The Covid-19 pandemic has left most international travel at a standstill, and people are wondering when travel will return. We have compiled key information on Covid travel updates, as well as prudent advice on what to do with travel in the months to come.
- Global confirmed cases: 155,944,819; total deaths 3,239,691; total recovered 132,303,257
- U.S. confirmed cases: 33,270,214; total deaths 592,306; total recovered 25,961,980
- The EU just announced a list of countries, including Americans, will be allowed to travel to Europe as early as June
- India is seeing a large surge in cases with many countries closing their border to incoming travel from the country
- The UK plans to welcome American travelers back this summer
- The CDC imposed mandatory negative Covid test for international travelers (including U.S. citizens)
What is the status of global travel? What should I do with my travel plans? How can I protect myself?
What is the status of global travel?
When it comes to covid travel updates and advice, the #1 question we continue to get is when will international reopen? While there is no one size fits all answer, there are things we do know to help guide your travel plans.
UPDATE: The CDC Expands Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement to all air passengers entering the United States. This includes U.S. citizens which means if you travel outside the States you will need to provide proof of a negative test within 5 days of re-entry. As a response, airports and major hotels are quickly developing rapid test sites to allow for travelers to get a test quickly before boarding the flight home.
Now that multiple vaccines have come out, governments across the world are ramping up distribution, and improving methods for testing and detecting so as to safely reopen more travel corridors.
Where can I travel?
With Europe just announcing that travel will be possible this summer, things are beginning to look positive. Travel to many Caribbean island destinations has already opened, and more countries plan to follow suit as the vaccine rollout continues.
Timetables for fully reopening borders remain uncertain, but it’s looking like many of the popular international destinations from Mexico to Macedonia will be open by the summer.
The situation is fluid and constantly evolving, and we will be updating this article as things progress. You can get more detailed information of the alert level by country HERE and with the CDC search engine below.
What should I do with my travel plans?
As the vaccine gets out to enough people large scale travel will become more possible. But when exactly should you book your trip? There is no hard and fast answer but I believe international travel from July is a good bet, and moving into August and September the odds get better and better as herd immunity begins to set in.
International travel will vary quite a bit but the majority of popular places will be doing everything they can to reopen. If you’re wanting to do Europe I would set your sites on the fall to be safe. For Caribbean destinations travel has been open for many countries already allowing you to safely book anytime.
What can I do to protect myself?
When things do open up for international travel a primary risk travelers face is getting stuck or quarantined. We saw this play out on several cruise ships around the world, within specific hotels in affected areas, and passengers getting stuck in airports.
Tip: Have at least a loose plan in place if you do get stuck abroad: for work, kids, pets, etc. Better to be prepared.
The most important thing to consider with the risk of travel interruption is avoiding high risk areas. Keep an eye on the areas of the world that contain a high amount of ‘community spread’ which means that people have been infected with the virus, but how or where they became infected is not known, and virus transmission is ongoing.
Air Travel Safety
Domestic flights have steadily been on the rise with more flights coming back online every week. International flights can be found to certain destinations, but most countries are still closed to most visitors.
Major airlines are stepping up to do their part to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus by taking extra precautions to deeply sanitize areas that passengers repeatedly touch or where they sit, stand, or even breath. Airline carriers including American, Delta, Southwest, and United are in close contact with the world’s health organizations at the WHO and CDC, which this month published updated guidelines for cleaning aircraft during the outbreak.
Get travel insurance
We recommend travel insurance on every international trip, but now it’s particularly important. Travel insurance covers a wide range of things from cancellation and trip interruption to medical emergency coverage during travel.
IMPORTANT TIP: You will want to make sure you get travel insurance that covers ‘cancel for any reason’ with regard to the coronavirus, as standard policies does NOT cover pandemics or cancellation due to fear of travel. It’s important to do your homework to choose a reputable company and the insurance that fits your needs.
We recommend TravelGuard for international trips as it’s a solid company with reasonable rates and flexible plans.
Listen to the health professionals
There are several common sense things you can do to protect yourself, the community around you, and your desire to travel.
Practice these tips while traveling and at home:
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
- It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Supplies of hand sanitizer, tissues, and other hygiene products may be limited, so consider bringing them with you.
Avoid traveling if you are sick – There is simply no better way to help the global community fight any outbreak than by staying more isolated if you are sick. This may mean postponing a trip if you are really under the weather.
More than anything put in place common sense practices to protect yourself and those around you and we will get over this challenge together.