Holiday Travels & H1N1

Here are some helpful tips for travelling this holiday season:

Review international policies. Some countries do screenings and exams at airports, and can quarantine passengers in a hospital or hotel chosen by the government for up to 7 days. Around the holidays, screening procedures (including filling out questionnaires and having your temperature taken) could cause significant delays. At the moment, neither the U.S. nor Canada screen incoming travellers and no country has made inoculation a requirement for entry. If you’re travelling abroad, check out the Travel Report (Canada) or Country Specific Information (U.S.), and watch for any travel alerts or special notices about H1N1. Register your trip with your embassy and ask them to send you alerts.

Get insurance. Extended health and trip
interruption/cancellation insurance will ensure you don’t have to pay for additional expenses if you get
sick or have to be quarantined in a foreign country. (Make sure your
policy covers the flu.) Read the fine print on these polices to understand everything about what proof you may need to provide of illness, change fees and who covers price differences in tickets.

Ask about H1N1-related cancellation policies. Some travel providers offer plans that allow you to change your plans and stay home if you get sick. 

Watch the news. Pandemics affect different areas of the world differently. Keep an eye on the local news or check with local health authorities to find out what you might be getting into if you travel.

Bring your medical contact information with you. Carry your medical doctor’s contact information with you, as well as local emergency numbers and the embassy number for places you are visiting. Embassies can help you connect with family and friends (who can wire you funds), as well as with local health providers.

Don’t travel if you’re sick. You put others at risk, including yourself (not knowing what level of healthcare you can obtain where you’re going). Stay put if you get sick while travelling.