With the discovery of newer Coronavirus variants, health authorities globally are facing unprecedented times. Each variant is unique and requires specialized prevention and treatment plans. Of the mutations – the variant Omicron has shown the highest rate of spread, yet displays milder symptoms for those in good health. The nature of its communication however has led to countries around the world taking extra precautions when it comes to travel.
The impact of travel restrictions due to Omicron
Countries Have Implemented New Travel Restrictions
In situations similar to 2020, many countries have implemented full or partial travel bans and reintroduced quarantine and isolation requirements for all travelers. As health authorities make headway with the research into the variant however, rules are likely to change in the short term. In the long run, health authorities globally have recommended that travelers receive both doses of their vaccination and a booster wherever possible.
What Precautions Should I Take If I am Traveling?
• Stay updated with the condition of your destination. This means keeping up-to-date with travel restrictions and the impact of the pandemic in the country.
• Research where you can get covid-19 testing in advance. Most countries require negative test reports for entry so it’s important to know testing centers, whether you need an appointment, result delivery times and the cost of the test.
• Go through your travel insurance policy and understand what the insurance covers. Coverage for trip interruption or delay as well as coverage specifically for Covid-19 medical visits and quarantine could prove especially helpful if the variant impacts your plans.
• It’s also important to follow all WHO recommended precautions and wear proper masks and gloves when traveling. Sanitizers must also be used regularly to disinfect hands and all high touch surfaces.
For more details on the new variant and its effect:
1. Omicron and travel: Here’s what we know so far – Lonely Planet
2. How COVID-19 and Omicron are affecting travel this holiday | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)