While COVID-19 cases continue to rise, various countries have drawn their travel advisories with a motive to control the situation. Multiple countries have closed their borders for travelers while others are allowing travel but with restrictions. Every country has implemented its own Travel restrictions during COVID-19 that you must be aware of if you plan to travel.
To help you out, we have curated all the information that you need to know about traveling amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Carefully review this article and make the right decision. To learn more about coronavirus, its situation worldwide, travel restrictions during COVID-19, and more, you can also review the official website of Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and Travel Advisory.
Travel Restrictions During COVID-19: Everything That You Need To Know
1. Understand Coronavirus And Its Symptoms
2. Travel Restrictions During COVID-19 For Fully Vaccinated Travelers
3. Travel Restrictions During COVID-19 For Unvaccinated Travelers
4. Scenario In Which You Should Avoid Traveling
5. Destinations With The Level Of COVID-19 Risk
6. Mistakes To Avoid While Traveling During COVID-19
7. How To React After An International Travel?
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is an infectious disease transmitted by a newly discovered virus called SARS-CoV-2, i.e., Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. China was the first country to detect the case of coronavirus in December 2019. Later, it spread throughout the world and was declared “A Pandemic” worldwide by WHO in March 2020.
As per the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)- “Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats.”
From December 2019, millions of people got infected with COVID-19. Some of them experienced mild to moderate respiratory symptoms, while the condition of many got worse. Older people and individuals with underlying medical conditions are at serious risk. There are a wide array of symptoms ranging from mild to medium to severe. After being exposed to the virus, individuals start to experience the symptoms within 2-14 days. It is essential to watch for the signs and take immediate action if you find one. Here are some of the common symptoms that can be seen for coronavirus.
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Current Statistics Of COVID-19 (as of April 18, 2021)
Total Number Of Cases WorldWide: 141M
Cases Recovered: 80.4M
Total Deaths: 3.01M
Total Dose Of Vaccine Given: 890 M
% of Population Fully Vaccinated: 2.6%
Highly Infected Countries (In terms of the number of cases):
- United States
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing illness. People who get fully vaccinated are at a lower risk of contracting or spreading the virus. This is the reason why there are different travel restrictions during COVID-19 for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. However, traveling, in general, possesses various risks and is recommended to be avoided. The fully vaccinated people are less likely to get affected.
So, here are both the International and Domestic travel restrictions during COVID-19 for fully vaccinated people.
Due to the rise in COVID cases and the spreading of different variants of the virus in different countries, it is highly suggested to postpone all international trips. Suppose you are a fully vaccinated person and are going on an international trip. In that case, you must pay close attention to the safety and ensure the situation in the country you are traveling to. Following are the precautions travel restrictions during COVID-19 for international travel.
1. Before you leave for your travel, you must check the travel restrictions during COVID-19 of both airline and destination. These restrictions might be different from your home country and are must-to-be followed.
2. Check the Travel Advisory and alerts to ensure that the country you are traveling to is not at higher risk.
3. You must keep sanitizer with you on your travel, wear a mask properly, and keep in mind all the social distancing rules.
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4. Whenever you are out or touching different surfaces, you should wash your hands multiple times. Before you eat, touch your face, or rub your eyes, ensure that your hands are sanitized.
5. If you are traveling back to the U.S.- whether you are a U.S. citizen or not- you have to show a negative COVID-19 report. The report should be either 3 days before your travel or less. In case you have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months, you can show that report.
6. Avoid visiting crowded places like top trip attractions, restaurants, amusement parks, etc. Whenever surrounded by people, try to maintain at least 6 feet distance from everyone.
7. Once you are back from vacation, you must take care of yourself and follow all the after-travel precautions.
Domestic travel is less risky than international travel, but it is still recommended to avoid traveling due to higher risk. Here are some of the preventive measures for fully vaccinated travelers if they are traveling domestically.
1. Wear mask everywhere
2. Maintain social distance
3. Wash your hands frequently
4. Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms
Note: There is no need to self-quarantine or get a Viral Test done until you get the symptom.
Unvaccinated people are advised to avoid both domestic and international travel until they get fully vaccinated. However, if they are required to travel, they have to follow the CDC’s travel restrictions during COVID-19. Here are the precautionary measures for unvaccinated travelers.
