires a Covid test before arrival. However, many countries require you to take a Covid test before flying home. We have arranged for time towards the end of the programme for you to take a test if required, including within one day of your flight.

If you test positive and are unable to fly home as scheduled, then we will provide supervision until you are able to fly home. Please note that your family will need to fund these additional costs.

For the one week programme this is estimated at $150 a night as staff will be already be available for the two week programme. For the two week programme or Paris, for which we will need to book additional staff accommodation and time, this is estimated at $300 per night - less if there are multiple students who will share the cost of staff accommodation and time.

If any students are unable to fly home from Paris we will return to Cambridge to isolate as it is much easier for us to manage staffing at short notice for an unknown length of time in Cambridge (and the UK has no Covid tests on entry)- students would then need to fly home from a London airport.

It would be strongly recommended to get travel insurance that will cover any additional costs if you are unable to fly home as planned.

Liability

While we hope that everyone remains safe and healthy throughout the programme, spending time with other people carries a risk of catching infectious diseases such as Covid.

You are able to take measures to reduce your risk of catching Covid (by wearing a well-fitted N95 mask) and reduce your risk of getting severe disease (by being vaccinated).

By attending, you accept that there is a risk of catching Covid, and the Cambridge Scholars' Programme is not liable if you do happen to catch Covid while attending.