COVID19 ALERT INFORMATION

Updated: 28 November 2021

The Vipassana Centre has been closely following the requirements to safely run courses under Covid19 Alert Levels One and Two. From the 3rd December 2021, the centre will switch to the red traffic light. The following safety precautions are in place:

Physical distancing is encouraged wherever possible, at both alert levels.

Most meditators will be accommodated in single rooms, and communal areas, such as the meditation hall, dining rooms and bathrooms, will be cleaned regularly.

All meditators must observe the following:

  • Masks are mandatory for all course participants. You will need to provide your own masks and hand wash them as required. Please bring a good supply of masks with you (either disposable or washable), as the Vipassana Centre will not be providing these for everyone. You must ensure proper hygiene practices (such as changing masks when damp, not touching them; and good hand hygiene) to avoid the increased risk of virus transmission associated with poor mask use.

  • There is to be no physical contact between people at any time at the Vipassana Centre, apart from in an emergency, at any Alert Level.

  • Good hand hygiene. Regular thorough handwashing with soap and water. Hand sanitiser will be available in/around all communal areas. Note: if you have sensitive skin or any allergies to this type of product, please bring your own sanitiser.

  • Good cough/sneezing etiquette: coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the crook of the elbow and then performing hand hygiene

  • Any unwell student must report their symptoms immediately to the management, and if these symptoms could be related to Covid19, will be required to leave the centre (see below)

  • All students must provide current and complete contact details on application in case contact tracing is required.

Course Requirements

For now, all course participants must be fully vaccinated. You will be asked to provide evidence of this. It is required that you also have a negative covid19 test in the 72 hours prior to arrival at the centre. Those who have been enrolled in a course before this rule was put in place will be contacted by the registration team to discuss their options.

Along with being vaccinated, it is very important that all people on site at the Vipassana Centre are well. Anyone who has been unwell with any possible signs of Covid19 within the past 14days must not come to Dhamma Medini unless they are symptom-free and have had a negative covid test in the 72 hours prior to arrival at the meditation centre

In addition to being fully vaccinated, anyone who has been in close contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed positive Covid19 case must not come to Dhamma Medini until they have isolated according to the instructions of MOH, have remained well (asymptomatic) throughout this time frame, and have had a negative covid test in the 72 hours prior to arrival at the meditation centre. If the contact was professional and protected with full PPE, please discuss this with the course registrar.

Either of these situations should be notified to the Centre prior to arrival. Vaccination and testing are not necessary for contractors who work outside the course boundary or have contactless jobs to do. If unsure, please contact [email protected]  .

All participants should be in very good general health. Participants over 70 or who have health conditions that would place them at higher risk for complications of Covid19 may be advised to wait until a later time.

During a course, anyone developing respiratory symptoms or other signs of Covid19 is required to inform the Centre management immediately and must leave the course for medical assessment. This is for the safety of the course as a whole and for the wellbeing of the other students.

If an unwell student who has left the course tests positive for Covid19 while the course is running, then all participants may be required to immediately stop the course and self-isolate at their home or another suitable location for 14days. This will be confirmed at the time by Regional Public Health. Self-isolation will NOT be possible at the Vipassana Centre.

It is therefore essential that all participants (students and servers) have the means to leave the Centre independently and self-isolate at short notice without depending on public transport or air travel, as this may not be possible if they are either unwell or deemed a close contact of a Covid19 case.

Transport

Shuttle-bus and ride-share options are expected to be available once courses are able to be held again. However this could change at any time, and all students and servers must still have the means to leave independently and without public transport if they become unwell or need to self-isolate.

For old students:

Vipassana courses around the world are only possible through the efforts of old students, i.e. meditators who have completed at least one 10-day course in this tradition. The Covid19 situation presents unique challenges for Dhamma Medini, as traditionally many of the old students serving on courses have come from overseas. The current border closures are likely to have a significant impact on course server numbers, so any interest from old students to serve rather than sit courses in the coming months is welcomed. Old students who have applied to sit the course may be asked to serve the course at very short notice, including while the course is underway, if needed for the course to go ahead. Priority may be given to those old students willing and eligible to serve initially in order to be confident the course has sufficient servers to go ahead.

**THE COVID19 SITUATION IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND IS CONSTANTLY EVOLVING. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT CHANGES TO COURSE CONDITIONS OR COURSE SCHEDULING (INCLUDING COURSE CANCELLATIONS) MAY BE MADE AT VERY SHORT NOTICE, INCLUDING ONCE A COURSE IS ALREADY UNDERWAY.