If you are traveling internationally or domestically, travel restrictions for unvaccinated people are almost the same. Here are the precautions that you have to follow.
1. Get a viral test done before 1-3 days of your travel.
2. Check and learn about the travel restrictions during COVID-19 of the destination you are visiting. This is required for international travel as the regulations differ from country to country.
3. Carry a sanitizer and sanitize your hand more often, especially before eating.
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4. Wear a mask and maintain social distance.
5. If you are returning from international travel, you have to show a negative COVID-19 report of no more than the past 3 days.
6. After your arrival, follow the after travel restrictions during COVID-19 and maintain distance from others.
CDC advises all travelers to delay the travel due to the higher risk of COVID-19. Traveling increases the chance of getting infected by the virus or spreading it. If you opt to travel, then you must keep in mind all the travel restrictions during COVID-19. However, if you possess any symptoms or are suffering from a higher risk illness, you should avoid traveling.
To minimize the spread of the virus, we have created a list of scenarios in which you should postpone travel.
1. When you or your travel partner are sick and are having COVID-19 symptoms-
In such scenarios, it is recommended not to cross the borders and stay at home. The person should isolate themself, seek medical help, and get the COVID test done. Even if the test is negative and you are feeling sick, it is better to stay at home and take a rest until you are fine.
2. When you or your travel companion tested COVID-19 positive-
In case of a positive report, you should stay inside whether you have the symptoms or not. You must isolate yourself and delay all your travel plans until it’s safe. Together with this, get the required medical help, wear a mask, take home remedies, and stay safe.
3. You or your travel partner have come in contact with a COVID-19 Positive Individual in the last 14 days-
If you find out that you or your travel companion has come in contact with an infected person, then you should postpone your travel. In case you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus in the last 3 months, you can choose to travel but keep in mind all the travel restrictions during COVID-19.
4. Waiting For The Result Of A Viral Test.
If you or your travel partner are waiting for the viral test result, you should delay traveling until you get the report and it is negative. In case of a positive test, you should cancel the plan. If you got a negative report, then consider all the travel restrictions during COVID-19.
Note: If you have reached your destination and get a positive result of your viral test, then isolate yourself immediately, stay away from all other people, and inform the one with whom you have come in contact. Your travel companions should also self-quarantine themselves. You all should delay the trip back home. Even if you try to make plans, you will be restricted by the official health authorities.
|Level 4: COVID-19 Very High||Avoid any kind of travel to these countries.|
|Level 3: COVID-19 High||
Avoid non-essential travel. (Travel only in case of emergency)
|Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate||Try to avoid non-essential travel, especially if you are suffering from severe illness.|
|Level 1: COVID-19 Low||You can travel to these destinations but with all the precautions.|
|Level Unknown: COVID-19 Unknown||Be careful while traveling as there is no data of COVID-19. Hence, we can’t evaluate the risk.|
|Level 4: COVID-19 Very High|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Greece||Oman|
|Aruba||Guinea||Papua New Guinea|
||Iran||Puerto Rico (U.S.)|
||Israel, including the West Bank and Gaza||Romania|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina
||Isle of Man||Saint Barthelemy|
||Ivory Coast||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
||Kenya||São Tomé and Príncipe|
|The central African Republic||Latvia||Serbia|
|Congo, Republic of the||Libya||Slovakia|
|The Democratic Republic of the Congo
|Easter Island||Mayotte (France)||Turks and Caicos Islands (U.K.)|
|Egypt||Moldova||United Arab Emirates|
|French Guiana||Namibia||Virgin Islands, U.S.|
|Level 3: COVID-19 High|
|El Salvador||Sri Lanka|
|Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate|
|Guam (U.S.)||Northern Mariana Islands|
|Hong Kong SAR||Singapore|
|Japan||Trinidad and Tobago|
|Level 1: COVID-19 Low|
|The British Virgin Islands||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Brunei||Saint Pierre and Miquelon|
|Cayman Islands||Sierra Leone|
|Level Unknown: COVID-19 Unknown|
|Afghanistan||Jersey (part of the UK)||Solomon Islands|
|Algeria||Kiribati||South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands|
|Cook Islands||North Korea||Turkmenistan|
1. Planning a long vacation with multiple destinations-
Firstly, it is suggested to avoid traveling. However, if you do, you should always stick to one or two destinations. After staying at home for a long time, we understand that the opportunity to travel is quite important for you. But it is crucial to under the severity of the pandemic and plan for a lesser number of destinations. The more number destinations you travel to, the more likely COVID-19 will spread.
