nformation and Advice for travellers during the current Covid-19 epidemic
Last updated 27th April 2020
Over the past few weeks we have watched with the rest of the world as the Covid-19 pandemic has evolved. With the advice and status of the FCO, the UK government and Latin American destinations in flux we wanted to reassure you that we are closely monitoring developments as they unfold.
We know that many of you are worried about how these updates will affect your travel plans both now and in the future. Our chief priority is to contact clients who are due to travel in the coming weeks. So please bear with us whilst we navigate these unchartered waters - we will get in touch with you as soon as we can to talk through any impact on your forthcoming holiday.
Rest assured that our team are here and ready to help.
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is a highly contagious form of the coronovirus and was first detected in the Hubei province of China during the first few days of 2020. On 11 March the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic. With the situation changing rapidly we would advise you to follow the daily updates from the WHO, including the number of cases by country and by region here.
Can I still travel?
Travellers are understandably concerned, both to protect their health and the health 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). As this is a very fast changing environment please contact us directly to discuss your travel plans.
What if things get worse?
We are clearly in the midst of an unprecedented 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, have no doubt that we are monitoring developments daily and will be in touch immediately should anything emerge which might compromise our ability to fulfil your holiday safely and as planned. In the event that your holiday cannot go ahead we will discuss the options with you. Please rest assured that your money is fully protected when booking with us and that as part of the Der Touristik Group we are financially secure.
I’d like more information…
We recognise that everyone’s situation and concerns will be different. Our team are on hand to discuss your current or future travel plans in more detail so please don’t hesitate to get in touch. However, whilst we are dealing with a high level of enquiries please be patient and be certain that we will be in contact as quickly as we can.
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