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Covid-19: is it safe to travel abroad?

Covid-19: is it safe to travel abroad?
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Why is the Canadian Government recommending against travel abroad?

The covid-19 pandemic has led the Public Health Agency of Canada to advise against all non-essential travel outside of Canada.

Naturally we recommend following their advice, as it is not possible to guarantee your safety in other countries at this time.

The pandemic has put healthcare systems under strain, and you may find it hard to access healthcare if you need it.

You are unlikely to get travel insurance at this time, meaning you will have to pay your own healthcare bills abroad. Treatment in an ICU and medical evacuation can run to tens of thousands of dollars. See our insurance blog post for more information on why it’s wise to travel with insurance.

Also, many governments have imposed travel restrictions. So, there are fewer flights than usual to some destinations, and this means travellers may find it hard to return to Canada. The situation is changing all the time and local authorities act swiftly to protect their citizens and healthcare infrastructure from covid-19. For example, they may restrict how people move around the region, and these restrictions may include travellers from Canada.

When you return to Canada you will have to quarantine (or self-isolate) yourself for fourteen days, whether or not you’ve got covid-19 symptoms.

If you still think you need to travel, you should check the Government of Canada’s travel advisories every day to ensure you know the latest safety information.

What is covid-19?

Covid-19 is a viral infection that can result in pneumonia that requires hospital care. Severe cases can be fatal, but for many people covid-19 only causes mild illness or no illness at all.

Some people infected with covid-19 have no symptoms. Or they may have symptoms like those of a cold or flu, including: cough, fever and difficulty breathing. It can take as long as fourteen days for the symptoms to appear. Covid-19 is highly infectious and if you have it, or if you are caring for someone who has it, you need to take steps to avoid spreading it to others.

How does corona virus spread?

Corona viruses spread via respiratory droplets, that is the moisture that flies out when you cough or sneeze. You can get infected with corona viruses if you touch an infected person. And you can pick the virus up from a surface that has respiratory droplets on it and then infect yourself by touching your mouth, nose or eyes. You can clean the virus off your hands with normal hand washing.

How can I avoid catching covid-19?

To avoid catching covid-19, wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least twenty seconds. Try not to touch your face if you have not washed your hands recently. You should avoid being in close contact with people who have a respiratory illness.

Basic cough and sneeze etiquette will help to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Cough and sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands or use a tissue and dispose of it straight away. If you get sick, stay at home so you don’t infect others.

Where can I get reliable information about covid-19?

Good quality information about covid-19 can be found from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Covid-19 Outbreak Update page.

You can book ahead at our travel clinic in Edmonton for a trip planned later in the year. Travel vaccines give long-term protection, so it’s worth making an appointment even if you don’t know if your trip will go ahead this year.

Do Canadian Travel Clinics have a vaccine against corona virus?

There is not yet a vaccine to protect people from the coronavirus that causes covid-19. But scientists around the world are working on it. Your flu shot will not protect you from coronavirus.