Traveling Abroad During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What You Need to Know


When our lives changed with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were suddenly under restrictions that applied to our movement, even within our own states and countries. The subject of international travel became a debatable one as this is what propagated the virus in the first place; asymptomatic patients were able to get through airport security because, at the time, no one knew the exact intricacies of the spread of the virus. We had to reevaluate the best- and worst-case scenarios for resuming international travel after undergoing a lockdown for a considerable period.

Whether you are a globetrotter with insatiable wanderlust, someone looking to take advantage of the reduced holiday packages during the pandemic or an essential worker, there are factors to keep in mind if you are considering traveling abroad during a global pandemic, especially the Coronavirus.

Do You Have to Travel?

Before you even start making your travel plans, you should first ask yourself this question: do you even have to travel in the first place? Thanks to the internet, a lot of things that needed travel to access no longer need you to move an inch from your couch.

Take an example of playing casino games, you can easily play all the games you want via an online casino site right from the comfort of your home. And before you rant about the unrealistic nature of online casino games, log on to a live dealer casino where everything is as real as it gets, given that it involves a real-life croupier running the game and not the machine!

Your Health

Now, if for some reason you have to travel, this is the number one factor to consider when traveling during the pandemic. A lapse in judgment could cost you or people traveling with you the privilege to exist on this earth. You need to keep in mind your own health risks like any preexisting conditions that could open you up to higher vulnerability, in which case you should evaluate whether it would be wise to proceed with your travel plans. If you have any symptoms or are aware of prior recent exposure to the virus, it would be wise to be considerate of others and stay home.

Medical Tests

This is what will determine your admission onto a flight to your destination or at the border, or using road transport. You will need some form of covid-19 negative test verification to get a visa to your destination. Different countries will stipulate different types of tests as a requirement for admission and subsequent tests during your stay.

There are a few testing techniques that are preferred by certain countries more than others. For example, if you are traveling to Andorra, you will need to have a negative PCR or TMA test less than 48hrs before arrival into the country, and on arrival, you will need another TMA test and rapid antigen test followed by self-isolation and more rapid antigen tests every few days.

On the other hand, if your destination is the Bahamas, you need a negative PCR test not older than 7 days and Covid-19 health insurance. As you can see, you will need to conduct your research before hopping on a plane to spend your one-week vacation confined in your Airbnb.

Destination Country Travel Restrictions

The CDC has categorized countries according to the risk factor from level 1 which is low risk to level 4 which is very high. There is also a small category of the unknown for countries that have not been reporting their Coronavirus data. This means that where you are traveling from and traveling to really matters.

If you’re from a high-risk country, chances are many countries would not admit you or you may need extra tests and measures before you can be allowed to move around freely. Now, if it’s the other way round, you may have to take heed of recommendations from your country’s principal health departments.

Means of Travel

Depending on your destination, you may choose to drive, use a train or fly. Of course, you have more control if driving to your destination, as you can frequently sanitize your car and decide who your travel companions are. You should avoid carpooling, as you don’t know the other guys’ circumstances.

When it comes to flying or taking the train, you should be aware that you will be constantly in contact with frequently touched surfaces and more people. However, airlines already have measures put in place to keep planes sanitized, with face coverings (masks and face shields), and some have even changed seating arrangements to follow the required social distancing protocols.

At Your Residence

You will also need to be cautious when selecting a place to stay during your time abroad. Most vacation rentals and hotels have openly revealed their Covid-19 preventative measures, like frequent disinfecting, online check-in and digital keys. When you get to your new temporary residency, you could clean surfaces yourself for extra caution despite the existing cleaning procedures.

After Travel

After your travel abroad, you will need to take precautions on your reentry into your country. Other than protecting yourself, you should also take measures to protect your loved ones and other people. You may be required to take multiple tests depending on your country, region or state.

Keep Safe, Stay Safe

Whatever your reason or motivation for international travel, you need to have a plan for any scenarios that may arise in the course of your trip. Safety should always come first as we try adjusting to the new normal.

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