Travel Plans Amid COVID-19

Smartchoice Editorial
March 22, 2020

Corona has affected many aspects of our normal life and one of them is traveling, thousands of people travel each day from one place to another, some travel for work, some for leisure, studies, meet the family and parents, etc. etc.

One of the world’s largest industries in the world is the tourism and hospitality industry that provides employment to thousands and millions of people around the world in multiple capacities, hotels, transport, guides, food, tickets, airports, taxis etc.etc.

Today in the present condition the whole world has gone upside down, stock-markets have crashed, the business has stopped their dealing, people are confined in their homes and what not has happened which has stopped the wheel of people living their normal life.

This thing has also impacted the travel industry and many airlines and airports have suspended there operations and hence many people are stranded at multiple places creating chaos and confusion in the world.

Below mentioned is the list of countries that have stopped their operations and allowing no international flights to land in lines with measures to stop the spread of deadly COVID-19 to the masses and to stop the further progression of the virus.

The countries which have suspended operations include that the EU has proposed that all non-essential travel should be suspended to the European Union for 30 days, the president of the EU commission has announced. This would affect travel from outside the EU, but the UK would be exempt.

Albania and Slovenia
All flights suspended.

Austria
No direct flights between Austria and the UK, or direct air or rail connections from Austria to Italy, France, Spain or Switzerland. Travellers coming from Italy by road will be stopped at the border and must present a health certificate stating that they are not affected by a coronavirus. Ski resorts closed on 15 March in Tirol, Salzburg and Vorarlberg. Restaurants and shops open at limited hours.

Andorra, Monaco and the Netherlands
Cultural and sporting activities are prohibited; large gatherings restricted; restaurants and bars are closed; shops likely to be open at limited hours; public transport limited; health screenings on arrival likely. Some flights suspended.

Azerbaijan
Mandatory quarantine for 14 days. E-visas suspended. Flight schedules reduced. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible, as onward travel could become more difficult.

Belgium
Restrictions on non-essential movement (ie except food shopping, medical care). Cultural and sporting activities are prohibited; large gatherings restricted; restaurants and bars are closed; shops likely to be open at limited hours; public transport limited. Some flights suspended.

Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine

Ban on entry to UK travellers especially. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving these countries as soon as possible, as onward travel could become more difficult. Some countries have reduced flight schedules, land/sea border restrictions and restrictions on non-essential movement.

Bosnia-Herzegovina
Self-quarantine for 14 days. Some borders are closed and some flights suspended. Travellers may be asked for proof of accommodation booking. Under 18s and over-65s must self-isolate until 31 March.

Croatia
Ban on entry to UK travellers. Borders closed form 19 March for 30 days. Self-quarantine for 14 days. Travellers may be asked for proof of accommodation booking.

Denmark
Ban on entry to UK travellers. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving these countries as soon as possible, as onward travel could become more difficult. Some flights suspended. Flights suspended from Greenland from 21 March to at least 4 April. Flights to the Faroe Islands severely reduced. Borders with Sweden closed to travellers from 14 March.

France
Some flights suspended. Cross-Channel train and ferry services reduced. Restrictions on non-essential movement from 17 March for 15 days (ie food shopping, medical care, the exercise of up to 20 minutes running or walking). Cultural and sporting activities are prohibited; large gatherings restricted; restaurants and bars are closed; shops likely to be open at limited hours and public transport limited.

Greece and Ireland
Self-quarantine for 14 days. Cultural and sporting activities are prohibited; large gatherings restricted; restaurants and bars are closed; shops likely to be open at limited hours and public transport limited; health screenings on arrival likely.

Isle of Man
Self-quarantine for 14 days.

Luxembourg
All passenger flights suspended from 23 March. Restrictions on non-essential movement (ie except food shopping, medical care). Cultural and sporting activities are prohibited already; large gatherings restricted; restaurants and bars are closed; shops likely to be open at limited hours; public transport limited.

Malta
Travellers in Malta advised by the Maltese government to leave as soon as possible.

Moldova
No direct flights to the rest of Europe. Ban on entry to travellers who have been in China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Macao, South Korea or Taiwan in the 14 days before arrival.

Montenegro
Ban on entry to travellers who have recently been in Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Spain, South Korea, Iran and Hubei province of China.

Self-quarantine for 14 days for travellers who have recently been in Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Slovenia or Austria, Portugal

Land border restrictions with Spain (ie cross-border commuters and deliveries only). Flights from outside the EU suspended (not including the UK, USA, Canada, Venezuela, South Africa and Portuguese speaking countries). Self-quarantine for 14 days for anyone arriving in Azores, Madeira and Porto Santo. Restrictions to non-essential movement are likely to be imposed soon.

