Travel advice for the general public Ocia_a65
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19):
Travel advice for the general public

What precautions should I take during travel?
During travel, everyone should clean hands frequently, cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and try to maintain a physical distance of at least one metre from others.
Travelers should follow the recommendations of the travel authorities regarding policies in the airport and of the airline for the flight.

Who should not travel?
People with confirmed diagnoses of COVID-19 cases should be in isolation and not traveling.
Anyone who has had contact with someone else confirmed with COVID-19 cases should be in quarantine and not travel.
People aged 60 and over, and those with serious chronic illnesses or underlying health conditions should try to postpone travel, or take special precautions and wear a medical face mask continuously throughout the travel.
Check the destination country for policies on what kind of tourism travel is allowed.

What is meant by “essential travel”?
Essential travel is travel for emergencies and humanitarian actions (including emergency medical flights and medical evacuation).
It includes essential personnel (including emergency responders and providers of public health technical support, critical personnel in transport sector such as seafarers and diplomatic officers) and repatriation to a home country.

If I feel well but am in the high-risk category, should I travel?
People age 60 and over, and those with serious chronic diseases of underlying health conditions, should postpone or delay travel internationally to and from areas with community transmission, where there are many cases of COVID-19.  
This is because people in the high-risk group more frequently get very sick after getting the disease, with some dying of it.
If you have to travel in these circumstances, you should wear a medical mask for more protection against the virus.
However, masks do not mean you are fully protected.
You should also clean your hands frequently, cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 1 metre from others wherever possible.

How can ventilation reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 in airplanes?
Some airplanes have cabin air filtration systems equipped with HEPA filters which can remove viruses and germs quickly, minimizing the duration of the exposure to any potential infectious materials produced by a cough or sneeze.
The cabin air system is designed to operate most efficiently by delivering approximately 50 percent outside air and 50 percent filtered, recirculated air.
The air supply is essentially sterile and particle-free.  
However, adequate ventilation is just one of the preventive measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.  
Other important measures include maintaining physical distance of at least 1 meter whenever possible, frequent hand hygiene and wearing a mask.
Passengers should check with the airline company and the national or local guidelines about when and where to wear a mask while flying.

The travel company is asking me to wear a mask while traveling. Which kind of mask should I use?
You should follow the advice of your travel company.
If the type of mask is not specified then people 60 years and over, and those who have underlying health conditions, should wear a medical mask while traveling.
This provides greater protection from others who may have the virus.
People who feel healthy and have no symptoms can wear a fabric mask to prevent any virus they may have from spreading to others.
Remember that wearing a mask does not provide full protection.
You should always combine this with frequent hand cleaning, covering a cough or sneeze with a bent elbow or tissue, and maintaining at least a 1 metre distance from others wherever possible.

Should I get an immunity certificate before travelling?
The use of “immunity certificates” for international travel in the context of COVID-19 is not currently supported by scientific evidence and therefore not recommended by WHO.
More evidence is needed to understand the effectiveness of rapid SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests.
For more information, please refer to WHO scientific brief “Immunity passports” in the context of COVID-19, which will be updated as new evidence becomes available.
Beyond the scientific considerations, there are ethical, legal and human rights aspects related to privacy of personal data, medical confidentiality, potential risk of falsification or engagement in risky behaviour, stigma and discrimination.

Could I be screened when I exit or arrive at my destination?
Whether screening is conducted depends on the country policies and its risk benefit analysis.
Exit and entry screening includes measures like temperature checking and checking for signs and symptoms (fever above 38°C, cough).  
You may be asked to complete a form informing health authorities about your possible exposure to cases within the last two weeks (contact with patients among health care workers, visits to hospitals, sharing accommodation with a person sick with COVID-19, etc.).
Symptomatic travellers and identified contacts will be asked to have a medical examination and be tested for COVID- 19.
You should not be charged for these protective measures, including any required isolation and quarantine.

Should I use a digital contact tracing app while traveling?

Digital apps are now available in some countries to identify and inform travellers who may have been in contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19 or had a positive test for COVID-19.
They are effective only if a large proportion of the general population uses the app.  
International travellers may have issues of compatibility and data sharing when crossing borders.
Those considering an app are advised to review the legal and ethical aspects related to individual privacy and personal data protection.

Should I get a test before departure or upon arrival?
Laboratory PCR testing (molecular testing for SARS-CoV-2) immediately prior to departure or on arrival may provide information about the status of travellers.
However, laboratory results should be interpreted with caution, since a small proportion of false negative and false positive results may occur.
If conducted, testing should be accompanied by a comprehensive COVID-19 follow up, for example, by advising departing travellers who have been tested to report any symptoms to local public health authorities.
If the testing is conducted on arrival, all travellers should be provided with an emergency phone number in case symptoms develop.
A relevant case management protocol should be followed in case of a positive test.

What happens if I have symptoms when arriving at my destination?
If you have any symptoms or have had contact with people who have COVID-19, you may be asked to get an exam and be tested for COVID-19.
Even if you don’t test positive, you should be provided with an emergency phone number to call in case symptoms develop later.
You should not be charged by the country for:
    examinations to determine your health status
    required vaccinations or protective equipment on arrival (if these were not published at least 10 days earlier)
    appropriate isolation or quarantine facilities
    required certificates at the point of entry that document measures applied
    any baggage accompanying you

What should I do after arriving at my destination?
Travellers should self-monitor for any symptoms for 14 days after arrival.
Report any symptoms and your travel history to local health facilities and follow national protocols.
If you are confirmed to have COVID-19, you will be placed in isolation in a health facility or in self-isolation at home, depending on the country’s policies, and asked to provide a list of your contacts in the last 14 days.
Your contacts will be placed under quarantine.

What should I do if I get sick while traveling?
If you become ill during your travel, inform your travel attendant (plane, ship, train, etc.).
You may be moved to a seat farther away from others.
Ask for information on how to be seen by a health care provider and seek care immediately.
Wear a mask continuously while you travel, frequently clean your hands with hand sanitizer, cover a cough or sneeze with a bent elbow or tissue, and maintain at least a 1 metre distance from others wherever possible.
You should stop travelling as soon as feasible.
If you are told you must quarantine or self-isolate yourself in a specific place, you should be provided with free, appropriate facilities and care, and not be asked to stay longer than 14 days.

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