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Coronavirus Weekly Update: What You Need To Know


May 19, 2022
Categories: Advisories, Health, In Action, COVID-19

Our in-house operations teams are closely monitoring ongoing developments. Every week, we’ll update this page with changes over the past 7 days.


May 17 - Following recommendations from the European Union’s Aviation Safety Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, authorities have lifted EU-wide mask requirements aboard flights and in airports beginning May 16, 2022. Keep in mind:

  • Member countries may continue to require masks aboard flights and in airports.
  • Member countries may continue to require masks on public transportation and in public spaces.
  • The EU continues to recommend that people with symptoms wear masks in public and aboard flights.

May 3 - All travelers entering Canada, including returning residents, must input mandatory information in ArriveCAN within 72 hours in advance of their arrival in Canada and/or before boarding a cruise ship or airplane destined for Canada. Travelers who arrive without completing their ArriveCAN submission may have to test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status.

Travelers arriving in Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, may need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival if selected for mandatory random testing. Travelers who have already recovered from COVID-19 and can provide proof of a positive molecular test result (taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before entering Canada), are encouraged to bring that proof with them to avoid selection for mandatory randomized testing.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 5-11 who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent, stepparent, guardian or tutor will no longer be required to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test for entry to Canada.

Pre-entry tests will still be required for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers 12 and older who are currently eligible to travel to Canada. Children under 5 years of age are not required to provide a COVID-19 test result.

April 19 - A U.S. Federal Court issued an injunction against Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask mandates on April 18, 2022. Consequently, the TSA will no longer enforce mask mandates in airports as long as the injunction remains in place. Travelers should confirm onboard mask requirements with their specific airlines. Mask mandates on other modes of public transportation may depend on local ordinances. CDC recommends travelers wear masks over the nose and mouth on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

The new strain (COVID-19) comes from the same family of viruses that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The virus is transmitted between humans through respiratory droplets, though it may spread through other modes of transmission. Individuals can spread the virus before they develop symptoms. The most severe cases typically develop in those over the age of 60 who have additional medical conditions. 

TIC Landing Page

Worldwide:

  • Omicron: As a precaution due to the Omicron variant, several nations have limited international flights arriving from certain countries in southern Africa. Other nations have put limits on all international flights.
  • A growing number of countries require a negative COVID-19 test for entry.
    • In most cases, airlines will check passengers’ paperwork prior to boarding.
    • Travelers should confirm requirements with their airlines or embassies
  • As COVID-19 vaccinations become available, it is likely that countries will require proof of vaccination for entry.

Canada:

  • All travelers entering Canada, including returning residents, must input mandatory information in ArriveCAN (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/arrivecan.html) within 72 hours in advance of their arrival in Canada and/or before boarding a cruise ship or airplane destined for Canada. Travelers who arrive without completing their ArriveCAN submission may have to test on arrival and quarantine for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Travelers arriving in Canada from any country, who qualify as fully vaccinated, may need to take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival if selected for mandatory random testing.
    • Travelers selected for mandatory random testing are not required to quarantine while awaiting their test result.
    • Travelers who have already recovered from COVID-19 and can provide proof of a positive molecular test result (taken at least 10 calendar days and no more than 180 calendar days before entering Canada), are encouraged to bring that proof with them. Providing proof of a previous positive molecular test will prevent eligible travelers from selection for mandatory randomized testing (MRT)
  • Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 5-11 who are accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent, stepparent, guardian or tutor will no longer be required to complete a pre-entry COVID-19 test for entry to Canada.
  • Pre-entry tests will still be required for partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers 12 and older who are currently eligible to travel to Canada. Children under 5 years of age are not required to provide a COVID-19 test result.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers arriving in Canada on or after April 25, 2022, will no longer be federally required to do the following for 14 days after arriving:
    • Mask while in public spaces. (This new measure only applies after travelers have completed their travel journey. Travelers must continue to wear a mask during their entire travel journey, aboard a plane of ship, and will be informed by government officials at the border when the mask may be removed.);
    • Monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms;
    • Quarantine if another traveler in the same travel group exhibits signs or symptoms or tests positive;
    • Maintain a list of close contacts and locations visited.
  • All travelers eligible to enter Canada who do not qualify as fully vaccinated must be tested with COVID-19 molecular tests on arrival and on Day 8, while they quarantine for 14 days. This includes unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers.

