The United Nations flag flies in Juba, South Sudan during a commemoration of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine
Advice for Travellers
For UN personnel and managers prior to travelling
- In response to the COVID- 19 outbreak, many countries have applied restrictions and limited flights. As an occupational health measure, UN Medical Directors recommend that, for all official travel, UN managers and/or UN personnel should undertake a risk assessment to evaluate the criticality of the proposed travel balanced against the risks to the traveler for any travel to or meetings in affected areas experiencing ongoing transmission of COVID-19. This includes risks posed by both medical issues and evolving travel/border restrictions enacted by states parties.
- Delay or avoid sending to affected areas any UN personnel who may be at higher risk of serious illness (for example older age (>60), diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) and chronic lung disease, cancer and immunocompromised). Consult with your health care provider and medical services in case of doubt.
- Travelers should be provided contents of travel advisories issued from WHO and DHMOSH. Visit the WHO COVID-19 travel advice site and the Travel Health Information page.
- For the latest available on travel restrictions, please visit the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel News page. It is important to caveat that this information is only as reported to IATA by the countries and may not reflect the absolute latest information. Moreover, it is general in sense and does not provide all of the specific details (e.g. the US restrictions lists by IATA do not go into the level of details that was promulgated by the State department as to which visa classes are exempt). Travelers should still ensure that they check with the relevant authorities for any countries they plan to travel to and ensure that they would not face any issues as it relates to their specific situation.
- If you must travel to an area/s reporting community/local transmission of COVID-19, pay attention to your health during your travel and after you leave:
- Ensure to receive your agency’s travel clearance and to consult with a qualified healthcare provider before travel.
- Do not travel if you are sick or have fever and cough.
- Ensure adherence to hand hygiene and maintaining a minimum of 1-2 m distance from people who are coughing and sneezing
- Monitor your health for at least 14 days after your travel and follow the advice listed in the section below prior to your return.
- Avoid visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of COVID-19; avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.
- Avoid the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products and always follow proper food hygiene practices.
- Seek medical care immediately if you begin to develop fever or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath or cough. Remember to share your previous travel history with your health care provider and make every effort to inform them by phone prior to visiting a medical facility.
- Keep up to date with local health advice before and during your travel
- For all travelers, please be aware that local authorities may begin to implement travel restrictions and health screening measures for travelers entering or exiting the country. Some countries may have their own furlough restrictions and might even have halted flights, which would make travel difficult.
- All UN personnel should check with the destination countries’ embassy, consulate, or Ministry of Health and keep up to date with local health advice before and during travel. You should also comply with any screening measures put in place by local authorities.
For UN personnel returning from areas with ongoing transmission of COVID-19
- Comply with all host country’s requirements for returning travelers and advice of local health authorities.
- If you have just returned from a country or an affected area or territory with local transmission, you should quarantine and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after travel.
- During that period, you should immediately seek medical attention should you develop any signs and symptoms, such as fever, shortness of breath or cough or any other new symptoms.
- Remember to share your previous travel history with your health care provider and make every effort to inform them by phone prior to visiting a medical facility and wear a medical mask when you seek medical care.
- You should only return to work when you are well and completely free of symptoms during the 14 days of quarantine.
- HR personnel and managers are encouraged to exercise flexibility around remote working to support staff who are required to stay at home.