As the coronavirus outbreak has taken on a global dimension and the WHO has declared it a pandemic, most countries around the world have taken steps to prevent the outbreak from spreading further. According to Riskline, travellers should expect health screening measures – from non-invasive temperature screening to a full COVID-19 test involving nasal and throat swabs – at points of entry that remain open. Travellers may be quarantined until test results are complete.
Visibly ill travellers or those suspected of having the virus are likely to be interviewed and may be required to fill out health declaration forms to allow for a proper risk assessment and possible contact tracing; in some cases the visibly ill will be prevented from travelling altogether. Travellers displaying symptoms, including a fever, cough or difficulty breathing; those with a potential exposure to the virus; and those testing positive for COVID-19 are likely to be isolated at the point of entry before being transferred to a designated quarantine or healthcare facility for further assessment and treatment. Those deemed healthy that are allowed to enter may still be required to monitor their health daily and report it to local authorities by phone or through an app.
Where flights still operate, an increasing number of countries have implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine, either at home or at a designated facility, for all arrivals regardless of nationality, symptoms or recent travel history. In some locations, this quarantine has been extended to 28 days.
Elsewhere, authorities have implemented similar quarantine measures for travellers arriving from countries with a high number of COVID-19 cases. Furthermore, a growing number of countries have either banned all foreign nationals or restricted entry for passengers who have recently been to coronavirus-affected destinations.