Covid-19 Plans: Santiago

Note: Subject to changes/modifications in accordance with local regulations and best practices.

Center Cleaning/Sanitation/PPE

Program office:

  • Hand sanitizer located at the entrance of the office.
  • The office will be aired and surfaces disinfected several times throughout the day and after each student visit.
  • Meetings will be held outside when possible.
  • Although students are required to have their own masks, stock of disposable masks will be kept at the office, in case a student needs one.
  • Chilean universities are still in the process of re-opening and will establish Covid protocols of their own. These will be communicated to students as well.

Social Distancing

Program office:

  • Students must enter the office one at-a-time and meetings will be held outside whenever possible.
  • Students will not be allowed to enter/use the staff kitchen or other common spaces at the office.
  • Virtual forms of communication will be prioritized over in-person interaction: emails, Zoom meetings, etc.
  • The program will have 12 students per classroom in order to maintain physical distance (normal capacity is 40).
  • Chartered buses with capacity for additional spacing will be prioritized for group outings.

Instructions for students:

  • Always wear masks in public spaces, indoors, and outdoors.
  • Maintain a permanent social distance of 6 feet/2 meters.
  • Try to wear clothes with different pockets to separate items easily.
  • Prioritize eating lunch in open, outdoor spaces on campus.

Field Trips

  • During group trips to San Pedro de Atacama and Patagonia, students will have individual bedrooms and bathrooms and all measures of sanitation and social distancing stated in this document will be maintained.

Policies Regarding Student Behavior

  • Students must adhere to initial quarantine rules by staying at a hostel until the result of the PCR test is available. If a student tests positive, they must remain at the hostel for a 14-day self-isolation period.
  • Students will be required to comply with all guidelines regarding social distancing, mask use, and cleaning and disinfecting.
  • No trips outside the country will be allowed.
  • During personal travel within the country, students will be strongly advised to maintain all Covid health and safety guidelines.
  • Students will be advised to carry and use hand sanitizer when using public transportation.
  • If a student wants to avoid the use of public transportation, recommendations regarding the use of bicycles around the city will be provided during our on-site orientation.


Instructions for students in host homes:

  • Take off shoes at the entrance of the host home and wear slippers instead of shoes inside the house.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly (30 sec.) as soon as you enter your host home and several times during the day.
  • Open windows and air the bedroom each morning, for at least 20 minutes.
  • Use cleaning supplies provided by the host to keep all room surfaces clean.
  • Vacuum and/or mop the floor at least once a day.
  • Remove garbage from your room on a daily basis.

Instructions for host families:

  • Frequently clean and disinfect floors, surfaces, and doorknobs.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect all kitchen supplies.
  • Open windows and air the home for at least 20 minutes each day.
  • Provide a private bedroom and bathroom for students.
  • Wash students’ clothes separately.
  • Increase the frequency of laundry for students.
  • Provide cleaning supplies for students. Students will receive a cleaning supply kit upon arrival and families will receive an extra amount of US $15 per month to cover the expense of these supplies.
  • Maintain a permanent distance of 2 meters from the student.
  • Have meals in locations where the 2 meters social distance can be maintained.
  • Provide a private bedroom and a private bathroom for students.


  • Students will travel with a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours before arrival, as part of Chile’s entrance requirements.
  • Students will be tested again once they arrive in Santiago. Test results will be available 48 hours after administration of the test. Upon receipt of a negative result, students may move into their host family residence.

Medical Care

  • Students will be registered at the International Patient Services Office at Clinica Alemana (a recommended hospital in Santiago) to accelerate possible insurance paperwork in case of a medical emergency or procedure.
  • I-SOS students’ information will be delivered to Clinica Alemana prior to arrival in Santiago, in order to accelerate possible insurance paperwork in case of a medical emergency or procedure.
  • If medical assistance is required, students should follow the normal procedure indicated by I-SOS.
  • Santiago Center staff and the student’s host family will provide support and guidance during any medical situation.


Upon arrival:

  • Chile requires travelers to enter the country and quarantine until they can demonstrate a negative PCR test result. Upon arrival, students will be housed in a residence with individual rooms and the group will be tested that same day. Once results are in (24 to 48 hours later), students with negative tests will be free to end their isolation and be moved to their Chilean host homes.
  • Anyone with a positive result will remain in the hostel for 14 days.

During the semester:

  • During the semester, if a student needs to complete a preventive 14-day quarantine, it will be made at their host home.
  • If a student or a family member contracts Covid, the student will be removed from their host home. Isolation will be at a secondary housing, where the student could have the necessary conditions for isolation during quarantine, if hospitalization is not required.

On-Site Testing

  • A member of each host family will be tested within 72 hours after students’ arrival at their host homes.
  • Students will be tested at the following times during the semester:
    • Immediately upon arrival.
    • After returning from program group trips.
    • In March, after classes have started.
    • In May, when winter begins.
    • Before departure.
    • If evident signs of Covid appear such as fever and difficulty breathing.
    • If some of the symptoms of Covid appear, such as:
      • Cough
      • Strong fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • Loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea

Contact Tracing

  • If a student is infected, all close contacts should be in preventive quarantine (a close contact would be defined as someone who came within less than 6 feet/2 meters from the person for more than 15 minutes).

Revised Health, Safety, and Other Policies

  • All medical situations will be handled at Clinica Alemana, with pre-registration through the clinic’s International Patient Services Office.
  • A stock of disposable masks, alcohol for surface cleaning, and hand sanitizer will be available during program trips and activities.