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.
Borders are closed to non-resident foreign travelers until at least 11 October. Regular international commercial flights remain suspended.
Argentina remains under nationwide quarantine until 11 October. Depending on the epidemiological situation throughout the country, restrictions may differ. Follow the advice of local authorities and stay up to date as the situation changes.
Wearing a face mask in public is mandatory, even in areas that are not under quarantine.
In early March, we spoke to Rosie Bell, a freelance travel writer covering Latin America, to see what the situation was like in Buenos Aires.
“I arrived in Buenos Aires on 4 March before lockdown, when the bars and parrillas (steakhouses) were still full of hungry punters. The weather was glorious and it was business as usual. Fast forward to 1 April, and I haven’t been outside in 11 days. We are currently only allowed to leave our homes to buy essentials like food and medicine, and dog walking is fine too. I feel for any travelers outside the capital who’d like to go home. The domestic airport and long-distance buses shut down a while back. No inbound travel to Argentina is permitted and there are currently only a handful of flights leaving the country (to Panama, Chile and Brazil).
Argentina has extended its mandatory quarantine from 31 March until 12 April so I’ll be paying many more visits to my balcony, a place that’s very familiar to me now. My apartment is right behind a preschool and not hearing the children each morning feels eerie. Spirits are high, however. In my neighborhood, there’s a man who plays karaoke every evening at 6.15pm. He has an amazing sound system and performs three songs before calling it a day, and he gets riotous applause each time. I’d love to know where and who he is, thank him for the good times and maybe give him a hug. I can’t wait for those days.”
An outbreak of Hantavirus is currently occurring in four regions within Argentina:
Hantavirus is a virus that is found in the feces, urine and saliva of infected rodents such as rats. It's transmitted to humans via rodent bites, coming in contact with rodent feces, saliva or urine and breathing in particles from rodent urine. It can also be contracted via broken skin and contaminated food and water.
Contracting the virus causes the rare Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, a severe lung infection that can be fatal if left untreated.
Early symptoms (first 2-3 weeks) of the virus are fever, chills, nausea, aches and pains, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea.
As the infection worsens, symptoms such as shortness of breath, increased heartbeat, rapid breathing and coughing appear.
It's vital that if you do feel unwell while traveling that you seek medical treatment immediately to ensure you are treated promptly and for the correct condition given the symptoms of Hantavirus are similar to many other conditions.
To avoid potentially contracting this disease, it's important to take precautions while traveling such as observing good personal hygiene, checking that your accommodation is clean and hygienic, eating at places which look clean and have a high turnover, only using water which has been just treated/boiled, disposing of trash properly and keeping your food well sealed to avoid rodent contamination, particularly if you are camping and hiking.
Please check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities means you won't be covered by travel insurance.
Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check your government travel warnings and health advice – there may be no travel insurance cover for locations with a government travel ban or health advice against travel.
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