The rapid spread of COVID-19 around the world has thrown the international travel industry into chaos. A growing number of travelers are opting to stay at home in fear of exposure to the novel coronavirus, which has spread to 79 countries since the end of December, claiming more than 3,000 lives and infecting more than 100,000 people worldwide.
Should you cancel or postpone your travel plans?
OMS recommends that elderly travelers and those with underlying health conditions delay or avoid traveling to areas that are experiencing ongoing transmission of COVID-19. This is because the disease, although mild in about 80% of cases, can be fatal for people over the age of 65 or with chronic illnesses. The list of countries experiencing local transmissions is updated daily by the WHO. In Asia, it currently includes China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. The European countries on the list are Italy, France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Greece and Romania. Three Middle Eastern countries are listed: Iran, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. In the Americas, the United States, Canada and Ecuador have reported transmission of COVID-19 infections. Only one African country is on the list: Algeria. Australia in the Oceania region is also on the list. For example, the UK Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel to mainland China, two cities in South Korea and the 11 cities in northern Italy that have been placed under lockdown. US travel tips are more extensive, with travelers said to avoid all of mainland China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran unless absolutely necessary.
Be prepared to quarantine
These days, all of us are at risk of being quarantined for at least 10-14 days, but the chances of it happening to you are likely to increase as you cross state lines, run COVID-19 tests on your trip and interact with multiple people, among other factors. If you take a COVID-19 test to enter a state or country, or perhaps take one on the third day of your stay as required in some locations, you may end up having to quarantine in a hotel away from home for two weeks if you leave surprise with a positive result. (And, trust us, as there are asymptomatic vectors out there, that’s something that absolutely happens.) Whenever possible, get your COVID-19 tests needed to travel before you travel so you can safely quarantine at home. instead of on the road it turns out positive. Also, make sure you have travel coverage or a backup plan to cover significant unexpected costs if you end up having to cancel your trip at the last minute or spend weeks in quarantine in a hotel at the last minute. And all of this assumes that you don’t really get sick.
You may need to take a COVID-19 test
Travelers are increasingly being asked to take COVID-19 tests before, during and after travel. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it can always log in with quick results, so do advanced research on where to test and how long the results take. Hawaii pre-trip testing requirements are widely known at this point (though details keep changing), but if you’re chasing fresh snow county in Aspen’s Pitkin, you’ll now need to test before arrival or quarantine for 10 days. Increasingly, some hotel resorts, such as the Baha Mar in the Bahamas, now require a short rest on arrival and again on the fifth day of the stay. Checking trial requirements and making appointments can be a significant part of the vacation travel experience, depending on your origin or destination. And don’t be surprised if you have to pay extra money to get timely and accurate results. If you need a reliable COVID-19 test you can get it done by harley medic.