Romania
Self-quarantine for 14 days. Travellers in Romania advised by the FCO to leave as soon as possible.

Spain
The UK and all other travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible. Hotels and short-stay accommodation must close by Tuesday 24 March (measures do not apply to long-term accommodation, such as long-stay campsites, as long as travellers can cater for themselves and do not rely on communal facilities, which will be closed). Some flights suspended. Land border restrictions (ie cross-border commuters and deliveries only). Restrictions on non-essential movement (ie except food shopping, medical care).

Sweden
All Scandinavian Airlines flights suspended. Other travel options are limited.

Switzerland
Land border restrictions (ie no non-residents, and cross-border commuters and deliveries only). Restrictions on non-essential movement (ie food shopping, medical care, exercise, those that can’t work from home only). Cultural and sporting activities prohibited; ski resorts closed; large gatherings restricted; restaurants and bars closed; shops likely to be open at limited hours and public transport limited. Some flights suspended.

Turkey
Flights to the UK suspended from 17 March. Land borders closed. Travellers who test positive on arrival will be quarantined in a government facility for 14 days, and negative test results in 14 days self-quarantine. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible, as onward travel could become more difficult.

Coronavirus: travel companies allow trips to be postponed free of charge

Bahrain
Suspension of visa-on-arrival scheme. Self-quarantine for 14 days.

Bangladesh
Suspension of visa-on-arrival scheme. Self-quarantine for 14 days. All travellers must present a health certificate within three days stating that they are not affected by a coronavirus. Some flights suspended. Ban on entry to travellers who have recently been in Europe (not including the UK).

Bhutan, Indonesia, Kuwait, Qatar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Oman, Taiwan and Turkmenistan
Ban on entry to all travellers, not possessing health certificate. Some flights suspended.

Brunei
Self-monitor for 14 days.

Cambodia
Ban on entry to travellers who have recently been in France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain or USA.

Hong Kong, Israel, Macao, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Uzbekistan
Self-quarantine for 14 days.

India
Ban on entry to all travellers from the UK, EU, and Turkey from 18 March. Some flights suspended. All visas and e-visas invalid until 15 April. One day curfew 22 March, 7 am-9 am.

Japan
Ban on entry to travellers who have been in China, Iran or Italy in the 14 days before arrival.

Jordan
No commercial flights in or out of Jordan, and all land and sea borders closed. Restrictions on large gatherings and non-essential movement (ie except food shopping, medical care).

Lebanon
Direct flights suspended from affected countries on 17 March. Airlines flying into Beirut Rafic Hariri airport are being asked to refuse passengers who have been in the UK, France, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Germany or Spain. UK nationals are advised to review travel plans here.

Maldives
Ban on entry to travellers who have been in Bangladesh, China, Iran, Italy or South Korea (Gyeongsang) in the 14 days before arrival.

Myanmar
UK travellers are advised to leave as soon as possible. The UK  and all other travellers must present a health certificate stating that they are not affected by coronavirus, or self-quarantine for 14 days.

Nepal
Suspension of visa-on-arrival scheme. All land borders closed. All mountaineering expeditions for spring 2020 have been suspended. All travellers require a health certificate stating that they do not have coronavirus.

Pakistan
All flights suspended until 4 April. Large gatherings prohibited.

Philippines
Ban on entry to all UK travellers. The shutdown of all public transportation, limited flights from 20 March to 13 April. Foreign nationals can still leave at any time.

Sri Lanka
Ban on entry to the UK  and European travellers. No new visas being issued. Flights suspended from 19 March. Daily curfew of 6 pm, initially until 23 March.

Tajikistan
All flights suspended from 20 March. Ban on entry to travellers who have been in or transited through, China, Iran, Italy or South Korea in the 14 days before arrival.

Thailand
Travellers who have recently been in affected countries require a health certificate stating that they are not affected by a coronavirus. Self-monitor for 14 days. Songkran celebrations postponed and other large gatherings likely to be cancelled or postponed.

UAE
Suspension of visa on arrival scheme. Travellers already in UAE can extend visas in line with existing procedures.

Vietnam
No new visas being issued for 15-30 days, and 14-day quarantine for all travellers entering Vietnam. Some flights suspended.

Argentina
Ban on entry to UK travellers. Suspension of all flights for 30 days from 12 March. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible.

Aruba, Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Honduras, Saint Helena, Saint Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago
Ban on entry to UK travellers. Some flights suspended. UK travellers that wish to leave are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible, to ensure travel plans can be met.

