While some countries around the world are seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases and an increase vaccination percentages, other areas are unfortunately experiencing surges and new virus variants. This has produced a seemingly ever-changing list of country-wide rules and regulations for international travel. Most countries currently require international travelers to quarantine upon arrival and departure, especially if coming from a “hot-spot” where virus rates are high.
Visit the State Department’s website for country-specific travel advisories and consult the CDC’s latest guidance before considering international travel plans.
Some countries such as Canada and the UK have recently taken the quarantining policy to a new level. Citizens of these countries must now follow federally mandated hotel quarantine policies upon returning home.
As has been the case for the majority of 2020, Canada continues to close its borders for foreign nationals on non-essential travel. The country is also strongly advising Canadian citizens to postpone or cancel non-essential international travel for the near future, and has implemented a federally mandated hotel quarantine policy for citizens returning home from outside of the country. People who do choose to continue traveling for non-essential purposes will now face new hurdles when entering Canada's airports, including the need to:
- Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken up to 72 hours before the scheduled departure time
- Reserve a government-authorized hotel for three nights prior to departure to Canada
- Take a COVID-19 molecular test on arrival in Canada
- Stay in a government-authorized hotel while awaiting the results of the COVID-19 molecular test taken on arrival
- Present proof of having reserved and pre-paid for their accommodation through ArriveCAN
- Pay for the cost of the hotel stay, as well as all associated costs for food, transportation, etc.
In addition to these new requirements, travelers will still need to complete the remainder of the mandatory 14-day quarantine after their three-day hotel stopover at an approved location. Certain travelers are exempt from these new restrictions, if they’re:
- An unaccompanied minor or unaccompanied dependent child
- Already exempt from the requirement to undergo arrival testing
- Already exempt from the requirement to quarantine
- Temporary workers in certain seasonal occupations
Similarly, British or Irish nationals with residence rights in the UK returning home from “red list countries” (not including the United States) have to quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days, take a COVID-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight of quarantining and follow the national lockdown rules.
There is a UK booking portal through which travelers are required by law to book a 10 day (11 night) managed quarantine package. The package includes your hotel stay, food and beverages, transfers, security and two Covid-19 tests. The rate for one adult in one room for the duration of this stay is £1,750. Travelers must agree to pay for, and book, a quarantine package before completing the passenger locator form and embarking to return to the UK.
The United States has not yet implemented any federally mandated hotel quarantining policies. A few other countries who have similar policies include Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, Qatar, Scotland, Singapore and Taiwan.
Please speak with one of our travel counselors for advice and guidance prior to your next international trip to ensure you are up-to-date and prepared for any new rules and policies that you will need to adhere to in the future.