As the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging across the world, it’s important that US travelers adhere to the CDC guidelines when it comes to traveling, be it for work or for pleasure.
The advice from the CDC is, as it always has been, to check the country-specific advisories for updates and check with US Embassies in your destination countries to discover how the pandemic may affect your travels. It is here you can find out if there are any special regulations that you must follow upon your return to the US (such as quarantining).
Different Approaches Across The World
A number of countries have closed their borders to outside travelers to improve their chances of containing the COVID-19 pandemic. Many countries are taking different approaches to lockdowns and social distancing; as Mark Dubowitz, leading author on Iran Foreign Policy, stated on the 8th of April, “Tehran has so far refused to implement strict social distancing measures, which, as other countries have demonstrated, requires the shuttering of major parts of the economy”.
The differences in the approach to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic by each country must be carefully studied before you decide to travel. Some countries are requiring both masks and gloves to be work, other countries do not require masks to be worn at all, and social distancing implementation also varies by countries. Some countries are suggesting a distance of 2m (just over 6 feet), whereas other countries may only require a 1m distance (just over 3 feet).
Dealing With Travel Disruption
Due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic, it is very likely that your travel will be disrupted, whether you are traveling for personal trips or for business purposes.
The pandemic is changing the way we travel, not just internationally but locally also. Countries such as the UK have begun to impose local lockdowns as well as circuit breaker national lockdowns to try to curb the spread of infections. This could mean that you are not allowed to travel within the country itself, from county to country, or across land borders such as those between England and Wales.
In Europe, many countries are taking different approaches to border control, with countries such as Portugal and Spain keeping their borders open with little to no checks for people crossing into each country.
It is unfortunately quite likely that you may start your trip visiting a country that is not on the restriction list, but it is put on the restriction list during your stay. This could mean you find it difficult to leave the country or, if you can get out, you may be required to quarantine at home for a period (usually 7-14 days) upon your return.
For many travelers, the impact of a 14-day quarantine period will have a significant knock-on effect for both work and personal considerations. It’s recommended that you alert your employers to any issues regarding your travel plans and make arrangements to assume a 14-day self-isolation period upon your return.
On a personal note, it’s work ensuring that you have the necessary preparations to spend up to 14 days in your house without leaving. This could include any necessary food and water requirements, personal hygiene, and urgent medications that anyone in the family needs.