Coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province, in December 2019. On February 12, the WHO announced that the official name for the specific coronavirus strain is Covid-19. On March 11, WHO tweeted that they have formally identified coronavirus as “a pandemic,” according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), “Coronaviruses are a huge family of viruses, some of which cause sickness in humans and the rest circulate among animals, which include camels, cats and bats.” A Coronavirus causes both Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), but these are not the strains which are currently circulating. General flu hygiene procedures, including daily washing of your hands and covering your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, are easy ways to maintain a safe environment. Extra steps include sanitization with antibacterial wipes, spraying of regularly affected surfaces, not rubbing your face, and not getting close to people whom you may see coughing or sneezing. The worldwide spread of the coronavirus is affecting global health and health planning. While the coronavirus continues to spread across the world, it has become more difficult to know when to fly and where it is safe to go. It is essential to keep in mind certain coronavirus travel advice before planning any trip.
Did you know?
The case fatality rate in the cases confirmed in laboratories was higher during the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak but has reduced over time.
Centres For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the United States’ leading national public health centre. Its key goal is to protect public health and safety in the USA and globally by monitoring and preventing illness, injury and disability. The CDC focuses national resources on establishing and enforcing control and prevention of diseases. In particular, it focuses on infectious disease, food-borne diseases, environmental health, occupational safety and health, health promotion, accident prevention, and educational programs intended to improve citizens’ wellbeing. Furthermore, the CDC studies and offers research on non-infectious diseases such as obesity and diabetes, and is a part of the team that founded the International Association of National Public Health Institutes. Today, when the coronavirus impact has created panic in the world, CDC gives coronavirus travel advisory that provides coronavirus travel restrictions and coronavirus travel precautions to global citizens. It also lays out coronavirus safety measures with an aim to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19.
CDC Coronavirus Travel Advice
The coronavirus impact is alarmingly massive, and places around the world have begun to take COVID-19 emergency measures. With an aim to provide coronavirus travel advisory, CDC issues international coronavirus travel advice such as instructions on when to consider postponing or cancelling travel. Such advice is most frequently given by travel health notifications and is focused on the possible health risks associated with travelling to a specific destination. Several coronavirus travel restrictions apply, and these must be strictly adhered to.
Depending on the situation at that destination, travel health notices are classified as Level 1, 2, or 3 –
- Warning Level 3: CDC advises avoiding all non-essential journeys to these destinations.
- Alert Level 2: CDC advises that older adults and individuals of any age with serious chronic health conditions consider postponing non-essential travel.
- Watch Level 1: CDC does not recommend that travel to destinations be cancelled or postponed with, but it is crucial to take measures to avoid the spread of disease during travel.
CDC advises all passengers to postpone all cruise travel around the globe. It is particularly true for older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions. CDC does not recommend that unaffected travellers wear facemasks to protect themselves against COVID-19. To help avoid the spread of respiratory diseases to others, wear a facemask only if you are sick and coughing or sneezing.
Consider the following coronavirus travel precautions while you are travelling to help minimize the risk of getting sick:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Stop using unwashed hands to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cleanse your hands appropriately for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water, or utilize a hand sanitizer that is based on at least 60 percent alcohol. In situations where your hands are very dirty, only soap and water must be used.
- Cleaning the hands after going to the bathroom is especially important; and also before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Touched surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected daily – tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, chairs, telephones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks are included.
- Make sure that the daily vaccines, including measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, and the seasonal flu vaccine, are taken appropriately.
Coronavirus Safety Measures For Travel By Air
Some viruses and other germs do not spread quickly because of how air circulates and is pumped into aircraft. While there is a low chance of infection on an aircraft, aim to avoid contact with sick passengers and cleanse your hands regularly for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water, or make use of a hand sanitizer that consists of at least 60 percent alcohol. Under existing federal rules, pilots are expected to report all diseases and deaths to CDC before they arrive at a destination in the US. When a sick traveller is considered a public health risk, according to CDC disease guidelines, CDC works with local and state health departments and international public health organizations to contact passengers and crew exposed to the sick traveller. When you are exposed to an ill traveller on a flight, be sure to send the airline your current contact details when booking your ticket, so that you can be alerted.
