Travel

Welcome Home! Now Go Straight to Quarantine (or Not)

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 Times journalists discovered whereas touring in latest months. The severity of outbreaks is equally different, however stricter quarantine insurance policies have a tendency to correspond with decrease case numbers.

NO ROOM FOR ERROR

Population: 7.5 million | Cases: About 5,300 | Deaths: 105

Hong Kong is just not messing round. Since March, touring there has meant accepting a 14-day quarantine, a tracking bracelet and a coronavirus take a look at.

The semiautonomous Chinese territory is closed to nearly everybody besides residents, and a extremely organized sequence of stations awaits arrivals on the airport. At the primary one, well being employees be certain that vacationers have stuffed out a well being declaration kind and downloaded the federal government’s KeepHomeSecure app.

Next, the monitoring bracelet is secured to your wrist. Then somebody calls your cellphone to be certain that the quantity on file is right.

At one other station you obtain the quarantine order, together with an at-home take a look at to be taken on Day 10 and a kind for recording your temperature twice a day. Don’t have a thermometer? Here’s one without spending a dime.

Arriving passengers are despatched for testing, the place they stand in personal cubicles and spit into specimen bottles. (“Make a ‘kruuua’ noise,” the directions counsel.) Anyone who checks constructive is shipped to a hospital; their shut contacts are quarantined.

Passengers who land within the morning have to wait on the airport all day for his or her take a look at outcomes. But since my flight arrived late, we had been taken to a resort for the night time, the place we every bought a dinner field and an digital key card good for one use solely. After receiving a destructive consequence the subsequent day, we had been allowed to try.

Once at dwelling or a resort, quarantined residents open the cellphone app and stroll across the perimeter to map its boundaries. The app might 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.

Those in quarantine will not be permitted to exit for groceries or a stroll and even to take out the rubbish — you order all the things on-line or ask buddies for assist. You simply preserve your self busy inside your tiny Hong Kong condominium, counting down the times.

Jennifer Jett, digital editor

Breezing Through

Population: 8.Four million | Cases: About 264,000 | Deaths: Almost 24,000

In August, I moved again to New York from Hong Kong with my household. We didn’t know what to count on at Kennedy Airport, however we had been prepared to navigate no matter security measures we discovered.

What we discovered was nothing, aside from one of many quickest journeys by means of the U.S. immigration course of we’ve ever skilled in years overseas. No temperature checks. No journey historical past or contact data 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 solely test got here on the very finish, when the immigration officer perfunctorily requested me whether or not we had traveled overseas anyplace aside from Hong Kong over the earlier two weeks. I stated no, and he stated, “Welcome home.”

Douglas Schorzman, deputy worldwide editor

Burden of Proof

Population: 9 million | Cases: About 30,000 | Deaths: 444

When 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 social distancing, flight attendants requested passengers to disembark in small teams. We stuffed out some types, had our temperatures taken and shuffled right into a ready space earlier than being referred to as into cubicles for our nasal swab checks.

Clearing customs took almost 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 delivery 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 wait to be picked up. I’d be required to quarantine at dwelling for 14 days and had to attest that I’d not use public transit to get again to my household’s condominium in central Tokyo. The cubicles contained makeshift cardboard beds for these compelled to wait in a single day. When my trip arrived, the escort walked me to the curb to verify that I used to be not getting right into a taxi, which was thought of 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 obtained a name from an area public well being middle confirming that I used to be staying inside. The clerk was about to hold up once I requested her about my take a look at outcomes. “Oh, yes,” she stated. “You’re negative.”

— Motoko Rich, Tokyo bureau chief

Hard to Get Home

Population: 5 million | Cases: 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 not to 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 might spend the subsequent two weeks. Australia requires vacationers to quarantine for 14 days in government-assigned motels, which might imply a grim room close to the airport or a five-star room overlooking Sydney Harbor.

After residing by means of the pandemic in China, the place folks wore masks as a matter after all, it was unnerving for me to see Sydney airport employees with out masks, which aren’t obligatory in most components of Australia. Would we be protected? Would they be protected? Masked medical employees took our particulars and temperatures, rattling off a sequence of questions: Any fever, coughing, different doable indicators of the virus?

