COVID-19: Travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic

Travel is one of the main ways COVID-19 has been making its way around the world. There are restrictions on international travel. Visas are being cancelled and even local travel have been reconsidered and restructured.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is highly transmissible and its swift spread has meant new hotspots presenting almost daily across the world, forcing a rethink of travel plans. Some countries have gone so far as to cancel international travel outright, in the short term.

Here's what you need to know about travelling during the COVID-19 pandemic:

What precautionary measures must I follow?

  1. Avoid contact with sick people.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol based hand sanitiser that contains 60% to 95% alcohol. You should use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  4. It is especially important to clean your hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  5. Supplies of hand sanitiser, tissues, and other hygiene products may be limited, so consider taking them with you.
  6. Pay attention to your health during travel and for 14 days after you return.
  7. Make sure that you follow instructions from local authorities on any local restrictions on travel, movement or large gatherings.

For more information

Visit the NICD website at for further information. For medical/clinical related queries by health care professionals only, contact the NICD Hotline +27 (0) 82 883 9920 (for use by healthcare professionals only). For laboratory related queries call the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis (011-555- 0315/7/8 or 011-555-0488).

Guidelines and case definitions are available on the NICD website

Visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel for regular updates.

All medical information found on this website including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. SABMAS publishes this content to help to protect and empower all South Africans by promoting a better understanding of COVID-19.

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