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Despite the constant stream of news discussing border reopening, progress on vaccine, and other uplifting information during this time period, many countries around the world are still taking careful approaches in terms of welcoming visitors back. Quarantine for arrivals remain a staple in multiple countries.
According to a guideline published by WHO, quarantining of contacts is one of the core public health measures that help break the transmissions of COVID-19 virus. Countries that enact quarantine measures “may delay the introduction or re-introduction of SARS-CoV-2 to a country or area, or may delay the peak of transmission, or both.”
That said, taking into consideration multiple factors, there have been shifts in regards to how countries impose movement restrictions, including quarantine requirements. What do travelers need to know about travel quarantine and quarantine rules these days?
Quarantine measures around the world
Many countries and destinations worldwide that have opened their borders to visitors have on-arrival quarantine requirements in place; the quarantine rules may also extend to returning residents and repatriated nationals. Quarantine periods in these places typically last 14 days, which is widely accepted by health officials as the length of time during which symptoms of the infection start to appear. Within the 14 days, you’ll likely be more certain whether or not you have been infected.
However, depending on your employment status, the country you departed from, your travel purpose, or other factors, you may be able to exempt from mandatory quarantine entirely or simply isolate yourself at home in lieu of staying at a quarantine facility. Some countries do require you to apply for exemption ahead of your trip or produce proof. States in India, for example, extend quarantine exemption to visitors with valid reasons like medical issues, death in family, or pregnancy.
There are also countries that don’t have mandatory quarantine measures in place. These countries may allow for free movement on arrival or require visitors to produce negative COVID-19 test result ahead to avoid spending days in quarantine.
Some EU member states, for one, have minimal to no travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for travelers from member countries and a number of third countries. More and more countries are also considering bilateral or multilateral agreements in the form of travel bubbles, ones that allow for less restrictions and possibly lighter quarantine measures for their residents.
Tips on making travel plan in light of quarantine rules
Have all the information and stay updated
Current situation necessitates swift changes in rules and policies, so the best move before you make any travel plan is to contact the foreign embassy in your area to inquire about the status and requirements in the destination country.
Keeping tabs on the news, information on travel restrictions, and official government social media account is also helpful as there may be sudden changes to quarantine requirements, both at the country you’re visiting or your own home country when you return.
Prepare a quarantine plan
If you are traveling to a country that imposes strict quarantine measure, you may need to find out how much planning you need to do.
For example, Australia will arrange your quarantine accommodation and transport for you (at your own cost), Canada requires you to provide a rundown on how you plan to quarantine once you arrive. There are also countries like Qatar that require you to book a quarantine hotel ahead of your trip. As mentioned above, in some countries, you may also be able to exempt from mandatory quarantine at a facility by submitting certain form or possessing COVID-19 negative test result.
Additionally, note that if you plan to travel to another city within the same country, you may face a different set of regulations there.
In short, be sure to know what documents you need to bring along, whether there will be additional expenses, and what kind of bookings you need to do ahead of your trip.
Take matters seriously
Quarantine requirements anywhere in the world are to be taken seriously, as some countries have added laws and fines regulating residents and foreign visitors. In the UK, if a traveler chooses to not comply with self-isolation, they may face a fine of £1,000.
If you don’t plan to pay fines, we recommend that you adhere with whatever requirements are in place at your destination,
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