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Coronavirus Weekly Update: What You Need To Know


July 22, 2021
Categories: Advisories, Health, In Action

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

 

July 20 – Canada announced reopening of its borders for discretionary travel to fully vaccinated travelers. Starting August 9, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States may enter Canada. Starting September 7, fully vaccinated citizens from other countries may enter Canada, provided they meet immigration requirements. The reopening is subject to change if Canada’s COVID-19 epidemiology trends unfavorably.

July 13 – International country-specific restrictions are updated. Lockdowns, curfews and stay-at-home orders will end in Japan on August 22, Maldives on August 2, Thailand on September 30 and Argentina on August 6, to name a few. Carefully review requirements of the destination before any travel.

July 6 – International country-specific restrictions are updated. Lockdowns, curfews and stay-at-home orders will end in Indonesia on July 20, Guyana on July 31 and Turks and Caicos on August 31. Carefully review requirements of the destination before any travel.

 


 

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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. 

Worldwide:

  • 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:

  • General
    • Canada announced reopening of its borders for discretionary travel to fully vaccinated travelers.
      • The reopening is subject to change if Canada’s COVID-19 epidemiology trends unfavorably.
      • Starting 9 Aug 2021, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents of the United States may enter Canada. (Children under 12 are exempt from the vaccination requirement).
      • Starting 7 September 2021, fully vaccinated citizens from other countries may enter Canada, provided they meet immigration requirements. (Children under 12 are exempt from the vaccination requirement).
      • Canadian approved vaccines include Comirnaty (Pfizer), COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna, Vaxzevria (previously COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca), and COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Johnson and Johnson).
      • Canada considers a person “fully vaccinated” when they have completed the full course of the vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Canada.
      • Regardless of vaccination status, all arrivals (over age five) must present a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
      • Arrivals in Canada are subject to random health screening and virus testing.
      • All travelers to Canada must use ArriveCan (app or web portal) to submit travel information.
      • Fully vaccinated travelers will not have to quarantine; however, they must present a quarantine plan through
      • ArriveCan in case they do not pass random health screening.

 

  • Starting on 9 August 2021, the number of Canadian airports accepting international flights will increase to nine including:
    • Calgary International Airport (YYC)
    • Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
    • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
    • Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL)
    • Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)
    • Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
    • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
    • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
    • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG)

 

  • Canada will not allow unvaccinated travelers to enter for discretionary purposes.
  • Prior to 9 Aug for US citizens and 7 Sep for all others, current measures and restrictions remain in effect (see below).
    • A mandatory 14 day quarantine remains in effect for all travelers arriving in Canada.

 

    • Travel by air
      • Air travelers to Canada 5 years of age or older must present a negative COVID-19 test result to the airline prior to boarding international flights. This includes Canadian citizens and residents.  More information is available here.
      • From February 3, 2021, all scheduled international commercial passenger flights, private/business flights, and charter flights must land at one of four Canadian airports: Montréal-Trudeau International Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, Calgary International Airport, and Vancouver International Airport. (Flights from Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and cargo-only flights are exempt).
      • Air travelers arriving in Canada, with very limited exceptions, must reserve a room in a Government of Canada-approved hotel for three nights at their own cost. The purpose of the mandatory three nights is to await results of the required COVID-19 molecular test taken upon arrival.
      • Hotel stopover bookings are managed by American Express Global Business Travel and available by phone only. To book a mandatory 3-night hotel stopover, call 1-800-294-8253.
      • Travelers must complete the remainder of the mandatory 14-day quarantine after their mandatory 3-night hotel stopover.

 

    • Travel by land
      • All travelers arriving in Canada by land will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test result taken in the US with 72 hours of arrival, or a positive test taken 14 to 90 days prior to arrival.
      • All travelers entering Canada at the land border will be required to take two COVID-19 molecular tests: 1) on arrival, and 2) on day 8 of their mandatory quarantine. (Travelers must pay for the tests).
      • Travelers arriving by land can quarantine at a suitable facility of their choice, accepted through ArriveCAN.

 

    • Travel by water (effective through 28 February 2022)
      • Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are prohibited from entering Arctic waters.
      • Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast.
      • Cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.
      • The measures do not affect pleasure craft used by local Arctic residents.

 

Mexico:

  • Mexico has extended prohibitions on non-essential travelers crossing land borders through 21 July 2021 (the prohibitions do not apply to air travel).

