The Coronavirus pandemic has crossed borders and infected 245, 655 people and over 10,000 fatally succumbed to it so far. This has amassed fear and spread panic across nations. Without a medical vaccine in place, the only way to arrest its spread is to restrict interaction, social distancing and quarantine. As such, countries have instituted travel restrictions and other bans that will disallow movement of the infected among the virus-free population.
Here are 5 things You Should Know About Travel
1. US Warns Against International Travel
The State Department has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory that goes into effect immediately. Although not a mandate, this strongly advices against any travel abroad. And if done so, to stay out of the US until further notice. This advisory can stay into effect for 18 months or more.
With over 4,000 cases in New York and 800 in Canada, the US-Canada is temporarily shut.
2. Global Entry Suspended
Customs and Border Protection has suspended all operations pertaining to Global Entry, Trusted Traveler Program, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST until May 1, 2020. This temporary closure includes public access to enrollment centers as well as mobile enrollment events.
Traveling with an expiring TSA Pre-Check?
Here’s how you can renew your TSA Pre-check and Global Entry
3. International Flights Cancelled and Airports Shut
Most international airlines have either suspended flights across infected regions around the world or altered schedules until May 6, 2020. Several airports are shut down to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus. Since travel from and to countries like China, Korea, Italy, and 26 European countries have been banned due to the massive spread of the virus, many countries have mitigated flight-routes across most borders.
Most airlines have waived the trip cancellation fees for tickets purchased before March1, 2020. This is effective until June 1, 2020.
The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has allowed liquid hand sanitizers and big packs of wipes in carry-on baggage. They also discourage from putting wallets and phones in bins during security checks.
What else can you carry with you on the flight?
Here’s a list of prohibited and permissible things allowed in your carry-on
4. Cruise-lines Affected
All domestic and international cruise-lines have suspended their sea-fares at least until mid-April. Holland America, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise line and Viking River Cruises have offered cancellation options to passengers and intend to resume operations by May if the CDC approves.
They additionally recommend that individuals who do go on a cruise self-quarantine for two weeks after their trip.
5. India: Mandatory Compliance of Travel Advisory
Travel from the European Union, including Turkey and UK, the gulf countries including the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait and infected countries including China, Italy and Korea are strictly prohibited.
US Consulates temporarily closed down and all US visa appointments cancelled.
Even OCI holders may not enter India until April 15, 2020.
Anyone entering India through land or air after February 11, 2020 will be quarantined for 14 days on arrival.