Where travel is essential, you should follow sensible guidance to prepare for your trip and reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19 while this outbreak is on-going.
Be aware that there may be enhanced screening/monitoring at entry and exit ports. In some countries borders may close or you may be required to self-isolate for a set period, even if you do not have symptoms.
Be aware of, and keep up to date with the latest official advice offered by the country you are departing from or travelling to during this outbreak. The pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may impose travel restrictions without notice.
If you are travelling from the UK, check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) foreign travel advice; (see the summary, health and entry requirements sections).
Check the impact this outbreak may have on your travel insurance coverage, including medical repatriation costs in case of ill health or any new restrictions on travel. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has produced information on travel insurance implications following the outbreak.
Contact your airline, tour operator, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers for up-to date information on your itinerary and travel plans. Other useful resources may include International Air Travel Association (IATA) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Check up to date travel health recommendations on your Country Information pages, and if you require further advice, speak to your practice nurse, pharmacist or travel clinic.
If you are elderly or have underlying health problems, you should be aware that if you are infected with COVID-19 you could be at increased risk of severe infection.
Use of facemasks is generally not recommended outside clinical settings for personal protection. Should you decide to use a mask (or it is a requirement at your destination), you should ensure you continue to use all the recommended precautions in order to minimise the risk of transmission.
If you are unwell with either a high temperature or new continuous cough, and you live alone, you should self-isolate for 7 days, if you live with others, the whole household should isolate for 14 days.
See the Public Health Practitioners stay at home guidance, you do not need to contact health workers if you are self-isolating unless your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days.
In addition to the points above, consider the general advice for preventing the spread of respiratory viruses:
Wash your hands often with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you feel unwell, stay at home, do not attend work or school.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash hands with soap and water.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
Advice if you have contact with a COVID-19 case while abroad
If you have been in contact with a known COVID-19 case, follow local public health advice (if available), and speak to your healthcare provider or travel insurance company as soon as possible for further guidance.
Advice if you become unwell abroad
If you develop symptoms of new continuous cough or fever or high temperature while abroad or during travel, you should immediately:
Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people, as you would with the flu.
Call your health provider and/or insurance company to discuss what you should do.
Follow local public health guidance if available.
If you become unwell at an airport, bus or train station before or during a long trip, seek medical advice and do not start or continue your journey.
Once you have fully recovered, check with your health provider if you are fit to travel, before any onward travel.
Returned travellers who are unwell with either a high temperature or new continuous cough, and who live alone, should self-isolate for 7 days; if they live with others, the whole household should isolate for 14 days.