Coronavirus Safety Measures For Travel By Cruise
CDC recommends that all passengers, particularly older adults and persons of any age with severe chronic medical conditions, postpone all cruise ship travel around the world. Recent COVID-19 studies on cruise ships illustrate the possibility of cruise ship passengers and crew being contaminated. Like several other viruses onboard ships, COVID-19 seems to spread more easily among people in close quarters.
Also Read: COVID-19 and Cruise Ship Travel
Departure From Other Countries
You must keep in mind that certain countries have imposed a coronavirus travel ban in order to diminish the spread of COVID-19. Be aware that for all passengers leaving certain countries, exit screening is done. You could have your temperature taken and be asked questions about your travel history and safety before you are allowed to board a departure flight.
For those who will be entering the United States after exit from a particular destination that is not level 3, they –
- Will not receive extra health tests upon arrival in the U.S
- Will not be under compulsory quarantine orders upon entry into the U.S.
When you come from a country with travel health alert level 2 to the United States, you will be asked to monitor your wellbeing and practice social distancing. Social distancing means staying away from crowded areas, avoiding community meetings and maintaining distance (about 6 feet or 2 meters) from others where possible.
If you are returning from a foreign destination with a Level 3 Travel Health Alert, you will be told to stay at home for 14 days from the moment you fly back, track your wellbeing and maintain social distance. Social distancing means staying away from crowded areas, avoiding community meetings and maintaining distance (about 6 feet or 2 meters) from others where possible.
Did you know?
COVID-19 has been more frequently reported to be severe among people over 60 years of age, males, and those with hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer.
Coronavirus In India
While cities like Calgary have taken COVID-19 emergency measures, the Government of India has imposed a coronavirus travel ban by suspending all tourist visas and putting in place a 14-day quarantine on all travellers. These include Indian nationals who arrive from China, Germany, France, Iran, Italy, Spain, and South Korea.
The Government of India has issued important coronavirus travel advice to all its citizens in order to curb the spread of coronavirus in India. These include –
- All current visas (except diplomatic, government, U.N./ International, jobs, project visas) will be suspended until April 15, 2020. This will take effect at the port of departure from 1200 GMT on 13 March 2020.
- Visa-free travel facility given to holders of OCI cards is held in abeyance until April 15, 2020. This will take effect at the port of departure from 1200 GMT on 13 March 2020.
- OCI cardholders can remain in India for as long as they wish.
- All foreigners’ visas in India are still valid, and they can contact the nearest FRRO / FRO via e-FRRO module for the expansion/conversion of their visa or any consular service, etc. if chosen by them to do so.
- Any foreign national who for compelling reasons wants to travel to India may contact the nearest Indian Mission.
- Along with the visa restrictions that are already imposed, passengers who are travelling from or have visited Italy or the Republic of Korea and are desirous of making an entry into India will require a certificate of negative testing for COVID-19 from authorized laboratories that are assigned by the healthcare officials of these countries. This has been under control since 0000 hrs. This is a temporary measure effective 10 March 2020 until cases with effective COVID-19 subside.
- All incoming passengers, including Indian nationals, arriving from a visit to China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after February 15, 2020, will be quarantined for a total of 14 days. This will take effect at the port of departure from 1200 GMT on 13 March 2020.
- It is highly recommended that the incoming passengers, including Indian nationals, avoid non-essential travel. Upon their arrival into India, they may be quarantined for at least 14 days because of safety purposes.
- Furthermore, Indian nationals are strongly advised not to fly to China, Italy, Iran, the Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany.
- All incoming foreign passengers must keep track of their health and adhere to the dos and don’ts as made specific by the government.
- Foreign traffic will be limited to approved check posts with comprehensive screening facilities across land borders. The Ministry of Home Affairs will inform you of these separately.
- All foreign passengers entering India are required to send accurately filled-in self-declaration forms in duplicate (including personal information, i.e. telephone number and address in India) (as annexed) to officials in charge of health and immigration, and to undergo universal health screening at the specified health counters at all points of entry.
- People can contact the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare through the 24* 7 helpline number (+ 91-11-23978046) or e-mail (email@example.com) for any health-related queries.
Did you know?
At the moment, there are no specific treatments or vaccines against COVID-19. However, several drug trials are being conducted to assess their impact on the coronavirus.
