With the ongoing pandemic of the new strain of coronavirus, many expat’s lives have been turned upside down. People are being instructed to stay inside, self-isolate, and practice social distancing. But what if you had plans to travel in the upcoming months? To help you figure out what to do about your travel plans, we’ve put together this quick guide to traveling during the coronavirus outbreak.
Read on to find out more about what coronavirus is, whether you should travel, and what to do if your trip simply cannot be postponed. You will also learn more about where to get up-to-date information on what’s going on in the world concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is Coronavirus
The term coronavirus is used to describe a family of viruses. The new strain currently spreading has been dubbed COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV. Other viruses belonging to this group are those 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 difficulty breathing. In more critical patients, 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.
This is not to say that otherwise healthy individuals are not at risk. Young and healthy people can still suffer serious symptoms; only some get to experience milder or no difficulties.
Traveling During the Coronavirus Outbreak – Should I Do It
You made plans to travel or move during the spring. With the outbreak of the new coronavirus, 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.
Advice and Guidelines by Relevant Authorities
Depending on your current location and the destination you wish to 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 at all costs. If you are currently living and working in Europe and want to return to the US, you may do so through the UK, Ireland, or the Schengen zone.
You Might Not Be Able to Travel at All
Depending on your specific situation, the decision on whether or not you should go through with your trip might not be up to you at all. Some countries have completely closed their borders and shut down their airports, which means you can’t leave, even if you want to. If you’re stuck in a country that’s under such a lockdown, you have no choice but to stay put. Visit the website of the US Embassy in that specific country for more detailed information.
What if I Have to Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic
It might be the case that you simply cannot postpone your trip. While this is highly unlikely, given our current circumstances, it is still possible. If so, and if you are even able to travel from your current location, there are some strict guidelines you should follow.
Keep Track of New Info
If you absolutely have to travel, make sure you abide by all the up-to-date guidelines. We highly suggest that you bookmark the following reliable resources:
- the website for travel at the US Department of State
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- International Civil Aviation Organization
- Any relevant sources of information in the country you’re in
Follow Instructions by Your Travel Providers
Right now, most airlines, bus lines, and other companies that provide travel services have detailed additional guidelines for their customers. For example, a bus line or a train line might require you to leave two empty seats between yourself and other passengers. You might also be required to wear a mask at all times.
If you’re not only traveling but relocating, your international moving service provider will also brief you on the precautionary measures you should take.
Other Precautionary Measures to Take
In a situation like this, you should put in the effort to go beyond the bare minimum. Even if you are not required to do so buy your airline, movers, or official guidelines, you should:
- 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
- Carry antiseptic wipes and use them to wipe down any surfaces you’re touching
Even when you’re not traveling or moving, 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 sick individuals
- Do your best to educate yourself and those around you
Stay Up to Date With What’s Going On
The virus is spreading quickly, and so is information. This means that every day, there is news about the virus itself, the number of infected individuals, rules and regulations in various countries, and the progress on finding treatment. For the sake of avoiding misinformation and mass panic, it is crucial that each one of us stay up to date. You can do so by visiting the resources we’ve listed above, or by reading the updates regularly posted on the website of the World Health Organization.
What We’re Doing
Are you worried about whether it is smart to use the services of international movers right now? If you choose a reliable and responsible company, you’ll have nothing to worry about. We have implemented new precautionary measures to ensure the safety of both our staff and our clients. These include:
- mandatory protective gear for all our staff, including masks and gloves
- mandatory daily disinfection of all our trucks, warehouses, and equipment
- enough supplies of sanitizers and other cleaning products
- mandatory sick leave for every mover who exhibits symptoms or is otherwise not feeling well
- fee cancellation waiver for our clients who end up being prevented from moving due to objective circumstances
Although the general advice is to refrain from all travel at this time, if you simply can’t do so, know that we’re doing all in our power to ensure your complete safety.