We understand that travellers are experiencing some levels of anxiety around international travel, but we want to reassure you that thousands of our travellers around the world are unaffected by the situation, enjoying their holidays.
The most important aspect is for you to inform yourself of the risks and follow the recommended health safety recommendations regarding hand-washing and wipe surfaces while travelling as an extra precaution.
What is my risk of contracting Coronavirus?
There are 7.8 Billion People on the planet and around 472 406 have been diagnosed with of those 336 362 cases still infected and 136 044 have already recovered (WONDERFUL NEWS).
That works out to 0.000043% chance of interacting with an infected person worldwide (as close to ZERO % chance of bumping into someone).
Of the current global active cases, 96% are considered mild while a mere 4% are in a serious condition.
80% off ALL diagnosed cases worldwide were located in China (roughly 81 285 people) where there has been a lock-down on travel. It is important to note that only 3947 of these cases are still active and 74 051 have already recovered. However, there has been a shift towards Italy that holds majority of active cases (roughly 57 521 people), being 17% of active cases worldwide.
If you are younger than 60 yrs old and are fit and healthy you have a very low risk.
- 50 to 60 yr olds fatality rate 1.3%
- 40 – 50 yr olds rate 0.4%
- 10 to 39 yr olds rate 0.2% – Very Low
(Published 06 March 2020)
Why is Africa currently a low risk travel destination?
Travel to Africa is considered to be low risk due to the fact that you are unlikely to spend much time in overcrowded cities and more likely to be outdoors in wide open spaces where the virus has less chance of direct contact. In addition, the virus is not resistant to fevers so combined with the warm climate of Africa, the likelihood of combating the virus with these factors in play is higher.
The great news is that while on overland tours you travel through routes with limited people and thus the exposure is even lower.
All airports are also proactively screening travellers on arrival which lowers the risk of further contamination. There are some travel bans in effect in countries such as South Africa and Botswana – see all Africa Travel Bans Here.
Resources: The Latest WHO Map reflecting Africa – https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
How do I keep myself and others safe?
The good news: The virus is relatively easy to destroy using a simple disinfectant.
So, clean surfaces and wash your hands frequently (a great tip for normal life).
What should I do on the plane?
Travel with hand sanitizer, wipe your hands regularly and try not to consume open foods while in the plane.
We also suggest you Travel with rubbing alcohol and wipe all surfaces, glasses and even fruit before contact.
Resources: WHO recommendations – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
Should I wear a mask?
Here is the World Health Organization (WHO) advice on when and how to use masks as per below
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
What symptoms should I look out for?
Symptoms of this infection include fever, cough and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
The majority are milder cases may resemble the flu or a bad cold (80% of the cases are mild)
How can we distinguish between common cold, influenza and COVID-19 infection?
Firstly, the pathogens of these three diseases are different.
Secondly, symptoms of the COVID-19 are different from those of the common cold and influenza.
The Common Cold
The common cold is usually manifested through upper respiratory symptoms, such as nasal congestion, runny nose, and sneezing.
But there are no obvious fever, fatigue, headache, joint pain, aches and pains, or loss of appetite.
Generally speaking, for patients of common cold, they have more severe upper respiratory symptoms, but mild constitutional symptoms.
Flu or Influenza
Influenza is a contagious respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses, which is characterized by acute onset.
Patients may develop symptoms such as high-grade fever, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of appetite, etc.
The main symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, fatigue and dry cough, and a few patients also have symptoms of nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea, etc.
In mild cases, only low-grade fever and mild fatigue are observed, with no symptoms of pneumonia. The diagnosis needs to be combined with epidemiological history and laboratory test results. If you suspect you may have the virus, it is your responsibility to get yourself checked and tested by a GP before making contact with others.
Resources: Reference: Health Education Manual for COVID-19 Control issued by National Health Commission and China Health Education Center
What are the recommendations for travellers?
Check your health and travel insurance to see if you are covered when abroad in case the situation arises that you need medical care or should be placed in quarantine on arrival at your destination.
Monitor the World Health Organization’s site and your own country’s precautions.
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- CDC – https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices
- United States: US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs
- Canada: Travel Advice and Advisories
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom: Foreign Travel Advice
Also check your itinerary to see if any border closures have been put in place. If you are travelling from an infected city you may be faced with a travel ban and this will directly affect your ability to enter a port or continue onto your destination.
What happens I am prevented from leaving my country?
You can request to move your trip to later in the year or further out to 2021 (some trips are subject to a nominal moving fee and dependent on the individual operator).
What happens if the operator cancels my trip?
If this occurs you will be advised soonest by your travel consultant. Your options will be explained to you by your travel consultant.
What happens if I decide to cancel my trip?
If you make a personal decision, then you need to contact your travel insurance to see if it covers your reason for cancellation.
Can I postpone my trip?
In the majority of the cases this will be possible subject to the operators change policy. Contact your consultant for more details.
We are here to help, so please contact your consultant for any questions if you are unsure.