Information and Advice for travellers during the current Covid-19 epidemic
Last updated 10th March 2020
Coronavirus, now officially named Covid-19, was first detected in the Hubei province of China during the first days of 2020. On the 31st January the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Global Emergency, thus triggering the release of funds and other resources intended to help countries better cope with the impacts. Confirmed cases have now been diagnosed across 104 countries worldwide. Latin America announced its first diagnosed case on the 26th February. The incidence of reported infection across the Americas remains modest. You can follow daily updates from the WHO, including numbers of cases by country and by region, here
Can I still travel?
Travellers are understandably concerned, both to protect their health and those of others and to understand the potential effects of the spread of the virus on upcoming travel arrangements.
At Journey Latin America we are following official guidance very closely, particularly travel advisories from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The good news is that there is no suggestion that people should change their plans or avoid travel to Latin America at this time.
What if things get worse?
We are clearly in the midst of a fast-changing situation and no-one can be entirely sure how things will develop. We follow updates from a range of sources and, if you are due to travel with us, you may rest assured that we are monitoring developments daily and will be in touch immediately if anything emerges which might compromise our ability to fulfil your holiday safely and as planned.
I’d like more information..
We recognise that everyone’s situation and concerns will be different. If you would like to discuss your own travel plans, current or future, in more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will always do our best to assist.
You may also find the following useful sources of information and reference.
Full details of all the UK government advisories are available here: Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) advice for travellers
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) provides advice and addresses traveller questions, including what ‘imminent travel’ means and the rules on transiting. It is available at abta.com/coronavirus
The government has published information for the public on the outbreak of the virus, symptoms to look out for and the current state of transmission in the UK. They have also made available more specific guidance for travellers.
Public Health England offers guidance on protecting yourself and others and minimising transmission.
The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has also produced useful guidance on preparing for foreign travel and how individuals can help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 outbreak. NaTHNaC have issued specific recommendations for those travelling to or from affected countries, whilst general health advice for travel to all destinations worldwide is available on their comprehensive country pages.
The WHO publishes a daily situation report and has a whole section of their website dedicated to Coronavirus.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US is another potentially useful source of information and again has a whole area of its website dedicated to Coronavirus. This can be accessed here.
For official guidance on entry requirements, including passport validity, visas and details of any changes or restrictions as a result of the current epidemic, the IATA website is the most comprehensive and up to date source of information and is also used by airlines: www.iatatravelcentre.com