What’s it like touring within the time of coronavirus? It relies upon the place you’re going. Epidemic prevention and management measures for worldwide arrivals vary greatly around the world, as New York Instances journalists discovered whereas touring in latest months. The severity of outbreaks is equally diversified, however stricter quarantine insurance policies are inclined to correspond with decrease case numbers.
NO ROOM FOR ERROR
Inhabitants: 7.5 million | Instances: About 5,300 | Deaths: 105
Hong Kong just isn’t messing round. Since March, touring there has meant accepting a 14-day quarantine, a tracking bracelet and a coronavirus check.
The semiautonomous Chinese territory is closed to virtually everybody besides residents, and a extremely organized collection of stations awaits arrivals on the airport. On the first one, well being employees be sure that vacationers have stuffed out a well being declaration kind and downloaded the federal government’s StayHomeSafe app.
Subsequent, the monitoring bracelet is secured to your wrist. Then somebody calls your cellphone to verify the quantity on file is right.
At one other station you obtain the quarantine order, together with an at-home check to be taken on Day 10 and a kind for recording your temperature twice a day. Don’t have a thermometer? Right here’s one at no cost.
Arriving passengers are despatched for testing, the place they stand in personal cubicles and spit into specimen bottles. (“Make a ‘kruuua’ noise,” the directions recommend.) Anybody who assessments optimistic is distributed to a hospital; their shut contacts are quarantined.
Passengers who land within the morning have to attend on the airport all day for his or her check outcomes. However since my flight arrived late, we had been taken to a lodge for the evening, the place we every acquired a dinner field and an digital key card good for one use solely. After receiving a unfavorable outcome the following day, we had been allowed to take a look at.
As soon as at dwelling or a lodge, quarantined residents open the cellphone app and stroll across the perimeter to map its boundaries. The app could at any time ask you to scan the QR code in your bracelet to confirm your location, and officers would possibly conduct random checks by cellphone or in particular person. Violating the quarantine order can imply fines or imprisonment.
These in quarantine are usually not permitted to exit for groceries or a stroll and even to take out the rubbish — you order all the things on-line or ask mates for assist. You simply hold your self busy inside your tiny Hong Kong condo, counting down the times.
— Jennifer Jett, digital editor
Inhabitants: 8.4 million | Instances: About 264,000 | Deaths: Virtually 24,000
In August, I moved again to New York from Hong Kong with my household. We didn’t know what to anticipate at Kennedy Airport, however we had been able to navigate no matter security measures we discovered.
What we discovered was nothing, aside from one of many quickest journeys by the U.S. immigration course of we’ve ever skilled in years overseas. No temperature checks. No journey historical past or contact info paperwork. No order and even suggestion to voluntarily quarantine for 2 weeks. No obvious enforcement of masks self-discipline for incoming vacationers (although just a few had been clearly flouting it).
The one examine got here on the very finish, when the immigration officer perfunctorily requested me whether or not we had traveled overseas wherever aside from Hong Kong over the earlier two weeks. I stated no, and he stated, “Welcome dwelling.”
— Douglas Schorzman, deputy worldwide editor
Burden of Proof
Inhabitants: 9 million | Instances: About 30,000 | Deaths: 444
After I flew again to Tokyo from San Francisco in June, Japan’s borders had been closed to vacationers from greater than 100 nations, so the one folks arriving had been a smattering of Japanese residents or international residents with particular exemptions to depart and return after a household emergency — in my case, the death of my father.
The flight had been comparatively empty, however to keep up social distancing, flight attendants requested passengers to disembark in small teams. We stuffed out some kinds, had our temperatures taken and shuffled right into a ready space earlier than being referred to as into cubicles for our nasal swab assessments.
Clearing customs took practically an hour whereas officers checked my paperwork, together with my father’s demise certificates and a letter from the funeral dwelling director. They requested me to show our household relationship, so I frantically texted my husband to ship me a digital copy of my start certificates.
After I retrieved my baggage, I used to be escorted to an unused baggage corridor the place cardboard cubicles had been arrange for arriving passengers to attend to be picked up. I’d be required to quarantine at dwelling for 14 days and needed to attest that I’d not use public transit to get again to my household’s condo in central Tokyo. The cubicles contained makeshift cardboard beds for these pressured to attend in a single day. When my journey arrived, the escort walked me to the curb to verify that I used to be not getting right into a taxi, which was thought-about a type of prohibited public transit.
At dwelling, my household had arrange an isolation chamber within the bed room with my desk and our train bike nestled by the window. It was per week earlier than I acquired a name from an area public well being heart confirming that I used to be staying inside. The clerk was about to hold up once I requested her about my check outcomes. “Oh, sure,” she stated. “You’re unfavorable.”
— Motoko Wealthy, Tokyo bureau chief
Onerous to Get Residence
Inhabitants: 5 million | Instances: About 4,400 (statewide) | Deaths: 53 (statewide)
Australia has restricted the variety of worldwide vacationers who can arrive every day, so my first impression on arriving at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport was one in every of eerie vacancy. I counted myself fortunate to not be among the many many Australians stranded abroad after their tickets had been all of the sudden canceled by airways imposing the cap on arrivals.