Travelling From High-Risk Countries
You will be told to stay at home for 14 days, depending on your travel history, from the moment you leave a region with the widespread or ongoing spread of COVID-19 (Level 3 Travel Health Notices).
The Level 3 regions include –
- South Korea
- Europe (Schengen Area): Greece, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, San Marino, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Spain, Luxembourg, Sweden, Monaco, Vatican City, Belgium,
- The United Kingdom and Ireland: Scotland, England, Wales, Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland
If you are travelling from high-risk countries, you must follow these coronavirus travel advice –
- Stay at home for 14 days from the time you leave a region with an extensive, ongoing spread of COVID-19 (Level 3 countries on the Travel Health Notice) and practice social distance.
- To monitor your health and practice social distance, take the following steps:
- Check your temperature twice a day with a thermometer and monitor for fever.
- Check for cough or breathing problems, too.
- Remain at home, and avoid other communications. For these 14 days, do not go to work or school. Talk with your boss or principal about your job or schooling situation before entering those surroundings.
- Do not use public transit, taxis, or shared rides during your social distancing exercise.
- Evite busy areas (such as shopping malls and movie theatres) and limit the public activities that you engage in.
- Keep a distance (about 6 feet or 2 metres) from others.
What To Do If You Contract COVID-19 After Your Recent Travel?
If you have fallen sick, you must heed to some coronavirus travel advice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These are –
- Remain at home but seek medical attention
- Stay at home: People with COVID-19 who are slightly ill will recover from it at home. You should not quit doing so, except to seek medical attention. You should not take a tour of public places.
- Keep in touch with your physician: Call before obtaining any medical attention. When you feel very sick or think it is an emergency, make sure to get help.
- Eviting public transport: Stop using public transport, engaging in ride-sharing, or taking taxis.
- Separate yourself from those in your family
- Keep away from others: You will reside in a designated “sick room” as much as possible and stay away from other people in your house. If available, make use of a separate toilet.
- Avoid contact with pets & livestock: Contact with pets and other livestock should be limited, just as you would restrict it with any individual. While no cases of pets or other animals being sick with COVID-19 have been published, it is still advised that persons with the virus restrict contact with animals until more information is available. If necessary, have another member of your household caring for your animals when you are sick with COVID-19. If you have to care for your pet or have animals around when you are sick, wash your hands before and after engaging with them.
- Call prior to the doctor visits.
- Call ahead: When you have a medical appointment, call the doctor’s office or emergency room and inform them that you have COVID-19, or may have it. It should help the clinic and other patients to secure themselves.
- When you are ill, wear a facemask.
- When you are sick: If you are around other people, you can wear a facemask. This must be done even when you reach the office of a healthcare provider.
- Caring about others: In situations where the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, it creates breathing problems for the person), the people residing in the home can stay in another room. When caregivers enter the sick person’s room, they are expected to wear a facemask. It is not recommended for any tourists other than caregivers.
- Cover the sneezes and cough
- Cover: When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.
- Dispose of: Tissues found inlined garbage must be thrown away.
- Wash hands: Wash your hands immediately for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. When soap and water are not available for use, a hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60 per cent alcohol can be utilized to cleanse your hands.
- Clean yourself many times
- Clean hands: Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. This is particularly necessary after blowing, coughing, or sneezing your nose; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Hand sanitizer: Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Soap and water: the best choice is soap and water, particularly when hands are clearly dirty.
- Stop touching: With unwashed hands, stop rubbing your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid exchanging household objects with others.
- Do not share: Do not share plates, bottles, cups, utensils, towels or bedding in your home with other individuals.
- Clean thoroughly after use: Clean them thoroughly with soap and water after using these products, or place them in the dishwasher.
- Every day, vacuum the “high-touch” surfaces.
Clean high-touch surfaces (“sick room” and bathroom) every day in your isolation area; let a caregiver clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in other areas of the house. High-touch surfaces include cameras, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, laptops, keyboards and bedside tables. Clean and disinfect areas which can contain blood, urine, or body fluids.
- Clean and disinfect: In your “sick room” and bathroom, scrub the high-touch surfaces regularly. In open areas, let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces, but not your bedroom and bathroom. When a caregiver or other person is expected to clean and disinfect a bedroom or bathroom for a sick person, they will do so as appropriate. The caregiver / another person will wear a mask and wait for the ill person to use the toilet for as long as possible.
