Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Travelers Need To Know
JTB Business Travel is continually monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we’re dedicated to keeping our clients and their Travelers informed with the latest travel-related updates on COVID-19. Governments, airlines and travel suppliers are rapidly updating and implementing their response and information related to the pandemic. We are gathering that information here for you to access as a more convenient single resource for Coronavirus travel risk.
We will be updating this post periodically in an effort to keep you informed. Last Updated August 3, 2020
Coronavirus Traveler Risk Alert – CDC Level 3 Warning:
Due to the widespread ongoing transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) occurring globally. CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential international travel.
Japan Travel Information:
The Japanese government has extended the coronavirus (COVID-19) related state of emergency and quarantine through August 31st.
Japanese officials have issued international travel bans to foreign nationals who have traveled to 146 countries effective July 24th. Officials also require all passengers arriving from specified areas to undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, which involves medical personnel taking a nasopharyngeal swab, upon arrival. Authorities could expand such policies to cover additional areas at short notice, depending on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity.
Effective July 29th, all passengers arriving in Haneda or Narita will need to wait for their PCR test result at the airport (1-2 hours), even if you have a residence in Tokyo. You will not be permitted to enter the country until you get the results and only if the result is negative. Procedures for KIX have not been determined yet.
Flights from South Korea and China are only authorized to land at Narita International Airport (NRT) and Kansai International Airport (KIX).
UK Travel Information
The UK Government has introduced new rules for Travelers arriving in the UK beginning on 8 June.
Before you travel, please be aware that it’s now mandatory for travelers to provide information about their journey and contact details before they land. In addition, when you arrive in the UK, you must self-isolate for 14 days at the place you are staying.
Please go to www.gov.uk/uk-border-control for more information, including exceptions.
For additional information, licensed users can visit Worldcue® Global Control Center at https://gcc.worldcue.com. (See a full list of resources at the end of this post.)
Recommendations and Assistance for Business Travel
Avoid Unnecessary Travel
Our recommendation is that if travel can be avoided while the advisory is in place, it should be. Not just due to the risk of infection but also due to the risk of being stranded, given the dynamics of the situation.
Due to the ongoing uncertainty of travel planning, some airlines are providing “waivers” on all fares, giving travelers the ability to change their travel without incurring the usual change fee. Check airline websites for change fee exemptions on new flight purchases or ask a JTB Business Travel Advisor. Sabre has created a compilation of links to Airline Travel agent portals where policies and guidelines in relation to COVID-19 are being updated daily.
Rely On Us For Assistance, Even If You Booked Directly: Hold times with airlines, can be frustrating. Let us assist you with your travel, even if you didn’t book with us! Simply call a JTB Business Travel Advisor.
If You Must Travel, Plan Ahead
Due to reduced TSA personnel and air traffic capacity, several airlines have moved operations to different terminals in some major airports. Reconfirm your flights with airlines or a JTB Business Travel Advisor prior to departure to avoid missing flights or sitting at the airport. In fact, this advice would apply to all your travel reservations during this time.
- Most airlines are now requiring a mandatory mouth-nose cover. Be sure to bring your own face mask when you travel. These requirements are in effect until August 31, 2020.
- TSA has implemented changes to the security screening process to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Be sure to allow extra time in your schedule to pass through security.
Also, follow the recommendations in the Global COVID-19 Pandemic Notice, in addition to any travel health recommendations provided on the CDC webpage for your destination to reduce Coronavirus traveler risk.
We sincerely wish that our valued clients, colleagues, and their families are as safe as possible during this time.
Health Safety for International Travelers
World Health Organization (WHO) Health Safety Recommendations:
It is prudent for travelers who are sick to delay or avoid travel to affected areas, in particular for elderly travelers and people with chronic diseases or underlying health conditions.
General recommendations for personal hygiene, cough etiquette and keeping a distance of at least one meter from persons showing symptoms remain particularly important for all travelers. These include:
- Wash Your Hands Frequently:
Perform hand hygiene frequently, particularly after contact with respiratory secretions. Hand hygiene includes either cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Alcohol-based hand rubs are preferred if hands are not visibly soiled; wash hands with soap and water when they are visibly soiled;
- Practice Respiratory Hygiene:
Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene;
- Refrain from touching eyes, mouth and nose;
- Practice Social Distancing:
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms. However, in some cultures, masks may be commonly worn. If masks are to be worn, it is critical to follow best practices on how to wear, remove and dispose of them and on hand hygiene after removal (see Advice on the use of masks)
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is releasing daily situation reports that include the number of Coronavirus confirmed cases globally.
Coronavirus Traveler Risk Resources
- CDC Travel Notices: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
- CDC COVID-19 information page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html
- WHO Daily Situation Reports: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/
- WHO International Travel Recommendations: https://www.who.int/ith/2019-nCoV_advice_for_international_traffic-rev/en/
- WHO Corona Virus Q & A: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
- Resources for those who travel to Japan: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Japan.html
- US Embassy in Japan: https://jp.usembassy.gov/
- Japan National Tourism Organization: www.japan.travel
Avoid Incorrect or Misleading Information
There is quite a bit of incorrect information being spread about Coronavirus, how it’s transmitted and how to avoid contracting it. The WHO has put together a Myth Busters page. We highly recommend checking it regularly!
You can also stay up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 risk intelligence, insights from our preferred partner, WorldAware by visiting their risk intelligence resource page.
JTB Business Travel is utilizing publicly available news and other third-party sources to compile this listing and information. The content of this webpage is provided for information purposes only.