Passengers shuffled off the airplane, joking amongst ourselves about the place we’d spend the following two weeks. Australia requires vacationers to quarantine for 14 days in government-assigned accommodations, which may imply a grim room close to the airport or a five-star room overlooking Sydney Harbor.
After dwelling by the pandemic in China, the place folks wore masks as a matter in fact, it was unnerving for me to see Sydney airport employees with out masks, which aren’t obligatory in most elements of Australia. Would we be secure? Would they be secure? Masked medical employees took our particulars and temperatures, rattling off a collection of questions: Any fever, coughing, different potential indicators of the virus?
We handed by immigration and picked up our baggage. Nonetheless no hints of the place we had been being despatched. Law enforcement officials pointed us to strains of ready buses; households on one bus, solo vacationers on one other. We climbed aboard, and after some prodding the motive force informed us that we wouldn’t know our lodge till we arrived — the authorities didn’t need us phoning our households to fulfill us there and danger infections.
A stroke of fine fortune: The bus stopped in entrance of a luxurious lodge overlooking Hyde Park within the metropolis heart. However the troopers chaperoning us to our rooms had been a reminder that this was no vacation. I had sufficient expertise with quarantine already this yr — three stretches locked in lodge rooms in Beijing, Hong Kong and as soon as earlier than in Sydney — to know easy methods to cope: hold busy with work, stick with a routine, train.
Nonetheless, the times started to pull. I waited every day for the faucet on the door at meal instances.
— Chris Buckley, chief China correspondent
A Matter of Belief
Seoul, South Korea
Inhabitants: 10 million | Instances: About 5,300 | Deaths: 57
South Korea actually takes its virus management measures significantly — although they don’t seem to be hermetic.
After arriving at Incheon Airport, we had been guided by a collection of checkpoints, together with one the place we had been requested to obtain an app on which we had been to report any signs for the following 14 days. Brokers made us present that we had downloaded the app earlier than permitting us to proceed to the bags space.
Most international nationals arriving in South Korea should quarantine for 14 days in a delegated facility, typically with angry protesters banging drums outside. However I had an exemption for work causes, and my household was allowed to serve their quarantine in a lodge.
Within the airport, an worker gave my spouse the tackle of the federal government well being workplace closest to our lodge, and directed her and our kids to one of many specifically designated “disinfection taxis” that transport new arrivals within the nation.
After arriving at their lodge, my spouse and youngsters found the largest gap in South Korea’s system. They had been allowed to stroll, unaccompanied, to the native well being workplace for his or her coronavirus assessments. They resisted the urge to sprint right into a comfort retailer for chocolate milk.
The following day, my spouse acquired a name saying she and our kids had examined unfavorable. Day by day for 2 weeks, she would attest to their well-being through the app. It was primarily the respect system.
At midday on Day 15 of quarantine, my household walked previous the lodge’s hallway CCTV digicam and out into the open air of Seoul, with no extra assessments required.
— Andy Parsons, assistant worldwide editor
GREEN MEANS GO
Inhabitants: About 1 million | Instances: About 132,000 (nationally) | Deaths: 230 (nationally)
In September, the long-delayed Afghan peace talks had been lastly held in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The nation requires worldwide arrivals to quarantine for no less than seven days, however an exception was made for the big Afghan delegation. As an alternative, negotiators and journalists touring from Kabul had been examined for the coronavirus a number of instances earlier than their flight.
All residents and guests in Qatar are required to make use of an app referred to as Ehteraz (Arabic for “precaution”) that reveals their color-coded well being standing. Malls, workplaces, accommodations and different public locations received’t let folks enter except their standing is inexperienced, or wholesome. In case your standing is yellow, which means you’re alleged to be in quarantine, or purple, which means you’re contaminated, the app alerts others close by.
After the opening ceremony on the Sheraton lodge, negotiators had been allowed to maneuver about Doha freely, whereas journalists had been requested to not depart the lodge till seven days had handed. At that time we had been examined once more, and as soon as the outcome got here again unfavorable, our standing on the app turned inexperienced and we may exit in public.
— Mujib Mashal, South Asia correspondent
A Regular Journey
Inhabitants: 9 million | Instances: About 40,000 | Deaths: 6,885
Earlier than I left Hong Kong for London, the place a second wave of infections is building, I needed to fill out a kind telling the British authorities that I hadn’t traveled wherever else within the earlier 14 days. I assumed this was just the start of what can be a extremely uncommon journey expertise.
Mistaken. That was simply concerning the final time the virus was a consider my journey, other than sporting a masks on the flight and being further cautious about opening the bathroom door with a paper towel.
There have been no kinds to be stuffed out upon arrival at Heathrow Airport. No temperature checks, no assessments, no directions — I simply waltzed by customs and the bags declare and seemed for the taxi stand, simply as with all different voyage. The one obvious restriction was requiring passengers older than 11 to put on masks contained in the terminals.
The baffling comfort ready me for all times in London, the place masks use is rather more sporadic than in Hong Kong. I discovered myself in an unimaginable scenario: wishing my airport expertise had been just a little extra sophisticated.
— Daniel Victor, reporter