Is it safe to start traveling again?by Juan José Herranz | November 19, 2020
As the pandemic COVID-19 began to spread throughout the world, countries imposed strict control measures on travelling and closed their national borders. Many countries even imposed a complete lockdown to restrict community transmission further and advised its citizens to practice social distancing. However, this situation appears to have relaxed over time as countries are beginning to open up gradually, relaxing its regulation.
Now you might be wondering if it is safe enough to resume your travel journeys. Is it really safe to travel abroad again? Is it too soon to book my next trip? These decisions require you to consider many factors. Here is some valuable information we have gathered to help you decide.
How Far Have Countries Opened Up?
Many countries have started to reopen their borders, ease their restrictions, and welcome travellers after a phase of continuous safety measures to flatten the curve.
Certain states in the US and countries like Mexico, Turkey, and the U.K have announced that they accept travellers. Some of the member countries in the European Union have opened up for essential and non-essential travel within the region, but with specific safety measures. Even the Caribbean Islands that are heavily reliant on tourism such as, Aruba, Bahamas, and the U.S Virgin Islands, have opened up for international travellers. However, many countries in the African Union remain closed as their threat of COVID-19 has surged within their communities. Even in Asia, countries are strictly banned to international visitors except for some nations like Indonesia.
Moreover, countries have also begun to create “Free Travel Zones” also known as “Corona Corridors” and “travel bubbles,” which include a list of countries that have low COVID-19 cases reported each day. This is an attempt to revitalize global tourism. If you are a citizen in one of these countries, you have the privilege of travelling to any country included in the list without undergoing a quarantine period.
As for ports, some countries have opened. Countries like Fiji and the Maldives have recently allowed the entry of certain ships. Nevertheless, most major ocean liners have suspended their ferry rides for a couple of the upcoming months as the risk of transmission is high.
Are There Any Controls at Airports and Ports?
It’s no doubt that the pandemic has disrupted even the most ordinary activities around the world, and travel is one of them. Also, the frequency of travelling was one major factor that contributed to the quick spread of the virus. Due to this, many countries completely halted travel by closing their points of entry. Nonetheless, now it is possible to travel to many destinations as barriers are being relaxed. Travellers will come across new rules and regulations and different control measures aimed at preventing the transmission of COVID-19.
Hence, visitors from abroad might have to undergo temperature screening, special COVID-19 testing, and even 14 days in quarantine. Countries that have managed to tackle COVID-19 may only require you to present a medical certificate, and proof of a COVID-19 negative test results. Moreover, officials would require foreign travellers to explain their travel history and check for symptoms of the illness.
In addition, many airports and ports are currently equipped with infection control supplies required to handle a patient. There are extreme hygienic practices being carried out in ports, airport terminals and in aircrafts. You would also be advised to maintain social distancing of at least 1 meter from other passengers and wear a face mask at all times.
Do Countries That Have Opened Their Borders Still Have Cases Of COVID-19?
Countries that accept travellers for business and tourism purposes are nations that have contained the spread. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the number of new COVID-19 cases in many of these countries is not zero.
Each country has its own set of procedures in place when it comes to admitting foreign visitors into the country. Some nations allow people to travel within the country with restrictions, whereas other nations keep foreigners separated from locals to minimize spread. As an example, Cuba, only allows visitors to five of its remote islands where they can spend time away from locals as a measure to prevent spread between the two parties. So, if you have plans to visit a country in the upcoming months, please make sure you have a thorough understanding of the controls in place.
As a standard rule, the World Health Organization (WHO) requests every visitor to travel with caution by taking necessary precautions. The WHO releases updates on the pandemic, check it frequently before you travel.
What Should You Consider?
Overall, the world hasn’t recovered from COVID-19 significantly but, it is definitely getting better. As a cautious traveller, it is better to postpone your travel plans, especially if the particular destination has encountered a considerable amount of COVID-19 cases. It is also advisable to limit travelling if you fall under the category of any vulnerable group to the virus. That being said, you can consider heading to low-risk destinations that you might have overlooked under normal circumstances.
At present, the requirements to travel are different and may require more than your passport and ticket. It’s better to go for an insured trip to avoid disappointments, but make sure it covers risks related to uncertain events such as the pandemic. When it comes to accommodation, it’s better to select one that maintains proper sanitary standards.
Since there are so many factors to consider before travelling, booking your trips via a trusted agency would help you avoid the hassle and complexity of enjoying a good holiday at present. As experts in the travel industry, the agency would also provide you with all the necessary information and updates about your travel destination along with necessary measures to be taken.