Antigua & Barbuda and Montserrat
Ban on entry to travellers who have recently been in China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea or Singapore.

Barbados
Mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

Bermuda
Ban on entry to UK travellers from 20 March (11.59 local time). No incoming passenger flights from LF Wade international airport for two weeks.

Bolivia
Ban on entry to all travellers from 20 March. All flights suspended from 21 March. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible.

Canada
Ban on entry to UK travellers. US border closed to non-essential travel from 20 March (midnight EST). Some flights suspended. UK travellers that wish to leave are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible, to ensure travel plans can be met.

Cayman Islands
Ban on entry to UK travellers. International passenger flights suspended for three weeks from 22 March. UK travellers that wish to leave are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible.

Chile
Land and sea borders closed and all flights suspended for all travellers from 18 March. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible.

Colombia
Ban on entry to UK travellers. Airports will close from 23 March. Flights are still departing, but cancellations and disruption likely. Land and sea borders closed. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible.

Dominican Republic
Closure of all air, land and sea borders from 19 March. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible. Restrictions on non-essential movement (ie food shopping, medical care, exercise. Cultural and sporting activities prohibited; large gatherings restricted; restaurants and bars closed; shops likely to be open at limited hours and public transport limited.

El Salvador
Ban on entry to UK travellers. International flights suspended.

Ecuador
Suspension of all flights until at least 5 April. All travel to Galapagos has been suspended from 16 March and all national parks have been closed until further notice. Restrictions on non-essential movement from 16 March for 15 days (ie food shopping and medical care).

Guatemala
Some flight suspensions. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible.

Grenada
Ban on entry to travellers who have been in China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea or Spain in the 14 days before arrival.

Guyana
All international flights suspended from the Cheddi Jagan airport at Timehri and the Eugene Correia airport at Ogle for 14 days from 17 March. Land border restrictions with Brazil. Self-quarantine for 14 days for travelers who have recently been in Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Malaysia, Panama, Thailand, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Singapore, South Korea or the US.

Mexico
Some flights suspended. Large gatherings restricted. The land border with the US closed from 21 March (midnight local time) to all non-essential traffic for 30 days.

Panama
Ban on entry to UK travelers. A national curfew between 9 pm and 5 am – travelers should not leave their accommodation outside of these hours. Some flights suspended. UK travelers that wish to leave are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible, to ensure travel plans can be met. Closure of commercial and leisure establishments, restrictions on entry to supermarkets.

Paraguay
Ban on entry to UK travelers. International flights suspended from 21 March. UK travelers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible. Restrictions on non-essential movement (ie food shopping and medical care only). Closure of commercial and leisure establishments, restrictions on entry to supermarkets.

Peru
Ban on entry to UK travelers. Land and sea borders closed and air travel limited. Travelers should get in touch with the embassy to register for repatriation. Send a full name, location and contact details to belima@fco.gov.uk. UK travelers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible. All borders closed and restrictions on non-essential movement from 16 March for 15 days (ie food shopping and medical care only).

Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
Self-quarantine for 14 days. Ban on entry to travelers who have been in China, Italy or Iran in the 14 days before arrival.

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Screening and possible quarantine for 14 days for travelers who have recently been in affected countries.

Turks & Caicos
Ban on entry to travellers who have been in affected countries in the 21 days before arrival – a list of countries that is subject to change frequently.

Uruguay
All flights suspended with Europe from 20 March. Large commercial premises closed until further notice. UK travellers are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible.

The US
Ban on entry to UK travellers. Border with Canada closed to non-essential travel from 20 March (midnight EST). Some flights suspended. UK travellers that wish to leave are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible, to ensure travel plans can be met.

Australia
Ban on entry to UK travellers. All borders closing on 20 March (9 pm local time) and could be closed for at least six months (to non-citizens and residents). Self-quarantine for 14 days. Large gatherings restricted.

Fiji
Ban on entry to travellers who have recently been in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea.

French Polynesia
All travellers require a health certificate stating that they do not have coronavirus.

Kiribati and Micronesia
Must have been spent 14 days in a country without any cases before arrival.

Nauru
Ban on entry to travellers who have been in or transited through China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Macao or South Korea in the 21 days before arrival.

New Zealand
Ban on entry to all UK travellers from 19 March (11.59 pm local time). Self-quarantine for 14 days. Large gatherings restricted.

Palau
Ban on entry to travellers who have been in China, Hong Kong or Macao in the 14 days before arrival.

