By in Moving Tips March 20, 2020

If you want to travel abroad during COVID-19, be prepared for a challenge. Every corner of the world has been turned upside down since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. People are being instructed to stay inside, self-isolate, and practice social distancing. But what about those who have the following questions: can I travel internationally during the coronavirus disease pandemic, and what do I need for international travel? We have prepared a detailed guide on international moving during the COVID-19 outbreak for those who are not ready to give up their plans just yet.

A woman wearing a mask in a train
Keep reading and find out what you need to travel to another country.

What is Coronavirus?

For those who missed the news in the past few months, the term coronavirus is used to describe a family of viruses. The strain that is currently rampaging all around the world has been dubbed COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV. Other viruses from this group are the ones that cause SARS and MERS.

Symptoms of COVID-19 usually start appearing between two and 14 days after the infection. They include fever, coughing, and difficult breathing. It can cause pneumonia, and it may even have fatal consequences. The most susceptible demographic groups are the elderly and those with otherwise compromised immune systems, such as diabetics or other chronic patients.

Healthy and young individuals are also at risk. They can still suffer severe symptoms while only some of them experience it milder or with no difficulties.

An image illustrating coronavirus ultrastructural morphology
World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic.

Travel Abroad During COVID-19: Should I Do It

You’ve made plans to take a trip or to move this year. Yet, the outbreak and ensuing pandemic of the new coronavirus left you wondering if moving overseas is the right decision. You’re not entirely sure if you should go through with your plans or postpone them. Let’s take a look at what the official recommendations are.

If You Plan to Travel Abroad During COVID-19, You Should Keep up With Guidelines Given by Relevant Authorities

Depending on your current location and the destination you wish to move to (or visit), as well as the time of your planned trip, the official guidelines might vary. Right now, the official recommendation of the United States Department of State is to avoid traveling. You should not even think about it if you’re not feeling well or if you’ve been around someone with COVID-19 during the last 14 days. Traveling is increasing the chances of getting and spreading the virus. It can easily happen that you don’t have the symptoms, but you carry the coronavirus that could be quickly spread to others. Therefore, if you’re not feeling well, forget about the moving abroad checklist and stay at home.

Forget About Visa Applications and Passport: You Might Not Be Able to Step Across the Border at All

Even though we are still in the first wave of COVID-19, the long-feared second wave of infections and rising death tolls is expected during the fall and winter. Currently, some countries are already experiencing a sudden rise in the number of infected. Thus, depending on the situation in your chosen location, the decision on whether or not you should go through with your moving across the world might not be up to you at all. Since the situation can change at any moment, you should keep yourself up to date with the newest developments. Travelers should also regularly check the US Embassy website for that specific place they want to visit for more information.

Woman sitting on a luggage
You'll maybe have to delay your international relocation or a trip.

What if I Have to Relocate During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Maybe you just cannot postpone your international relocation and are already looking for tips on how to move overseas and tricks on how to move house plants long-distance. Many countries around the world have reopened their borders and are starting to lift lockdown measures. Yet, as we mentioned, the situation can change. If you plan to relocate any time soon, know that apart from breaking the language barrier, adjusting to a new country will now demand a couple of additional steps.

Keep Track of New Information When Traveling Internationally

During these times, the crucial thing is to abide by all the up-to-date guidelines, especially if you’re moving abroad alone. We highly suggest you bookmark the following reliable resources:

Be Sure to Follow All Instructions Given by Your Travel Providers

You’ll notice that many airlines, bus lines, and other companies that provide travel services have made additional detailed guidelines for their customers. For instance, a bus or a train line might require you to leave two empty seats between yourself and other passengers. You’ll most likely be required to wear a mask at all times.

If you’re moving internationally, your chosen moving services provider will also brief you on the precautionary measures you should take.

Whether You’re Just Traveling or Relocating Overseas, You Should Take These Precautionary Measures

In a situation such as this one, you should go beyond the bare minimum. Even if you are not required to do so, you should purchase guidelines from either your international movers or the chosen airline. Don’t forget these:

  • Wear a face mask and gloves at all times while in public
  • Carry a hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly
  • Maintain physical distance between you and other passengers
  • Bring antiseptic wipes with you and use them to wipe down any surfaces you’re touching.

Even when you’re not traveling or moving, save your health, and make sure you:

  • Wash your hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds, with warm water and soap
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes, especially with unwashed hands
  • Use a tissue to cough and sneeze, and dispose of it right away
  • Regularly change your single-use face mask and gloves
  • Avoid contact with the elderly and unwell individuals
  • Do your best to educate yourself and those around you about health risks.
Wash your hands often, and the risk of catching COVID-19 is lowered
To prevent health risks, you should wash your hands thoroughly.

