Practical tips for travelling abroad during the coronavirus outbreak
With new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus being diagnosed in more and more locations, many people are getting anxious about how the outbreak could affect their travel plans.
So, what is the advice if you have a holiday outside of the UK coming up - or if you're thinking of booking one?
What travel advice has been issued by the Foreign Office so far?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are currently advising against all but essential travel to mainland China, and all travel to the Hubei Province.
It is also advising against visiting the cities of Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea and all but essential travel to Italy.
If you travel against the FCO’s advice, you run the risk of getting infected and invalidating your travel insurance.
Despite other ongoing scares there are currently no other formal warnings against travelling to any other location.
Practical tips for travelling abroad
Here are five practical guidelines issued by travel health website, Travel Health Pro:
- Check up to date travel health recommendations on the country you are travelling to, and if you require further advice, speak to your GP, practice nurse, pharmacist or travel clinic- If you are elderly or have pre-existing health issues, you should be aware that if you are infected with Covid-19 you could be at increased risk of severe infection- Check the impact this outbreak may have on your travel insurance coverage, including medical repatriation costs in case of ill health or any new restrictions on travel- Contact your airline, tour operator, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers for up-to date information on your itinerary and travel plans- Be aware that there may be enhanced screening and monitoring at entry and exit ports. You may also be required to self-isolate for a set period, even if you do not have symptoms on your return
What to do if you become unwell abroad
If you develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath (even if minor) while abroad or during travel, you should immediately:
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu- Call your health provider and/or insurance company to discuss what you should do- Follow local public health guidance if available- If you become unwell at an airport, bus or train station before or during a long trip, seek medical attention and do not start or continue your journey- Once you have fully recovered, check with your health provider if you are fit to travel, before any onward travel
What to do if you’ve return from an affected area
In addition to outlined areas above, Public Health England has drawn up a list of 15 regions where travellers returning from these areas should self-isolate if they develop coronavirus symptoms.
These are: China, Hong Kong, Macao, Cambodia ,Iran ,Italy ,Japan ,Laos, Malaysia ,Myanmar Singapore,South Korea,Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam
People returning home from these parts do not need to self-isolate if they do not have coronavirus symptoms.
This article was updated on 12 March 2020.