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Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 – Advice for travellers

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20.03.2020

On the 31st December 2019, the World Health Organization was informed of a cluster of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan in Hubei province, China. On 9 January 2020 a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as a cause. COVID-19 is the novel coronavirus infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak worldwide was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020 and characterized as a pandemic by World Health Organization on 11 March 2020.

Corona viruses are a group of viruses that usually cause respiratory infections of varying severity to humans and animals.  It is estimated that almost one third of infections of the upper respiratory system in humans can be caused by corona viruses.

The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth expelled by a COVID-19 patient who is coughing or sneezing. These droplets contaminate objects and surfaces around the person. Other people can get infected with COVID-19 by getting in contact with these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. Therefore, a distance of more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a patient is recommended.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, tiredness and occasionally aches and pains, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. Approximately 80% of patients recover from the disease without any special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people with COVID-19 may develop severe symptoms including shortness of breath. Elderly, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

According to World Health Organization there are no travel restrictions up to this date.

Advice for travellers

The risk for travellers is considered very high. It is recommended that travellers avoid non-essential travel to any destination.  In particular high risk groups such as elderly and people with underlying conditions are strongly advised to avoid non-essential travel including within Greece. There is no vaccine against this novel corona virus.

               

If you are travelling to any destination you should:

 

During your stay at your destination you should:

 

After your return from areas with local transmission of COVID-19:

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