As countries all over the world struggle to contain the coronavirus, a number of them have instituted travel bans.
The outbreak has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and as such global restrictions on worldwide travellers have increased.
So far, it looks like South Africans can still travel around the globe relatively unhindered as long as they stay away from infected countries.
I would give some serious thought to booking a plane ticket at this point, though, as you never know what will happen in your destination country before you fly.
Let’s get to it:
The US ban applies to 26 countries in the Schengen Area free movement zone: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The UK and Ireland are not included, despite both countries reporting cases of the virus.
Travellers who have been in China, Iran, South Korea or Italy in the last two weeks will not be allowed to enter Australia.
Australian nationals, residents or their immediate family members are exempt from the ban.
Austria has introduced border checks. A ban has been placed on passengers from Italy, China, Iran and South Korea, unless they can produce a certificate proving that they are free from the virus.
China has instituted a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for all new arrivals to the country. International business travellers with be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival until they’re given the all-clear.
Croatian nationals can enter the country without a problem. Anyone flying in from China’s Hubei Province, Germany’s Heinsberg County, Iran, Italy, or South Korea’s Daegu City and Cheongdo province in the past 14 days will be placed in quarantine.
The Czech Republic has declared a state of emergency and barred entry to all non-residents, as well as partially closing its borders.
Greece will not be accepting any new asylum seekers for at least a month, or until the virus slows down.
Travellers who have passed through South Korea or China’s Hubei Province in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter Hong Kong. Chines nationals are also barred if their passport was issued in Hubei. Returning Hong Kong nationals will be quarantined for 14 days.
India has suspended all tourist visas and will be enforcing a two-week quarantine on anyone entering the country, having visited China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, South Korea and Spain.
Anyone who isn’t an Indonesian national, and who has visited China, or affected regions of Italy, South Korea and Iran, will be barred from entry.
Tourists will not be allowed entry to Italy from any of the following airports: Alessandria, Asti, Lombardy, Modena, Novara, Padova, Parma, Pesaro and Urbino, Piacenza, Reggio Emilia, Rimini, Treviso-Venice, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli.
Travellers who have been to China, South Korea or Italy within the last 14 days will be denied entry to Japan.
Anyone entering who has been in one of the severely affected countries will be quarantined for 14 days, unless they can produce a medical certificate.
Malaysia has banned all travellers from infected regions of China, Korea, Japan, Iran, Italy and Denmark.
Anyone travelling to Norway from outside the Nordic region must self-isolate for two weeks.
Russians returning from any of the infected areas worldwide will be required to self-isolate for two weeks.
Visas will be cancelled on arrival. Travellers arriving from Italy, Iran and South Korea will be quarantined for 14 days.
Visitors to China’s Hubei Province and passport holders from that region, are not permitted entry.
Visa-free entry has been suspended for travellers from Hong Kong, South Korea and Italy, while visa on arrival has been stopped for 18 countries: Bulgaria, Bhutan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu and China.
Travellers who have been in China, Iran, Iraq, Italy or South Korea in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter or travel through Turkey.
Vietnam has announced that any arrival who has been in the UK or Schengen Area in the last 14 days will be denied entry, lasting for a 30 day period.
Kenya has announced suspension of all travelers from countries with confimed coronavirus cases.
The Moroccan government has suspended all flights to Algeria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, as well as passenger ferry services.
The Namibian government will be suspending inbound and outbound flights from Qatar, Ethiopia and Germany for 30 days.
President Ramaphosa has declared a national state of disaster and announced that all travelers who have entered South Africa from high-risk countries since mid-February will be required to present themselves for testing.
As the coronavirus continues to spread, these restrictions are likely to get worse.
Stay safe out there.
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