THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
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The NHS has set up a dedicated web page to assist with healthcare advice related to Coronavirus for those traveling in and out of the UK. As of March 5, they note that travelers who have recently visited the following locations are at a higher risk of infection:
• Hong Kong
• Italy – only northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
• Myanmar (Burma)
• South Korea
• Tenerife – only the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel
If you have recently returned to the UK from any of these locations and are concerned, the NHS has an interactive 111 Coronavirus service which offers more advice: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
If you are feeling symptoms associated with Coronavirus having visited these destinations, the NHS recommend you call '111' whilst in the UK, which is their healthcare call centre, rather than attending your GP Surgery, pharmacy or Hospital.
The CDC in America have set up a section of their website which contains information on Coronavirus, and advice for travelers. For travel to the UK, they advise that "There are reported cases or a risk of community spread of COVID-19 in United Kingdom. If you travel to United Kingdom: avoid contact with sick people; Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%–95% alcohol; Pay attention to your health for 14 days after returning to the US. Stay home and seek medical advice if you get sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing; Avoid travelling if you are sick".
For travelers returning to the US, the CDC has a web page with advice for those returning from locations with a high risk of Coronavirus spread. At present, Level 3 Travel Health notices have been issued for China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. For those returning from Level 3 Noticed countries, the CDC advise the following:
Take these steps to monitor your health and practice social distancing:
• Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
• Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
• Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
• Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
• Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
The US Embassy in the UK has a web page with updates on the spread of Coronavirus - https://uk.usembassy.gov/covid-19-coronavirus-information/.
In February, the Embassy issued an urgent notice for visa applicants with pending consular appointments which is worth keeping in mind as more reports of the virus emerge. The notice advised that:
"Any individuals with pending consular appointments who (1) were physically present within the People’s Republic of China, excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, within the last 14 days, (2) are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or (3) believe they have may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, are strongly encouraged to postpone their appointments by at least 14 days. There is no fee to change an appointment and visa application fees are valid for one year in the country where the fee was paid. Information concerning rescheduling a pending consular appointment is available at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-gb/niv (for nonimmigrant visas) and https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-gb/iv (for immigrant visas)."
If you have a pending consular appointment but are unsure if you should attend, check out the US Embassy in UK website for the latest information.