European Union:

  • Omicron:
    • The European Union Commission proposed that member states limit travel and flights from southern African countries including South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini.
    • The Omicron variant has been detected in several European nations.
  • The European Council, a non-legislative body that defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities, removed the US from their list of epidemiologically safe countries. In doing so, the council issued a non-binding recommendation for member states to update entry restrictions for travelers from the US.
    • Since the guidance is non-binding, member states will make their own decisions on which travelers may enter from the US.
    • Some member states may close to unvaccinated US travelers only, while others might close to all US travelers.
    • EU approved vaccinations include Comirnaty (Pfizer), COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna, Vaxzevria (previously COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca), and COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson and Johnson).
    • Exactly what constitutes proof of vaccination has not been universally established and appears to vary from country to country. US CDC vaccination cards may or may not be sufficient. We recommend you check with your airlines for a determination. 

United Kingdom:

    • Travelers aged 12 and over, regardless of vaccination status, must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure for the UK.
    • UK citizens and residents who have been in the prohibited countries within the last ten days must book a quarantine hotel package for ten nights. The package must include two COVID-19 tests.
    • A number of countries have changed entry requirements for travelers originating in or traveling through the UK to include additional testing requirements, self-isolation rules, and mandated quarantines.
    • Some countries have prohibited passenger flights and/or travelers whose travel originates in the UK (with exceptions such as citizenship). Please check with your airlines to see if flights are possible from the UK to your preferred destination. 

United States Government Guidance

  • Beginning on 31 December 2021, US authorities will lift entry prohibitions for non-US citizens arriving from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
  • Persons over two years of age, including US citizens, must provide a negative COVID test result taken within 24 hours of departure for the US.
  • US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask guidance for travelers:
    • Wearing a mask over the nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
    • Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).
    • CDC recommends that travelers who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance when traveling.
  • A person is considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving the number of shots required for their particular vaccine.
  • A person who is fully vaccinated can:
    • Participate in many of the activities that they did before the pandemic; for some of these activities, they may choose to wear a mask.
    • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel and from self-quarantine after travel.
    • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
    • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.

The Department of State currently advises all U.S. citizens to read the country-specific DOS Travel Advisories. DoS Travel Advisories can be accessed here. An interactive map is posted here

Most US embassies are providing passport and visa services on a non-emergency basis.

DoS is conducting a three-phase reopening of passport agencies and centers in the US. A list of the agencies and their current phase of reopening is available here.

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed in-person services on 4 June. Further information is available here.

CDC Cruise Ship Guidance

CDC has downgraded cruise ship risk to Level 2 (moderate risk).

CDC states, “Cruise ship travel is not a zero-risk activity. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is moderate, even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.”

CDC recommends:

  • Travelers are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines before cruise ship travel.
  • Travelers take a COVID-19 viral test as close to time of cruise departure as possible (no more than 3 days) before travel.
  • Travelers get a COVID-19 viral test 3-5 days after their cruise, regardless of vaccination status.

CDC has developed a colored coded cruise ship status “dashboard” based on data reported by cruise ships and relevant public health authorities.

Travelers should check their cruise ship’s color and vaccination status before traveling (see https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/cruise-ship-color-status.html#status-dashboard)

Participation by cruise lines is voluntary. Those who have not chosen to participate remain in gray (unknown) risk status.

Minimum standards to obtain a certificate include a successful simulated voyage that demonstrates the ability to mitigate COVID-19. Further information is available here

Eventual Ease of Travel Advisories and Restrictions

  • For US Travelers: When CDC and DoS begin to change travel advisories levels, they will likely do so on a country by country basis, taking a number of factors into consideration including COVID-19 infection rates in the destination country, testing/reporting status, quality of medical care, regional rates of infection, and the potential for travelers to bring coronavirus back into the US.
  • Destination countries will continue to impose various levels of restrictive measures in an attempt to keep infection and reinfection rates low.

References

The following sources provide additional information related to guidelines and advice for the general public, as well as US Department of State travel advisory information and two sources for case tracking.

Global Rescue COVID Travel Protection

United States Entry Restrictions

On 12 January 2021, CDC issued an order requiring a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 for all airline or other aircraft passengers arriving into the United States from any foreign country. The effective date is 26 January. The order makes no distinctions between citizens, non-citizens, residents, or non-residents.

On 20 September 2021, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeffrey Zients announced a change in US travel restrictions.

