Coronavirus (COVID-19) and travel: The situation around the world is changing dramatically. Various governments have changed their travel warnings to restrict travel during this time. To understand how this may impact cover under your policy, please go to our FAQs and select your country of residence.

For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.

Find out how coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions may affect your trip to the USA. Read the latest travel warnings and alerts.


Aerial view of San Francisco, United States Photo © Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash

Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions in the United States – 8 April, 2020

The US government have put periodic restrictions in place in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) oubreak.

  • 31 January - entry barred to most foreign nationals who traveled to China within the past 14 days.
  • 29 February - restrictions expanded to include all aliens who were physically present within the Islamic Republic of Iran during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. 
  • 11 March - restrictions on travel to the United States from foreign nationals who have recently been in one of the 26 countries in the Schengen area (does not apply to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents). 
  • 13 March - President Trump declared a national state of emergency. 
  • 14 March - restrictions on European travel extended to foreign nationals who have rececently been in the United Kingdom and Ireland.  
  • 18 March - the USA and Canada closed their border to non-essential traffic.
  • 19-21 March - Governors of several states, including California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, and Oregon, have ordered all residents to stay at home unless they are workers in an essential business. Residents may leave the house for solitary exercise and to obtain essential services or items (such as groceries). Nonessential businesses have been closed.
  • 8 April - there are now 42 states with stay-at-home orders in place. Puerto Rico also have lockdown measures in place.

More information is available at the US State Department website.

Wondering how your travel insurance might be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak? Find answers to some of our common questions about COVID-19.

Listen to the World Nomads Podcast: COVID-19

In this episode, we address FAQs about the virus and how it affects your travel and tips to survive self-isolation.

Wildfires in California: a statewide emergency declared – October 2019

Strong winds have spread wildfires in Northern and Southern California, destroying homes and land, and forcing 185,000 people to evacuate.

There are blackouts in Northern California due to Pacific Gas & Electric Co shutting off power to two million people to avoid further fires being caused by fallen electric power lines.

Strong winds are expected to last until Wednesday, so it's important you listen to the advice of firefighters, and stay up to date with local news reports.

We suggest you check your government’s travel advisory for their latest advice on travel to the USA, and if you're planning on traveling there soon, contact your tour operator or provider for more information on any changes or updates to your travel plans.

Hurricane Dorian threatens southeastern coast – September 3, 2019

Hurricane Dorian is currently a Category 2 storm heading towards the US mainland, where it is projected to move close to the coast of Florida tonight through Wednesday, and then along Georgia and the Carolinas. Life-threatening storm surge and flooding is possible, and mandatory evacuations have been ordered for dozens of coastal communities. Be sure to check the latest information from the National Hurricane Center, and keep an eye on local media for the latest updates.

If you're in an area where the storm is projected to hit, please check with authorities, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation.

How to survive a hurricane

The absolutely best way to survive a hurricane is to avoid one. Get away from it, but if you make the decision to leave, make that decision early. Do not leave it until the last minute because you may find yourself caught without proper shelter.

If you decide to stay and "ride it out" it is advisable to get to an authorized shelter. The locations of these will be broadcast, or locals will know where they are. If there is no shelter, prepare to "shelter in place" in an internal room without windows.

Once a "storm watch" has been issued, make sure you are prepared in the event that the watch becomes a "warning."

  • Fill the gas tank of your car.
  • Check batteries in flashlights and radios.
  • Have extra batteries on hand.
  • Secure all doors and windows.
  • Close shutters or board up the windows.
  • Have extra supplies with you such as non-perishable food, clean drinking water, a half-gallon of water per person/per day (enough for a couple of days), and prescription drugs.

During the storm

  • Never go out during the storm. The winds can send flying debris into you causing injury and even death.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Keep on the alert for additional storm warnings. Hurricanes are known to spawn tornadoes so be prepared to take cover if one should strike.
  • While the storm is in progress avoid using electrical appliances.
  • Stay off the telephone.
  • All pets should be secured in carriers. The storm will be a frightening experience for them as well, and they could injure themselves or you if they panic.
  • Do not light candles or lanterns; they could get blown over causing a fire.
  • The eye of the storm passing over could make you think the storm is over when the worst is still yet to come. Only use this calm in an extreme emergency to make critical repairs.
  • Only after an official "all clear" has been issued is it safe to come out.

After the storm

  • Beware of downed power lines and gas leaks
  • Stay away from heavily damaged areas
  • Listen to your radio for instructions.

Hurricane warnings and categories

A tropical storm becomes a hurricane when wind speeds reach 74 mph or greater - Category 1.