A Passport, Visas, and Other Documents Needed to Travel Abroad

If you are traveling abroad in spite of everything, know that international travel requirements in terms of documentation haven’t changed. The list of documents needed to travel abroad is pretty long. Anyone traveling internationally is responsible for acquiring all necessary paperwork. That, of course, includes complying with all the laws and regulations of every country flown from, through, and into. The most commonly needed documents are:

  • Passport: should be valid for at least six months;
  • Visa: be sure to check if you need to obtain one;
  • International driving permit: some countries do not recognize US licenses;
  • Prescriptions: you might have to obtain a special license if you’re traveling with a medication;
  • Moving with pets: you have to call the embassy of the country you’re moving to and check the requirements for traveling with your beloved animal friend.
An image of visa application
Contact the embassy or consulate of the country you're traveling to and check what kind of documents you have to prepare.

You Should Read This if You’re Traveling to Europe

Suppose you’re about to start living in Europe as an American. In that case, you should know which counties are opened for Americans at the moment and be aware of the current health regulations and restrictions:

  • Are you thinking about moving to France? COVID-19 may stall your dream for some time. At the moment, France has more than 30,000 new infection cases in a day and is considered very dangerous. The best thing would be to either choose another place or just postpone your international move.
  • If your long time-dream was moving to Italy, you should make your decision very carefully. Similarly to France, Italy has reported a rise in new cases. Health experts are suggesting a new lockdown that could happen around Christmas.
  • Spain is also in the middle of the second wave, with a large number of new cases every day. Therefore, your plans about moving to Spain should be delayed.
  • Are you thinking about moving to Switzerland and wondering what is the current COVID-19 travel warning for Switzerland? Whether you’re thinking about moving to Zurich or any other city there, you should know that Switzerland is a high COVID-19 risk country at the moment. Consider postponing your international relocation if you have set your eyes on the best European country to live in.

On the other hand, if you have your heart set on southeastern Europe, current situation is better, at least at the moment:

  • As of July 1, Albania has reopened its borders to travelers from the US. If you choose to move here, know that you won’t need testing nor quarantine period. You’ll have a temperature check at the airport.
  • Croatia, one of the best places to live abroad with family, has opened its borders to Americans since July 1. You’ll need to bring a negative PCR test, not older than 48 hours.
  • Serbia is one of the friendliest countries in the world and also one of the best places to retire in Europe. If this place caught your eyes, know that Serbia accepts Americans since May 22. Just remember to bring a negative PCR result if you’re entering from North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, or Croatia.
An image of a monument overlooking the river
Every year, a great number of expats move to wonderful Serbia.

An International Relocation (or Visit) to Asia

Countries in Asia had some of the strictest lockdowns and restrictions since the COVID-19 pandemic started. They are slowly beginning to reopen their borders, with a couple of countries being opened for American residents. Keep reading if you’re thinking about overseas relocation to Asia:

  • Armenia opened its borders for Americans on August 12. But you should know that Armenia requires 14 days of quarantine. Yet, they will allow you to test if you want to leave the designated place earlier.
  • If you’re moving to Dubai, you’ll need a negative PCR test result no older than 96 hours and medical insurance that can cover any COVID-19 treatment.
  • The Maldives reopened its borders to travelers worldwide. Anyone arriving here must bring a negative PCR COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours before arrival. And there’s no mandatory quarantine.
  • If you’re moving to Turkey, know that its borders have been opened for American travelers from June 12. PCR test is not mandatory, but you’ll be asked to take it if you show symptoms.
Beautiful days could be spent in a place such as Turkey
Contact the United States Department of State and check what you need to move to a beautiful place such as Turkey.

What Are the Recommendations for People Traveling to Costa Rica During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

If you want to visit or make Costa Rica your home, as many Americans do, know that the country allows residents from some US states to cross its borders. Before you schedule your chosen movers, be sure to click on this link and see if your state is there. Costa Rica is planning to allow all citizens from the US to access as of November 1. If you’re planning to visit, you are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours before arriving. You’ll need proof of medical insurance as well, but you can get that in Costa Rica.

Can US Citizens Travel to Bermuda During COVID-19?

If you’re coming to Bermuda, you’ll need to apply for the travel authorization. This is mandatory regardless of age: $75 for adults and $30 for flight crew, and children 9 and younger. Passengers who don’t have a negative COVID-19 PCR result will not get the authorization to visit Bermuda. If you want to get more information about traveling to Bermuda, be sure to check this link.

An image of a vast beach
Traveling to Bermuda might be a bit challenging and costly, but it's not impossible.

What are Movers Doing to Keep You Safe During International Relocation

Are you wondering whether it is smart to use the international moving services right now? If you choose a reliable and responsible company, you’ll have nothing to worry about. Such a company will offer efficient packing services, clean storage units, and reliable overseas auto shipping service. And most importantly, such a mover will implement new precautionary measures to ensure their staff and clients’ safety, including:

  • Mandatory protective gear for all staff, including masks and gloves
  • Mandatory daily disinfection of trucks, warehouses, and equipment
  • Enough supplies of sanitizers and other cleaning products
  • Mandatory sick leave for every mover who shows symptoms or is otherwise not feeling well
  • Fee cancellation waiver for clients who end up being prevented from moving due to objective circumstances.