Should you travel to areas affected by COVID-19? Considering the risks around COVID-19, should you travel at all? South Africa now has a set of rules about travelling.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is highly transmissible and its swift spread has meant new hotspots presenting almost daily across the world, forcing a rethink of travel plans. Some countries have gone so far as to cancel international travel outright, in the short-term.
For Vitality members that have booked a flight through one of our Vitality travel partners
Please contact our travel partners directly, to manage all bookings and refunds. Kindly note that our travel partners are experiencing high call volumes at the moment.
For international bookings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the departure date in the subject line.
For local accommodation booked through the Vitality Hotel Collection, please contact kulula.com on 0861 585 852 (option 2).
Our flight partners recognise the increased uncertainty that the coronavirus (COVID-19) may be causing and will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates. For individual flight partner updates, view their latest travel news pages.
British Airways International
Please see the Latest Travel News for updated information regarding you travel arrangements with British Airways International.
All policies in relation to the Coronavirus and other disruptions can be found on the Coronavirus Travel Update page.
Please see the latest Travel Updates for information regarding you travel arrangements with Emirates.
We recommend that Vitality members heed President Ramaphosa's call to limit all non-essential travel. For essential travel, members should:
- Check with the airline and accommodation provider to see if they have any travel restrictions in place and ask them about their cancellation policies.
- Check the destination's risk level and find out what type of travel or lifestyle restrictions are in place.
- Visit the websites of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for updates.
- We will update members with any information shared by our travel partners as swiftly as possible. However, please refer to partner websites directly for immediate updates.
For more information
- See the National Department of Health's Travel Advice for South Africans travelling to affected countries
- Visit the CDC's Travel Health Notices page and destination page for updates regarding these warnings
Visit the NICD website at www.nicd.ac.za for further information. For medical/clinical related queries by health care professionals only, contact the NICD Hotline +27 (0) 82 883 9920 (for use by healthcare professionals only). For laboratory related queries call the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis (011-555- 0315/7/8 or 011-555-0488).
Guidelines and case definitions are available on the NICD website
Visit the CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel for regular updates.
Discovery Vitality follows local and global guidelines on COVID-19 developed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the World Health Organization. We cannot advise our members whether they should travel or not; however, if you are planning to travel during the COVID-19 outbreak, read more here.
What you need to know
In order to limit the progression of COVID-19, all South African citizens are advised to refrain from all forms of travel to or through the European Union, United States, United Kingdom and other identified high-risk countries such as China, Iran and South Korea. This is effective immediately.
Government will continue to regularly issue travel alerts referring to specific cities, countries or regions as the situation evolves based on the risk level, in and out of the country.
Discovery Vitality follows local and global guidelines on COVID-19 developed by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. World public health experts are currently advising against travel to:
- The European Union
- The United Kingdom
- South Korea
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol based hand sanitiser that contains 60% to 95% alcohol. You should use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- It is especially important to clean your hands after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Supplies of hand sanitiser, tissues, and other hygiene products may be limited, so consider taking them with you.
- Pay attention to your health during travel and for 14 days after you return.
- Make sure that you follow instructions from local authorities on any local restrictions on travel, movement or large gatherings.
- Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel history and your symptoms.
- Avoid close contact with others.
- Don't take public transportation while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the bend of your elbow when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue away at once.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others.
- Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol based hand sanitiser that contains 60% to 95% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
Also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Travel Health Notices page and the NICD website for updates.
For clinical questions, healthcare professionals should contact the NICD hotline: +27 82 883 9920 (healthcare professionals only).
For laboratory related queries call the Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis: 011 555 0315/7/8 or 011 555 0488).