  • Beginning in early November, authorities will allow travelers to enter the US by air from:
    • European Schengen Zone
    • UK and Ireland
    • China
    • India
    • South Africa
  • Travelers must provide proof of full vaccination with a CDC approved vaccine. CDC has not released a list of approved vaccines but will likely accept Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson and Johnson.
  • Persons over two years of age, including US citizens, must provide a negative COVID test result taken within 72 hours of departure for the US.
  • Travelers must complete a second COVID-19 test 3-5 days after arrival.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers who test negative may enter the US without quarantine.
  • Unvaccinated US citizens must observe additional protocols (to be announced).
  • There are no announced changes to restrictions for entering the US by land from Canada or Mexico.

Exempted travelers include:

  • Crewmembers of airlines following industry standard protocols.
  • Aircraft operators transporting passengers with COVID-19 pursuant to CDC authorization.'
  • Federal law enforcement personnel carrying out official duties.
  • Military personnel on orders.
  • Airlines or aircraft operators granted waivers by the CDC.
    • The order defines qualifying tests as documentation of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours
      preceding a flight’s departure. Documentation must be in paper or electronic format. Testing must be
      performed using a viral test. Documentation must also include sufficient verification information – such
      as the name and contact information for the laboratory or health care personnel who performed the test.
    • A viral test means viral detection for current infection such as a nucleic acid amplification test or a viral
      antigen test approved or authorized by the relevant national authority for the detection of SARS-CoV-2.
    • Further information is available here.
  • A Presidential Executive Order issued on 21 January 2021 requires certain US agencies to propose quarantine and self-isolation guidelines for international travelers arriving in the US.
    • Guidelines must include: 
      • A Presidential Executive Order issued on 21 January 2021 requires certain US agencies to propose quarantine and self-isolation guidelines for international travelers arriving in the US. Guidelines must include:
      • The feasibility of testing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation on arrival, for travelers entering the United States from countries where COVID-19 tests are inaccessible, particularly where such inaccessibility of tests would affect the ability of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to return to the United States.
      • Measures to prevent fraud.
      • Testing upon arrival, COVID-19 vaccination status, follow-up testing and symptom-monitoring, air filtration requirements, environmental decontamination standards, and contact tracing.


Legend: Few or no cases | Falling | About the Same | Slowly Rising | Moderate Rise | Rising Quickly | Record Highs

*Map courtesy of the New York Times

International Restrictions

*Map courtesy of the New York Times

To view country specific restrictions click below

VIEW INTERNATIONAL RESTRICTIONS

A note for the country restrictions matrix: The category of “Lockdowns, Curfews, or Stay‐at‐Home Orders” includes any government‐imposed measure that grants authority to security personnel to prevent people from leaving the home, bans nonessential movement, restricts entry or exit from certain areas, limits the use of private transportation, or imposes other restrictions on movement. Not included in this category are measures such as closures of parks or certain businesses, bans on mass gatherings, and “safer‐at‐home” orders which are not enforced.Countries are now arranged alphabetically within the following regional groupings:

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia and Oceania
  • Central and South America
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • North America and Caribbean

Each country is now assigned a Travel Restriction Status (first column). Status definitions are:

  • R=Red Status - Fully Closed Nation - all borders closed to non-citizens or non-residents. No routine crossing of borders allowed except for commerce and medical support.
  • Y=Yellow Status - Partially Open Nation - entry allowed to some or all non-citizens or non-residents. COVID-19 restrictions are in place but may be easing.
  • G=Green Status - Fully Open Nation - no travel restrictions in place they were not in existence prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Signs and Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The majority of cases related to this coronavirus outbreak have reported fever, cough and respiratory difficulties (distress, rapid breathing and shortness of breath).General symptoms related to coronavirus infection can also include, but are not limited to

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Loss of smell and/or taste
  • Diarrhea
  • Aches and pains
  • General feeling of being unwell

Medical Advice for Travelers

Avoid contact with sick people. Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat). Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Older travelers and those with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.

Our Coronavirus Quarantine Policies

In an attempt to control the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, several countries including the U.S. are enforcing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers who may have been exposed to the virus.

Global Rescue recommends that before departure, travelers carefully review the coronavirus control policies of their destination and defer travel if there is a chance of being quarantined. Global Rescue strongly supports the international effort to control the spread of coronavirus. If a Global Rescue member is quarantined, Global Rescue will continue to provide medical and other advisory services. However, medical evacuation is not possible during a mandated quarantine period.


* Data based on press reporting and subject to further verification.

 


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