Please note that due to the developing nature of the COVID-19 coronavirus, some of the advice contained within this document may become irrelevant from moment to moment.
Question 1: How does the COVID-19 coronavirus spread?
According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus was originally transmitted from an animal to a person in a market in Wuhan City, but the virus is mostly being spread from person-to-person.
The virus is usually spread via respiratory droplets that are breathed in or enter the body through the nose, eyes or mouth when someone has touched an object containing respiratory droplets.
Question 2: How do I know if someone has COVID-19?
You can’t be sure who has been infected with COVID-19 unless a specific test has been conducted, but anyone displaying flu symptoms of fever, cough, difficulty breathing and other flu symptoms should ideally maintain a distance of roughly a metre or more to prevent infection of flu.
Question 3: Should I cancel my travel plans?
The Centers for Disease Control currently list their travel advice as Warning Level 3 – Avoid Nonessential Travel. This warning level advises people to avoid travel to China, South Korea, Iran and Italy. For China, this does not include Hong Kong, Macau or the island of Taiwan.
The recommended travel restriction includes layovers in the abovementioned countries. If layovers are unavoidable, the CDC recommends that travellers not leave the airport.
They also recommend that travellers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel at this time, due to the close contact of a large number of people, often from all over the world.
Travel warnings may rapidly escalate or become obsolete as the pandemic develops. It is essential to keep abreast of developments to gauge the risks involved.
Question 4: Where can I learn more about countries that have issued travel warnings?
The CDC has a travel information page that is regularly updated. You can visit the site to discover the very latest travel information and health advice regarding COVID-19.