1. Have you had any symptoms recently?
Firstly, you need to think carefully about your own COVID-19 status. Do not travel if you, or those you have had contact with, have recently had any symptoms of COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization, the most common symptoms are a fever, dry cough and tiredness, and there are various less-common symptoms too. Serious symptoms include difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, and loss of speech or movement. If you have not had symptoms but are at particularly high risk of serious illness, you will also need to consider whether the travel is worth the risk.
2. What are the rules and restrictions in the country you are travelling to?
If you are unsure about the current advice and rules for travelling to an EU country, make sure you use the ‘Re-open EU’ tool, a new online platform to keep you up to date on the latest travel advice. It contains information on which countries are allowing visitors, how you can travel to them, and what measures you’ll face on arrival. The tool is updated every 24 hours, available in 24 languages, and includes an interactive map to help you plan your trip. If you have specific questions, Eurodesk can also provide personalised advice. You can find your closest information point using this helpful map.
3. How are you travelling and what are the risks?
Flying means spending time in airport terminals and busy flights will bring you into close contact with other people. Travelling on buses and trains may also involve sitting or standing close to others. Driving gives you more control but is not without risk, as you’ll need to make stops for fuel, food or bathroom breaks. Think about the advantages and disadvantages of each type of transport and try to choose the safest option.
4. Do you have travel insurance that covers COVID-19?
Some providers may offer travel insurance covering medical expenses or cancellation relating to COVID-19. However, this kind of cover is not typical – many insurers are not currently offering such policies – so you should check if your insurance covers this. If you don’t already have insurance, you’ll need to look into your options before you go. Always travel with your European Health Insurance Card, too. You can get this from your national health insurance provider.
5. What will you need to do when you return?
Given the quickly changing situation, you need to constantly keep yourself informed of the latest government guidelines. Many countries now also require you to fill out a form on arrival. Depending on which country you are returning from, you may be told to isolate and avoid contact with others. Make sure you prepare for the possibility you will be delayed returning to work by asking your employer whether you’ll be able to work remotely or take time off if necessary.
We hope these tips will help you to travel safely during COVID-19 times. If you need more information, Eurodesk UK’s plan and prepare page provides a list of useful links.
If you are moving to another EU country permanently, Your Europe also provides practical information on various aspects, including all the formalities if you are settling abroad in the EU.
In partnership with EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal.
World Health Organization – Coronavirus
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- Publication date
- 16 September 2020
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- EU toolbox for mobilityHints and tipsLabour market news / mobility newsYouth
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