Public health considerations for gradual return to international travel

31 July, 2020

The World Health Organization has published a document on "key considerations for national health authorities when considering or implementing the gradual return to international travel operations". Authorities should “ensure coordination of the measures implemented by national and international transport authorities and other relevant sectors and be aligned with the overall national strategies for adjusting public health and social measures.”

All countries will have to undertake complete risk assessments and consider the epidemiology and transmission patterns, the health and social measures to control the outbreak and the capacities of health systems in both departure and destination countries including at points of entry.

The objective of the document "is to provide governments, health authorities of WHO Member States and relevant stakeholders with elements to consider in adjusting international travel measures to the changing epidemiological situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, national public health and health service capacity available in countries and evolving understanding of the virus." The WHO further states that the document should be read in conjunction with other WHO guidance which includes the WHO COVID-19 Strategy update, Considerations for adjusting public health and social measures, the Scientific Brief on transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and the WHO Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP).

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