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Pandemic Travel Considerations

The following points summarise experience learnt whilst travelling during the COVID pandemic, and will probably define what may become the “new normal” for international journeys. They are based on the experiences of Ann Burns whilst travelling to Taiwan on behalf of IYFR. For a more detailed account of this journey and its coronavirus experiences, click here.

1. Do your research – destination, travel restrictions, government requirements, etc.

2. Start planning well in advance!

3. Keep a check on all flight bookings as airlines may cancel flights at very short notice.

4. Be flexible with your dates.

5. Only book flights and accommodation which can be cancelled at short notice and without penalty.

6. Be prepared to quarantine on way in and on arrival home.

7. Be prepared to have to pay for Covid-19 tests.

8. Think about the day you fly as tests need to be taken within 72 hours of your flight, although nowadays these can be carried out at the airports. It is probably not best to fly on a Monday morning! Indeed, afternoon or evening flights are probably better.

9. Check that the test performed meets destination requirements. (e.g. PCR or Lateral Flow) and is performed at an acceptable laboratory (e.g. Hong Kong will only accept results from an accredited laboratory).

10. Masks must be worn throughout a flight unless you are actively eating or drinking. Make sure you have masks to last the flight as disposable masks only last 4 hours and wearing a cloth mask may become uncomfortable on a long flight.

11. Ensure you leave enough time between flights in case documents need checking.

12. Take books, games, and snacks with you to pass the time at the airport and during any quarantine period.

13. Relax and enjoy the journey. It will be worth it when you reach your destination!

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