Current International Travel Requirements in the COVID-19 Era

COVID-19 has disrupted the world beyond what we could have imagined. Travel restrictions have been imposed to control and reduce its transmission. Here is a list of major international travel requirements in the COVID-19 era. 

Negative COVID-19 Test Certificate

 Testing for COVID-19 before booking an international flight is now normalcy that we have become accustomed to. You must produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate before taking a flight and when moving through immigration clearance in your host country. This COVID-19 negative test certificate or documents showing your recovery from COVID-19 has become an important travel tool that should be acquired within a specified time-frame before traveling. 

Be Ready for Random Temperature Checks

 The use of thermometer temperature guns for people traveling through public transport, such as trains and airlines, is no longer voluntary. Even after testing negative for COVID-19, temperature tests are still carried out at various intervals of your travel. Your host country will not let you in without taking your temperature readings just for precaution measures. 

Know the Travel Restrictions Your Destination

 Many travel destinations have been under strict travel restrictions for international arrivals since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. These travel bans led to 3 billion people living in areas with complete border lockdown to all foreigners by the first two quarters of 2020. Thus, it is an inevitable requirement to research the lockdown measures enhanced in your anticipated international destination. 

Follow Travel Recommendations by Destinations

 Many countries, including the United States, have continued to guide their citizens about the safety of different travel destinations. The risk assessment of these destinations is categorized in different levels, with level 1 as low-risk destinations and level 4 as high-level destinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has placed countries such as Afghanistan, Kenya, and Paraguay as level-4, urging travelers to consider canceling their travel plans to the listed destinations.

Plan for Curfew Hours

93% of the world population lived under strict travel-related restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic by the 3rd quarter of 2020. It would be unwise to reach your destination past midnight if the country adheres to dusk to dawn curfew because you may end up sleeping in the airport. Therefore, you must be cognizant of curfew hours in your destinations before traveling from one country to the other.

Putting your Mask Appropriately

 Masks have become a significant requirement for international travelers as a measure to reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission. Masking controls the spread of COVID-19 by controlling respiratory droplets from reaching other people in the surrounding. Therefore, travelers in buses, trains, airlines, and other modes of public transport must be appropriately masked because masks do not only protect you from contracting COVID-19 but also the other travelers. 

14 Days Quarantine

 Traveling to or from certain countries and destinations may require you to be quarantined for 14 days, even with a negative COVID-19 test result. Some places, such as the United Kingdom and South Africa, have reported a new variant of the COVID-19 virus. Many countries worldwide are reluctant to allow travelers from regions with such mutated COVID-19 variants without subjecting them to quarantine for 14 days. 

Confirming New Prices

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that airlines were expected to lose $84.3 billion in 2020 due to international travelers’ reduction. From January to October 2020, the tourism travel destinations registered about a 72% reduction in tourist arrivals as reported by the UNWTO tourism barometer. The airlines and various travel destinations had to revise their prices upward to remain sustainable even as the number of visitors continued to dwindle throughout last year and this year. 

COVID-19 Vaccination

 COVID-19 vaccination programs have started worldwide with millions of different vaccine doses such as the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in circulation. Qualified individuals are now encouraged to take a COVID-19 vaccine injection before traveling to protect themselves and the people they encounter. Notably, COVID-19 vaccination programs have not yet eliminated other COVID-19 related directives such as masking, social distancing, washing of hands, and use of hand sanitizers.