Solomon Islands
Quarantine for 14 days for travellers who have recently been in affected countries.

Tonga
Ban on entry to all UK travellers, open to other nationalities by the presentation of health certificate.

Vanuatu
Ban on entry to travellers who have been in China, Hong Kong Japan, Macao, South Korea, Singapore or Taiwan in the 14 days before arrival.

Algeria
Suspension of all air and sea travel to and from Europe from 19 March.

Angola, Congo, Seychelles, and Uganda
Ban on entry to travelers who have recently been in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea.

Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Malawi, and Mozambique
Self-quarantine for 14 days for travelers who have recently been in affected countries. Some flights suspended.

Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, and Mauritius
Ban on entry to UK travelers. Some flights suspended.

Cape Verde
All sea borders closed and restricted flights from 18 March.

Comoros
All airports closed, must have spent 14 days in a country without any cases before arrival.

Egypt
Ban on UK travelers until 31 March. All air traffic suspended from 19 to 31 March.

Eritrea
Quarantine of 14 days for travellers who have recently been in China, South Korea, Italy, Germany or the US.

Guinea
Visitors must submit their passports for a 14-day monitoring period.

Liberia
Quarantine of 14 days likely, for travellers who have recently been in affected countries.

Madagascar
No commercial passenger flights with Europe for 30 days from 20 March. Self-quarantine for 14 days for travellers who have recently been in affected countries. Air France will be commissioning flights for European citizens from Antananarivo to Paris on Monday 23 March (1:45 am) – contact Air France to buy tickets by phone or at the Air France desk at Ivato airport.

Morocco
Flights suspended with the UK from 16 March (return flights from 19 March).
Restaurants, bars, and other public spaces closed.

Rwanda
All flights suspended from 20 March for an initial period of 30 days. Self-quarantine for 14 days for travelers who have recently been in affected countries.

Senegal
All commercial flights suspended from 20 March. Large gatherings restricted.

South Africa
Suspension of visa on arrival scheme, some flights suspended form 21 March. Travelers in the country who received a stamp on arrival allowing them to stay for 90 days do not need to apply for a visa.

Tunisia
Flights suspended and sea borders closed Curfew 6 am to 6 pm and restrictions on non-essential movement (ie except food shopping, medical care). Cultural and sporting activities are prohibited.

Cruise ships

The FCO is advising against all travel on cruise ships for passengers aged 70 years and over or those with high-risk conditions. Some destinations are placing bans on cruise ships docking or passengers disembarking, including Australia, Chile, Colombia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, and Portugal.  (Source) 

As per the above-mentioned data from the Guardian, it shows that majorly all countries are observing quarantine and are in favor of the minimum movement, yet there are no specific restrictions for Pakistanis travelers and they can travel once the regular operations as per the desire of the state’s authorities begin.

Keeping all this in view, few of the insurance companies are providing COVID-19 insurance protection for all the travelers; it is also stated as a requirement from a few of the embassy, for instance, Spanish and Thai Embassy.

Some Embassies are now asking for medical insurance that has coverage for COVID-19 that would protect the traveler in case of CORONA emergency and provides hospitalization and financial benefits in case of such situation arises, the cover required is specifically $100,000 medical coverage, without which even if the visa is issued, the boarding pass shall not be provided by the designated airline.

These are the new guidelines issued by the embassies recently and it may happen so that would follow the suit making corona-protection-clause as a permanent protection aspect in the given travel policy.

This specific policy which has COVID-19 protection can be acquired from Smartchoice.pk at the comfort of your home, just by providing your essential details and by making payment online through any of the payment methods as per your convenience be it jazz-cash, credit/debit card, cash on delivery or online bank transfer.

The policy would be delivered in 60 minutes in your provided mailbox.
P.S: as there have been many travel cancellations the insurance companies are providing refunds as per their terms and policies and deductibles applied.

Also, the delays which are caused to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and epidemic any delays caused by that shall not be covered by the travel insurance provider, yet the delays caused by airport operations or flight technicalities shall be entertained and covered under the policy you procure and the plan you choose has a cover for that certain aspect.

So, in this time of crisis and emergency, if you need to travel due to any of the mentioned or not aforementioned reasons, you should remember to seek and procure travel insurance well before time to avoid any of the hassles at the airport, or when you are in the queue waiting for your boarding pass and just being denied cause you don’t have the right travel insurance plan, even though if it is not mentioned on the policy, make sure you procure a policy that has coverage specific to COVID-19.

Stay Safe, Travel healthy and but don’t forget to buy your travel Insurance from Smartchoice.pk! while booking and packing your travel essentials.

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