European Union:

  • Some EU countries are beginning to allow entry of tourists from non-EU countries including the United States, without the additional requirement of negative tests or quarantine, if they can provide proof of an EU approved vaccination.
    • 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:

  • The UK has reported two variants of SARS-COV-19 (Coronavirus) with increased transmissibility rates. One variant appears to have originated in the UK, while the other appears to have originated in South Africa. Scientists are investigating both variants further.
  • 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

A Presidential Executive Order issued on 21 January 2021 requires that masks be worn in compliance with CDC guidelines in or on certain modes of domestic transportation and facilities including airports, commercial aircraft, trains, public maritime vessels including ferries, and intercity bus services. This is still in effect as of 13 May 2021.

Updated CDC guidance issued on 13 May 2021:

  • 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 resume pre-pandemic activities.
    • Can resume indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart except as required by local and federal laws.
    • Does not need to get tested or quarantine before and after travel within the US.
    • Does not need to get tested prior to leaving the US unless the destination requires it.
    • Must still must show a negative test to board an international return flight to the US.
    • Should get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
    • Does not need to self-isolate after arriving in the US.
    • Does not need to stay away from others or get tested if someone near them tests positive unless the
      vaccinated person has symptoms.

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

The CDC “No Sail” order for cruise ships carrying 250 or more passengers to/from US ports expired on 31 October 2020.

The CDC instituted a “Conditional Sailing Order” on 1 November 2020 that will remain in effect until 1 November 2021 unless rescinded.

Under the Conditional Sailing Order, cruise ships carrying more than 250 passengers that wish to enter or leave US ports must obtain a COVID-19 conditional sailing certificate from the CDC.

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.

 

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.

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.
  • Note: The following proclamation was revoked on 24 February 2021 and will be deleted from this report starting 1 March 2021. Per Presidential Proclamation 10014, effective 23 April 2020 and extended through 31 March 2021, entry
    into the US of aliens as immigrants is suspended.
    • The suspension applies to aliens outside the US as of 23 April who do not have a valid immigrant visa as
      of 23 April and who do not have an official travel document other than a visa (e.g. a transportation
      letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document).

The suspension does not apply to:

    • Lawful permanent residents of the US.
    • Aliens seeking to enter the US on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other health care
      professional.
    • Medical researchers who will work to combat the spread of COVID-19.
    • Accompanying or following spouses and unmarried children under 21 of any such alien.
    • Aliens applying for a visa to enter the US pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
    • Aliens who are the spouses of a US citizen.
    • Aliens under 21 who are the child of a US citizen, or prospective adoptees seeking to enter the
      US pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications.
    • Aliens whose entry would further important US law enforcement objectives.
    • Members of the US Armed Forces and spouses and children of a member of the US Armed
      Forces.
    • Aliens seeking to enter the US pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification.
    • Aliens whose entry would be in the national interest.
  • Note: The following proclamation was revoked on 24 February 2021 and will be deleted from this report starting 1 March 2021. Per Presidential Proclamation 10052, effective 24 June and extended through 31 March 2021, the following
    non-immigrant visas are suspended:
    • H-1B or H-2B visas, and any alien accompanying or following to join such a visa aspirant.
    • J visas, to the extent the alien is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or
      summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such a visa aspirant.
    • L visas and any non-citizen accompanying or following to join such a visa aspirant.
    • The suspension only applies to aliens who do not have a valid non-immigrant visa as of 24 June and/or
      who do not have an official travel document other than a visa (e.g. a transportation letter, an
      appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document).
    • This suspension does not apply to:
      • Lawful permanent residents of the US.
      • Non-citizens who are spouses or children of a US citizen.
      • Aliens seeking to enter the US to provide temporary labor or services essential to the US food supply chain.
      • Aliens whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designated representatives.
    • The Secretary of Homeland Security will review on 24 July and make further recommendations, if warranted, every 60 days. Descriptions of immigrant and non-immigrant visas are available here.
  • On 25 January, US authorities extended a ban on foreign nationals who have been physically present in Schengen-area countries in the last 14 days, including Direct flights from the UK are suspended; Entry into Austria directly from the UK is prohibited, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

  • On 25 January, US authorities extended a ban on foreign nationals who have been physically present in the UK or Ireland within the last 14 days.

  • Effective 30 January, foreign nationals who have been physically present in South Africa within the last 14 days are prohibited from entering the United States

  • Effective 4 May, foreign nationals foreign nationals who have been physically present in India within the last 14 days are prohibited from entering the United States.

  • Foreign nationals who have traveled to Iran or mainland China within 14 days are barred from entry.

  • On 25 January, US authorities extended a ban on foreign nationals who have been physically present in the Brazil within the last 14 days.

  • These bans do not apply to US citizens, permanent residents, their close family members, and certain other limited categories of visa holders.

  • The CDC recommends that travelers returning to the US from abroad should self-isolate for seven days.


Map of United States coronavirus casesLegend: 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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