2. Ignoring the cancellation policy before making the bookings-
Cancellation of the travel plans was quite a common phenomenon in the whole of 2020. Ignoring the cancellation policy or the travel insurance was the biggest mistake of the travelers. So, it is highly advised to check the cancellation policy and make use of it if required. You don’t know what is going to happen next. Hence, be prepared for every situation. Else you will end up wasting a lot of money.
3. Picking accommodation that is not considering COVID-19 precautions-
While traveling, accommodation plays a crucial role. It is the first thing that we think about after booking the flights. While choosing the accommodation, you must ensure that they are following all the travel restrictions during COVID-19. Sanitization, mask rules, cleanliness- everything should be on point. Even if you find such a hotel out of your price range, you must book good accommodation.
4. Doing all the paperwork in person-
No one likes to spare time, fill out the forms, and do the paperwork online. But, due to the higher risk and travel restrictions during COVID-19, it is vital to do all the paperwork digitally and avoid unnecessary interaction with the people. Even if you have done the paperwork and all the forms are filled, you must carry your own pen with you. Try not to use the public pen as it comes in contact with a lot of people.
5. Not bringing enough masks and sanitizers with you- Masks and sanitizers are best friends when we are traveling from one place to another. Traveling amidst the pandemic is altogether a different level of anxiety and requires the travelers to be prepared every time. Also, due to many travel restrictions during COVID-19, every traveler needs to have enough masks and sanitizers with them in their carry-on bag. These little things might be required at any time.
6. Choosing the attraction or place to eat with a lot of crowds- We usually ignore the importance of social distancing while we are traveling. To make the most of our time, we pick the top trip attractions and famous places even if they are crowded. But this is the biggest mistake we make. Due to the higher risk of COVID-19, it is vital to avoid the crowd as much as we can and try to make a social distance of 6-feet with others. The more people you come in contact with, the more risk you carry with you.
When we talk about traveling amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we usually consider precautions that we should take before we leave for the trip. But what about after-travel precautions? Do we know about them? Do we consider taking precautionary measures after we are back from traveling? Well, the answer is “NO.” We think that the travel restrictions during COVID-19 are required to be followed before or while traveling. But the truth is, when you are traveling, you get exposed to the outer environment, including COVID-19. Although you might not get any symptoms and you feel well, there are chances that you are exposed to the virus and might spread it to others. This is the reason why it is crucial to take after-travel precautions by all the travelers, whether they feel well or not.
Here are some after travel restrictions during COVID-19, suggested by CDC, that every traveler must follow. Have a look-
1. Get a Viral Test done after 3-5 days of your travel. In case of a positive report, you must isolate yourself for 14 days or until you get a negative report.
2. Monitor yourself and check if you develop any COVID symptoms. If you find any symptoms, you must go and get yourself tested immediately.
3. Try to stay away from people, especially those who are at higher risk due to severe illness.
1. Self-quarantine yourself at home for 7 days after you are back from traveling.
2. After 3-5 days of travel, get yourself tested with a Viral Test. If you test positive, then increase your quarantine period from 7 days to at least 14 days or until you get well. However, even if you get a negative report, you have to quarantine yourself for 7 full days.
3. In case you don’t want to get a Viral Test done, then you can replace it with 10 full days of self-quarantine.
4. Avoid getting in touch with higher-risk people for 14 days.
5. Self-monitor for the COVID-19 symptoms.
Note:If you are a traveler who has just recovered from a COVID-19 infection in the past 3 months, then you have to self-monitor and stay away from people. However, if you are symptomatic, then you should go for the Viral Test.
Whatever your vaccination status is, here are some precautionary measures that you must take if you are sick or tested positive:
1. Isolate yourself and avoid any kind of contact until you are fine.
2. Do not travel anywhere.
3. Take medical care and home remedies.
4. Stay in touch with a doctor.
5. Keep an emergency number with you.