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Lawyers Travel's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of August's Top 5 (most clicked by Lawyers Travel's clients) e-newsletter stories.
As the US State Department begins to lift international travel restrictions for Americans, only some countries and territories are allowing Americans across their borders, reports Forbes. For many countries, the US largely falls into a COVID-19 “hot spot” category and is barred. For some of the countries allowing Americans entry, there are certain restrictions. For example, Americans traveling to the UK and Ireland must still self-isolate 14 days. Britain is debating testing at airports to curb quarantine. Other places have various screening measures such as filling out screening questionnaires ahead of travel; and showing, or taking, a negative PCR test on arrival.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has removed the directions for two-week quarantines from the “After You Travel” section of its COVID-19 travel guidance on its website, reports The Washington Post. Instead, the CDC has now posted “after-travel” recommendations based on individual countries and local or state governments. A map of country-specific health information can be found on the CDC website, and includes a map of reported cases in the United States. In an email, CDC spokesman Scott Pauley told The Washington Post: “This updated guidance is based on risk of exposure during travel, asking travelers to think about what they did, where they were, and who they came into contact with to evaluate their risk of exposure to COVID-19.” The CDC’s updated travel guidance states that all returning travelers should social distance, wear a cloth face covering, wash their hands often and watch for symptoms. The agency still recommends travelers who visit areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases, attend large gatherings or sail on a cruise ship quarantine for 14 days and get tested for the virus. Additionally, travelers must also adhere to any restrictions in place at their destinations. This includes the states currently mandating two-week quarantines for arrivals such as Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.
As summer travel has slowly picked up during the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have mandated that inbound travelers adhere to quarantine rules upon arrival, while some have testing or pre-testing options so that travelers can skip the self-isolation period, reports CNN. Several states have identified specific areas of the country from which travelers are subject to restrictions, while others have imposed none at all.
The US State Department has lifted its Global Level 4 Health Advisory urging Americans to reconsider all international travel due to COVID-19. The Global Advisory, initially put in place on March 19, 2020, advised US citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. "With health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice (with Levels from 1-4 depending on country-specific conditions), in order to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions. This will also provide U.S. citizens more detailed information about the current status in each country. We continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic," the agency said. US citizens considering traveling abroad should review the entire Travel Advisory for their destination(s) on Travel.State.gov. A full list of recent updates to Travel Advisories can be found at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/.
Countries are beginning to require international health insurance upon arrival in order to protect their own national healthcare systems from the potential financial trouble of tending to travelers who become ill with COVID-19 while abroad and don’t have coverage to pay for their treatment, reports Travel Pulse. Travelers should be aware that international healthcare coverage is something that must be obtained separately from their standard, US-based health insurance and any trip-cancellation insurance, and that international coverage is rarely included in their existing health policies. “The reason for [requiring healthcare coverage] is to prevent local healthcare providers and governments from having to foot the bill for uninsured tourists,” a spokesperson for travel insurance provider Allianz said. “The coverage also does protect travelers from potentially catastrophic medical bills or emergency medical transportation costs.” Many countries, while reopening to foreigners, are already requiring arrivals to present proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test at the airport, or to take a test or retest (at their own cost) once they touch down, and then quarantine themselves while awaiting the results.