- Household cleaners and disinfectants: When it is dirty, clean the area or object with soap and water or some other detergent. Then, use a disinfectant in your house. Make sure to follow the packaging directions to ensure the product is used safely and effectively. Many products recommend that the surface be kept wet for several minutes to ensure that the germs get killed. Many also suggest precautions such as wearing gloves and maintaining proper ventilation during product use. Most household disinfectants registered with EPA should be successful.
- Track your symptoms
- Seek medical attention: Seek urgent medical treatment if your condition gets worse (for example, if you have breathing difficulty).
- Contact the doctor before going in: Contact ahead to tell them about your symptoms before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room. They will guide you regarding the further course of action.
- Wear a facemask: Put on a facemask before you enter, if possible. If you are unable to put on a facemask, then try to stay at a safe distance (at least 6 feet away) from other individuals. It will help protect the people in the office or waiting room.
- Follow treatment guidance from your health care provider and local health department: Your local health authorities will provide recommendations for monitoring your symptoms and reporting details.
When you have a medical emergency call 911 – If you have a medical emergency and need to dial 911, inform the dispatcher that you may have, or believe you may have, COVID-19. Throw on a facemask, if necessary, before medical assistance arrives.
How To Discontinue Isolation At Home
Patients with COVID-19 who have remained home (home isolated) should avoid home isolation in the following conditions:
When you do not have a check-up to decide whether or not you are still contagious, you should leave home after these three things have happened –
- You have not had a fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days with no fever and usage fever reduction medication).
- Many symptoms have changed (for example, your cough or shortness of breath has increased).
- A minimum of 7 days has passed since the first appearance of your symptoms.
If you are being checked to decide whether you are still sick, you can leave home after three things have happened –
- You no longer have a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine).
- Many symptoms have changed (for example, your cough or shortness of breath has increased).
- Two negative results were shown in a row, 24 hours apart from each other.
Follow the health care provider’s and local health department guidelines in all situations. The decision to end the isolation at home will be taken in consultation with the health care provider and departments of state and local health. Regional decision-making depends on local factors.
With the provision of effective coronavirus travel advice, you can now ensure that you stay safe and do not contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Advice for travellers travelling during coronavirus outbreak?
It is recommended that all travel be postponed or cancelled to avoid the contraction and spread of COVID-19. However, in unavoidable situations, travellers must maintain personal hygiene by washing hands, disinfecting high-touch surfaces, and practising social distancing in high-risk countries.
2. Which countries should be avoided?
Travel to China, Iran, South Korea, the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, and Ireland must be avoided.
3. What about domestic travel? Are there restrictions? Is it safe?
So far, there have been no restrictions on domestic travel in India. However, there is still a risk of infection in airports and flights.
4. Is it safe to travel to India?
The number of coronavirus cases has been increasing rapidly in India. Therefore, it is not considered very safe to travel to India.
5. Should travellers wear facemasks?
If travellers are not sick, they need not wear facemasks. However, if they are sick, coughing, and sneezing, face masks must be worn.
6. What is the risk of getting COVID-19 on an aeroplane?
The risk of getting COVID-19 on an aeroplane is low. Nonetheless, you must ensure that you avoid any contact with sick passengers, disinfect your seat, wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or utilize a hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
7. What can I expect when departing from other countries?
You must be prepared for exit screening, temperature checking, and being asked questions about your health and travel history when you depart from other countries.
8. What if I recently travelled and get sick?
If you recently travelled and got sick, you must practice home isolation, seek medical attention, wash your hands regularly, wear a facemask, and avoid sharing objects with the other people of your house.
9. I’m thinking of driving instead of flying. Is that safer?
It is relatively safer to drive than fly during the coronavirus outbreak. However, even driving must be kept to a very minimal amount and for unavoidable purposes.
10. How to disinfect your space on an aeroplane?
To disinfect your space on an aeroplane, sanitize your seat while wearing gloves. You can use a disinfecting wipe as well. If you do not have gloves, wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds after sanitizing your seat.
11. What is the impact of coronavirus on Indian students studying abroad?
The impact of coronavirus on Indian students studying abroad is grave, especially for those studying in the European Union. They cannot come to India to their parents due to several restrictions and travel bans imposed in those countries. Parents are also in a state of worry and panic.