The COVID-19 outbreak has now officially been labelled a global pandemic with people now feeling the effects of this across the world. This has caused significant disruptions to all forms of transport especially around Asia and Europe and has a lot of travellers confused as to what this means for their upcoming travel. As the situation is extremely fluid new information and travel advice is being released on a daily basis. To help you, here are some common questions and concerns that we have been seeing recently.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a zoonotic virus which means it was spread from animals to humans. COVID-19 is a part of the wider Coronavirus family which in the past has included other zoonotic viruses such as SARS and MERS. Common symptoms caused by COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, an infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. For more information surrounding COVID-19 click here.
Should I be concerned?
It's important to remember that although COVID-19 does pose health risks to us all, however the majority of people who have contracted the virus have recovered. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that the groups most at risk to COVID-19 are older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, cancer or diabetes. To view this information plus more click here.
How does this impact my travel plans?
If you are planning to travel but haven’t yet booked your trip, we recommend reviewing the latest travel advice of your national or local authority before doing so. It’s also a good idea to check train, bus and ferry services directly with the operator as emergency schedules may be in place.
If you’ve already booked your trip and your upcoming plans include travel to an impacted region or country, check with your national or local authority to get up to speed with the latest travel restrictions and health safety information. Don’t forget to reach out to your travel operator, hotel, travel insurer or travel agency for advice concerning existing bookings.
Which countries have travel alerts and restrictions are in place?
Given the landscape is continually changing, we recommend checking the travel advice of your national or local authority. Global Travel restrictions and bans have been enforced by various countries which may limit or prevent travel to and from certain regions. Rome2rio has also included travel recommendations and warnings when you conduct any transport search. However, we still recommend contacting your local government to find out exactly where travel is and is not possible.
How can I stay safe?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends following the below measures to protect yourself and others from spreading the virus:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Maintain social distancing of at least 1 meter between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth as these are the common areas in which the virus can enter your body
- Practice respiratory hygiene by carrying around tissues, covering your mouth and mouth with your bent elbow when coughing or sneezing and disposing of used tissues immediately
- Stay home if you feel unwell and seek medical attention if you have fever, cough or breathing difficulties
Travel throughout Europe
As of the 28th February, Italy has enforced altered travel and booking cancellation rules. If you have a train or bus ticket for travel outside of Italy please be aware that any cancellation or amendment will adhere to your current fare rules. If any changes to these rules do occur we will provide an update regarding this. Travel restrictions have also been put in place for parts of Spain, France and Germany. We recommend reviewing all travel throughout these regions to ensure that your services are still running.
To view all up to date cancellation and refund policies caused by COVID-19 please click here.