Keeping in mind the fast-spreading deadly novel Coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, the Governments round the globe are taking precautionary measures in terms of travel restrictions or otherwise to control the spread of the virus. Students who are already pursuing their studies abroad or are yet to start, may feel confused regarding the commencement of their studies or travel bans due to the outbreak of this disease.
However, the impact may vary from country to country. First and foremost duty of the students is to be updated with the latest news of COVID-19 in the country they intend to travel to be safe and secure.
Are you traveling from Mainland China?
If yes, then you are likely to be impacted by the recent changes. In this situation, you must be updated with the latest developments by the Governments of China as well as your destination country. The best way is to regularly visit the government’s website as they are the most authentic and reliable source of information.
Next, if you have already arrived at your destination, then it becomes extremely necessary to seek medical advice and get a thorough check-up done. Your University / College authorities will surely help you with this. To be informed about any changes in your travel schedule, please contact the airline directly to seek the latest travel arrangements.
Inform Your University in case of any travel restrictions
In case it happens that you are unable to commence your studies on time at your study destination due to travel restrictions, please inform your University at the earliest to discuss your admission schedule or defer your admission for the next session.
Traveling to Australia from China?
The Australian Government has restricted the travel from any part of Mainland China to Australia with effect from 01st February, 2020 for everybody excluding Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members.
These restrictions are subject to review and students are advised to visit Department of Home Affairs for latest trends. In case your flight tickets are booked, please contact the airline directly to be informed about any changes to your flight.
The Universities in Australia have measures to assist International Students who have been impacted by the recent movement restrictions. It is highly recommended that you get in touch with the respective authorities of your University to understand the possible study options or delayed commencement.
Traveling to USA from China?
USA Government too has placed travel ban on foreign nations from China to enter USA except for American citizens or permanent residents and their immediate family members with effect from 31st January, 2020.
Visiting the US Department of State website shall keep you posted about the recent changes in travel restrictions. In case you have made your travel arrangements already, please contact the airline directly to be informed about any changes to your flight.
To know the status of the Coronavirus in USA, please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. The up-to-date information is available both in English and Chinese.
Traveling to Canada from China?
Though Canadian Government has not imposed any travel restrictions for China, but the flights have been impacted – suspended or reduced in parts of China to prevent the spread of the virus.
In case you have made your travel arrangements already from China to Canada, please contact the airline directly to be informed about any changes to your flight. If you have arrived in Canada after traveling to Hubei Province in last 14 days and have virus-like symptoms, then please seek medical advice immediately.
You can visit Government of Canada website to stay aware of the recent information on Coronavirus situation in Canada.
Traveling to New Zealand from China?
The Government of New Zealand has imposed a ban on the entry of all the travelers arriving or transiting from any part of Mainland China except New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, and Australian citizens who live in New Zealand and any immediate family members.
The ban is supposed to be reviewed every 48 hours and hence, recent news shall be obtained from New Zealand Immigration website. For any travel arrangements made in advance, please contact your airline directly for any further changes.
The Universities in New Zealand have proper methods to help the international students if they are stuck in their country due to such unfortunate situations. You are expected to inform your University regarding your delayed travels as soon as possible to figure out the alternate study option or delayed commencement of the program.
The outbreak of this virus is so widespread that it is prudent to be absolutely informed about the COVID-19 situation in your destination country. Visit the official government websites to know the recent updates. Further, international students do not need to panic if they are stuck due to such unforeseen situations. Their University/College will surely have procedures in place to assist them in formulating sustainable solution for them. Be safe be prepared.