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COVID-19: Guidelines For Students & Tourists Across Countries Amid Rising Omicron Cases

Since the emergence of the Omicron variant, nearly all countries have either banned international flights or tightened their rules to curb the spread of virus.


Image: PTI/Pixabay

It's been two years when the first wave of the COVID-19 hit the whole world. Since then, the entire world has seen multiple ups and downs in its economy. Among the most thriving industry, the tour and travel business has seen the worst ever "turbulence" in the past two years. In addition, the education sector is also one of the badly affected sectors where students are barred from entering classrooms. Though the finding of the COVID-19 vaccine gave some sought of hope to the people and the government, the emergence of the new Omicron variant has again put a question mark on their survival. Since the emergence of the Omicron variant, nearly all countries have either banned international flights or tightened their rules to curb the spread of the highly infectious virus. 

Here is the list of countries that have recently altered their COVID-19 guidelines for tourists and students - 

United States: The US is severely reeling under the Omicron variant for the past month. According to the new guidelines announced by CDC on January 4, all non-US citizens, non-US immigrants travelling to the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Before boarding a flight to the US, a person is required to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than one day before travel. If anyone is not fully vaccinated, the individual must be tested with a viral test 3-5 days after arrival. The individual has to stay at home or in a hotel room and self-quarantine for a full seven days.

United Kingdom: The UK government has recently altered its COVID guidelines for international travellers. According to the latest guidelines, the health ministry has divided people into two groups: vaccinated and unvaccinated. If a person is vaccinated, he/she will no longer have to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate on arrival in England – returning to the travel rules that were in place before Omicron. A lateral flow test can be used instead of PCR tests for eligible fully vaccinated travellers and over 5s to take on or before day 2. Anyone who receives a positive result on their lateral flow test must self-isolate immediately and order an NHS PCR test from UK has reported another 1,79,756 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. With this, the total number of Coronavirus cases in the country soared to 14,015,065. 

France: As the country is also experiencing severe turbulence, it has changed the COVID guidelines and categorised them into two groups, i.e., depending on your country of departure and your vaccination status. Students and researchers from "green” list countries and territories do not need to have proof of pressing grounds to travel to France. Any person aged 12 and over entering French territory must present a negative PCR or antigen test less than 24 or 48 hours old. For unvaccinated minors under 12 years, the vaccine status of their parents or accompanying guardians will be checked. As the UK is severely affected by the Omicron variant, it invoked special rules of entry for visitors from the United Kingdom.

China: The Communist government has invoked a zero-tolerance policy towards the COVID virus since March 2020. According to the new guidelines, travellers must present two negative tests- PCR and antibody tests. Both tests must be taken before 48 hours of travel. Besides, the government has also invoked necessary COVID vaccination at least 14 days prior to entry. The individual needs to apply for a visa in advance, and show their vaccination status on arrival, along with the results of the negative test. If a person skips the screening at the airport, he/she will be kept at government facilities for at least 21 days.

Japan: Amid soaring COVID-19 cases driven by the new COVID variant - Omicron, Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has recently changed the travel guidelines. As per the new guideline, Japan shut its borders to all foreigners except those visiting the country on humanitarian grounds.

Australia: Amid the revolving situation in Australia, it has shut its border for international travellers besides for some exceptions. According to the information updated on the government website, if an individual is not granted an exemption, he should not continue with travel plans, as he will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you will need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Image: PTI/Pixabay

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