  • Category 2 wind speeds are 96 mph to 110 mph
  • Category 3 - 111 mph to 129 mph
  • Category 4 - 130 mph to 156 mph
  • Category 5 - greater than 157 mph (note, there are no further categories)

A "watch" is issued when hurricane-force winds are possible in the named region (so maybe a hurricane is coming).

A "warning" is issued when hurricane-force winds are expected in the named region (so a hurricane is definitely coming).

Wildfires in southeastern Alaska - August 30, 2019

Several wildfires are currently burning in Southeast Alaska and impacting popular tourist areas, including the Kenai Peninsula and Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Valley. At the time of writing, the McKinley Fire in the Mat-Su Valley was at 78% containment, and the Caribou Lake Fire near Homer was at 57% containment. The Swan Lake Fire on the Kenai Peninsula has been slowly increasing, but has remained at around 20% containment.

For the latest information, check with Alaska Wildland Fire Information. 

On Wednesday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service closed portions of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, including all lands in the Skilak Wildlife Recreation Area, as well as parts of the Chugach National Forest.

Travelers should expect delays on the Sterling Highway between Sterling and the junction with the Seward Highway to continue through the weekend. Swan Lake Fire suppression activities and dense smoke have restricted travel on this route recently. Drivers should be sure to carry ample fuel as well as food and water. Do not stop along the highway within the fire area.

One of the biggest dangers from the fire is air quality. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an Air Quality Advisory in effect through Friday afternoon for the Susitna Valley, Kenai Peninsula and Copper River Valley.

If you’re planning a trip to Alaska in upcoming weeks, be sure to check with your tour operator, airline, and hotel about potential changes or cancellations.

Tropical Storm Barry forming off the Louisiana Coast - July 11, 2019

Tropical Storm Barry is moving across the Gulf of Mexico towards Louisiana and is expected to make landfall Friday or Saturday, possibly as a Category 1 hurricane. A state of emergency has been issued in Louisiana. Heavy rainfall and flooding is expected for much of eastern Louisiana, southern and central Mississipi, and southeast Arkansas.

Please check with authorities, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation.

6.4 magnitude earthquake in California - July 2019

The USGS (US Geological Survey) has reported a 6.4 magnitude earthquake near the high desert city of Ridgecrest, California. Nearby San Bernardino County was also affected, and the earthquake was felt in Las Vegas, Nevada. The earthquake was shallow in depth (5.4 mi, 8.7km) which amplifies its effect to cause damage to infrastructure and services.

At least 20 aftershocks have been felt since the initial earthquake.

Many damaged buildings and roads have been reported, along with fires and rock slides in affected areas. A four-inch crack has formed in major highway 178 in San Bernardino County. 

Travelers are strongly advised to follow all directions by local authorities for their own safety.

Measles outbreak in New York City - July 2019

The Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio has declared a public health emergency in New York City following reports of over 800 measles cases, mainly in Brooklyn and Queens. 21 of those cases have been admitted to hospital, with 5 in intensive care. The mayor has indicated that people must be vaccinated or risk being fined US$1000. The health department has opened clinics to offer measles vaccinations in order to stem the disease from spreading.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, runny nose, dry cough, fatigue, a red blotchy rash which starts on the face and spreads and conjunctivitis.

Travelers who are planning to visit New York City are strongly advised to make sure their routine vaccinations (including measles) are up to date before arriving.

Flooding in the Midwest - March 2019

Following the bomb cyclone which hit the United States in mid March, the Midwest states are experiencing significant flooding due to the winter snow thaw and impact from the cyclone. Roads and highways are jammed due to ice movement and many are also closed due to flooding. Governments in the states of Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa have declared a state of emergency and flood warnings have been issued due to the increase in water, levees breaking and river levels rising. Thousands of people have been evacuated.

Tijuana and San Diego border closure - November 2018

US authorities have closed the major border control point of San Ysidro between Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, United States, turning away all vehicles and pedestrians. Thousands of migrants and refugees have been making their way from Central America towards the US to seek asylum from poverty, political persecution and violence only to be met with tear gas launched by US authorities.

San Ysidro is one of the busiest border crossings with nearly 100,000 people and vehicles heading north each day from Mexico.

Further demonstrations are also planned for both sides of the border in days to come. 

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  • Karen Dierking said

    I am having trouble getting a price for insurance


  • Heidi Motzkus said

    I need to cancel my travel policy but cannot see how to do this on the website.


    • [email protected] said

      Hi Heidi,
      If you take a look at our FAQs page we have information on how to cancel your policy:
      Without knowing your country of residence, it is hard to give you instructions on how to do this.
      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads


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