We handed by means of immigration and picked up our baggage. Still no hints of the place we had been being despatched. Police officers 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 resort till we arrived — the authorities didn’t need us phoning our households to meet us there and threat infections.

A stroke of excellent fortune: The bus stopped in entrance of a luxurious resort overlooking Hyde Park within the metropolis middle. But the troopers chaperoning us to our rooms had been a reminder that this was no vacation. I had sufficient expertise with quarantine already this 12 months — three stretches locked in resort rooms in Beijing, Hong Kong and as soon as earlier than in Sydney — to understand how to cope: preserve busy with work, stick to a routine, train.

Still, the times started to drag. I waited every day for the faucet on the door at meal occasions.

Chris Buckley, chief China correspondent

A Matter of Trust

Population: 10 million | Cases: About 5,300 | Deaths: 57

South Korea definitely takes its virus management measures severely — although they aren’t hermetic.

After arriving at Incheon Airport, we had been guided by means of a sequence of checkpoints, together with one the place we had been requested to obtain an app on which we had been to document any signs for the subsequent 14 days. Agents 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 have to quarantine for 14 days in a chosen facility, generally with angry protesters banging drums outside. But I had an exemption for work causes, and my household was allowed to serve their quarantine in a resort.

In the airport, an worker gave my spouse the tackle of the federal government well being workplace closest to our resort, and directed her and our kids to one of many specifically designated “disinfection taxis, ” that transport new arrivals to the nation.

After arriving at their resort, my spouse and youngsters found the most important gap in South Korea’s system. They had been allowed to stroll, unaccompanied, to the native well being workplace for his or her coronavirus checks. They resisted the urge to sprint right into a comfort retailer for chocolate milk.

The subsequent day, my spouse bought a name saying she and our kids had examined destructive. She would get a name on daily basis for 2 weeks from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking if they’d any signs. And, simply to verify it, she had to fill out the app on daily basis testifying to their well-being. It was basically the glory system.

At midday on Day 15 of quarantine, my household walked previous the resort’s hallway CCTV digital camera and out into the open air of Seoul, with no extra checks required.

Andy Parsons, assistant worldwide editor

GREEN MEANS GO

Population: About 1 million | Cases: 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 at the least seven days, however an exception was made for the big Afghan delegation. Instead, negotiators and journalists touring from Kabul had been examined for the coronavirus a number of occasions earlier than their flight.

All residents and guests in Qatar are required to use an app referred to as Ehteraz (Arabic for “precaution”) that exhibits their color-coded well being standing. Malls, places of work, motels and different public locations received’t let folks enter except their standing is inexperienced, or wholesome. If your standing is yellow, which means you’re supposed to be in quarantine, or crimson, which means you’re contaminated, the app alerts others close by.

After the opening ceremony on the Sheraton resort, negotiators had been allowed to transfer about Doha freely, whereas journalists had been requested not to depart the resort till seven days had handed. At that time we had been examined once more, and as soon as the consequence got here again destructive, our standing on the app turned inexperienced and we might exit in public.

Mujib Mashal, South Asia correspondent

A Normal Journey

Population: 9 million | Cases: About 40,000 | Deaths: 6,885

Before I left Hong Kong for London, the place a second wave of infections is building, I had to fill out a kind telling the British authorities that I hadn’t traveled anyplace else within the earlier 14 days. I assumed this was just the start of what could be a extremely uncommon journey expertise.

Wrong. That was simply concerning the final time the virus was a think about my journey, other than carrying a masks on the flight and being additional cautious about opening the rest room door with a paper towel.

There had been no types to be stuffed out upon arrival at Heathrow Airport. No temperature checks, no checks, no directions — I simply waltzed by means of customs and the bags declare and regarded for the taxi stand, simply as with all different voyage. The solely 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 way more sporadic than in Hong Kong. I discovered myself in an unimaginable state of affairs: wishing my airport expertise had been just a little extra difficult.

Daniel Victor, reporter

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