Following the rapid global spread of COVID-19, the international travel industry is now into chaos. Most international travelers now opt to stay home for fear of being exposed to the new Coronavirus. COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, was first detected in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019. Since then, the virus has infected over 1.2 million and claimed the lives of over 51,000 people globally. Experts are yet to develop a vaccine, and this has prompted global worries. Governments have closed their bounders and banned entry to or subjected travelers from affected countries to lengthy quarantines. Companies are have also canceled significant conferences, and global sports bodies have postponed their tournaments. Here is a guide on visiting foreign countries during this pandemic.
Canceling or Postponing Travel Plans.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised against total travel restrictions. WHO suggests that restricting movement can interrupt needed aid and technical support during this pandemic. However, evidence shows that limiting movement may be temporarily beneficial. WHO recommends that elderly travelers and those with underlying health conditions can postpone or cancel their travel plans, especially to countries that have ongoing transmission of the Coronavirus. Experts say that this disease is fatal to people who are 65 years or those that have chronic illnesses. WHO has a daily update of countries with local transmissions. Nations have also put in place their travel regulations, but this differs from one country to another. If you want to visit a foreign country, ensure you know the transmission status of that country and follow all travel regulations.
Other Travel Factors.
If you wish to travel to a foreign country, consider the risk factors of your visit. Ensure you understand the healthcare system in the country you are visiting. If you fall sick, you need to know how to access immediate help. You should also remember that local authorities may place you under quarantine upon arrival to that nation. You should also keep in mind that your travel plans may get disrupted as other passengers may opt not to travel. In case you decide to cancel your flight or hotel booking, be ready to bear the cost. Although some companies are currently showing some flexibility, you should be prepared to avoid any surprises.
If you decide to visit a foreign country, WHO has recommended some ways that you could use to reduce the risk of infection. These measures include washing your hands regularly, covering your nose and mouth when coughing, and avoiding close contact with the public. In case you start showing symptoms of illness while you are away, contact any local health provider and provide your travel history. The symptoms include coughing, fever, or difficulties in breathing. Ensure you have and regularly use a hand sanitizer and keep a distance of about two meters from others where possible. Arm yourself with information related to COVID-19 and maintain personal protection while traveling.
Recommendations for International Travel.
Apart from observing personal hygiene and maintaining social distance, travelers returning from foreign nations should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Such travelers should also follow their country’s protocols for receiving visitors. Some countries may even quarantine you upon arrival at the airport. If you are identified at the airport, follow WHO’s advice for the management of travelers at points of entry. WHO has also guided how to treat sick people on board in airplanes. By now, almost every airline has put in place measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among travelers.
Due to unforeseen situations and travel restrictions, it is wise to cancel all non-essential travels to foreign countries. Countries may restrict travel without notice, and this will affect you, especially if you had not planned for such emergencies. Contact your airline or travel company to change or cancel your travel plans. Remember also to contact your insurance provider. Insurance providers take their cue from national foreign travel advice. If you go against them, you risk invalidating your insurance policy. If your travel is essential, your insurance company will still maintain your cover.
Countries continue to increase their surveillance of this pandemic. Every state has now enhanced awareness through effective risk communication of COVID-19 to the public, health workers, and even policymakers. Ensure you are up to date with this information, especially if you want to visit an area with continued transmissions of Coronavirus. We hope that everything returns to normal and see more people searching for travel destinations, such as visiting japan, without any fear.