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COVID-19

Posted 09/03/2020
ihbelfast

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In light of the ongoing situation regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we have written the following statement.  This is an evolving situation and we will adapt our procedures as the needs arise:

International House Belfast is following advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), The UK Ministry of Health (MOH), the National Health Service (NHS) and the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency (PHA).  Our advice to clients at this moment is to continue with their travel plans, keeping up-to-date and following the recommendations of the official health authorities.

We strongly advise all of our students to purchase travel insurance prior to travelling.  As the UK and Ireland are considered low-risk areas, our insurance provider’s policies are continuing to be honoured as normal. We recommend Guard.Me for all insurance needs. If any of our clients are prevented from travelling due to official restrictions imposed by the authorities on departure or in the UK, International House Belfast will change the booking dates free of charge. We do not foresee any classes being cancelled here in Belfast due to the spread of the virus. In the highly unlikely event of Belfast being placed “on lockdown” we have contingency plans in place to ensure classes continue.

Public health authorities should provide travellers with information to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections, via health practitioners, travel health clinics, travel agencies, conveyance operators and at points of entry.

The World Health Organisation WHO’s standard recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses are as follows, which include hand and respiratory hygiene, and safe food practices:

  • Frequently clean hands, using soap and water or alcohol-based (>60%) hand sanitiser;
  • When coughing/sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands; Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough;
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficult breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider
  • When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals; The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

Please download our IHB Coronavirus COVID-19 Policy for further reference.  More information is available on the WHO website.