ArchaeoTek / BioArch Canada is a research center first, museum oriented second, and academic institution third. As such, our focus is the acquisition of skill sets that would give our participants a professional edge in the highly competitive current job market, both in Academia and in the private sector. Consequently, we fully understand the paramount importance of hands-on experience and the potential catastrophic consequences of missing one year, potentially two, in acquiring those professional skills.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caught us - and the entire world - unprepared. The situation has changed, as we have learned how to manage the disease and mitigate the associated risks, as well as how to stay safe and avoid infection.  As a result, the 2021 projects will take place next summer in Romania, regardless of the Coronavirus situation, making sure our participants will have the opportunity to grow they professional skills.

Our work in Romania is qualified as high-end research, according to the European Union (and Romania) rules and regulations. As a result, we are deemed essential workers. Consequently, general travel restrictions apply differently to us, allowing us access across borders that are otherwise closed. Because of it, we are also held to higher standards of behavior and responsibility.

For the 2021 season, we are taking several prophylactic measures that will minimize the risks of infection, while enhancing the safety of our participants, our staff and our hosts, during our projects. The measures considered will be modified and adapted as more scientific information regarding COVID-19 becomes available. On top of the laws, rules and regulations of our host country, which we will enforce at all times, we will implement several or all of the following:

  • Participants are personally required and responsible to fulfill all travel and arrival requirements set by airlines and host country, including (but not limited to) proof of being COVID-19 negative when boarding the plane, COVID-19 testing on arrival or if presenting any symptoms, quarantine, health insurance covering COVID-19, etc., and organize their own travels accordingly.

  • All participants are required to land in Henri Coanda International Airport, in Otopeni, Bucharest, for mandatory pick up. Participants are not to enter the city of Bucharest on arrival (they can visit the city when leaving Romania, if they so wish it). We will pick up all participants at the appointed time and drive them to our project base.

  • If a 14-day quarantine is required prior to the beginning of the program, participants need to make the appropriate arrangements. We can arrange a two week quarantine in Romania, at our base in Odorheiu. The cost is an additional US$650. It includes advance pick up at the airport in Bucharest at the appointed time, full room and board for the 14 days.

  • In order for our participants to explore and enjoy the beauty and magic of Transylvania, while limiting exposure and potential of infection, we are organizing four day-trips to the most iconic sites within our region, during the first two weekends of the program. For the 2021 season, the field trips are mandatory. During the third weekend of the program, participants are free to do as they please, provided they continue to follow all the prophylactic measures set in place.

  • Unless otherwise specified, indoor access to bars and restaurants is not allowed.

  • Strict curfew will be enforced.

  • Appropriate hand washing is required when entering any indoor space.

  • All participants are required to carry with them a bottle of disinfectant and paper towels (or other adequate medium) to wipe clean their work space (lab, lecture room, etc.), as well as their immediate environment on the bus.

  • Unless otherwise specified, masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces, including our labs.

  • Face shields are mandatory in all outdoor spaces, including the excavation.

  • Specific protocols will be implemented for serving meals.

  • Both mask and face shield are required on the bus at all times.

  • Social distancing is required when possible.

  • Any other prophylactic measures required by the staff.

  • In case a member of the team becomes sick with COVID-19, he/she will be isolated immediately and all measures required by law will be strictly enforced. The participant testing positive for COVID-19 is responsible for the costs of quarantine, medical treatment, and/or repatriation. No refund is available in this context.

  • Because of the ineffectual, unsuccessful, incoherent and highly political response from the US government to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel advisories issued by any US institutions, government or otherwise, will be taken into account only for their informative content and will not be considered as a valid condition for cancellation.

  • ArchaeoTek / BioArch Canada is an independent, Canadian institution of research and learning. It is in that capacity that we will take all necessary measures to make sure the field and laboratory projects we offer will take place, in an appropriate environment.

  • Any participant who fails to follow any of the prophylactic measures of the project, or any of the laws and regulations of our host country, places in danger the lives of both our team members and our hosts. This behavior will result in immediate dismissal from the project and eviction from project facilities, without compensation.





Some good and potentially useful advice to get the vaccine in time to travel:




As we are approaching the summer, it appears that there is some light at the end of the... trowel!!!


The new recommendations from the European Council to lift international travel restrictions are official ( ) and, if the trend continues, both Canada and the US will meet those standards by the end of May (maybe sooner as the vaccination campaign progresses).


Furthermore, Dr. Fauci has indicated that all Americans who want the Covid-19 vaccine will have access to it by April ( ). If that is the case, both June and July participants could get vaccinated in time for the summer sessions. I strongly recommend you find out what is the procedure in your state and place yourself on the vaccine list as soon as possible.


Although Canada is significantly behind in the vaccination game, it will pick up the pace within the next month or so. It looks like it might be available for participants for the June session. However, it is almost certain participants to the July session will have access to it.


At the present time, a negative PCR test taken 72-48h (depending on destination) is required to board any international flight, it also appears more and more that Covid-19 vaccination will become a condition for unrestricted international travel ( ). At least one airline has made vaccination mandatory to access their planes - I suspect more will follow. Although it seems that coming from a country with a very low infection rate and having a negative PCR test might be enough for the EU in general, there would be additional restrictions on arrival for specific destinations for individuals who are not vaccinated.