Ebola travel update

With the Ebola virus containing to spread, here are a few things Australians should know before heading overseas.

Ebola travel update

The world is holding its breath over the continuing outbreak of the Ebola virus, and with travel alerts issued, flights suspended and airports enforcing quarantine checks, here are a few things Australians should know before jumping on the plane.

Don’t panic. Your chances of coming into contact with the Ebola virus are extremely low if you’re travelling outside of Africa. There have been only three confirmed cases outside Africa so far – two have worked together as carers for Ebola sufferers, and the third was a woman who cared for one of the carers.

Be wise about your travel destination. Travel alerts have been issued for parts of West Africa, with some carriers indefinitely suspending flights to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and many land borders have been closed. Avoiding these areas is the best course of action to guard yourself against contact with Ebola.

Know the procedures. Airports everywhere are doing their part to stop the Ebola virus from spreading. Heathrow and Gatwick airports in the UK and US airports, JFK, Dulles, O’Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson and Newark Liberty international airports have implemented screening programs against Ebola. People travelling to these airports from West Africa will face screening for symptoms. 

Many other international airports which have direct flights from the affected regions, or which are significant air travel ports, have also implemented health screenings. Travellers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea will need to complete a questionnaire with medical staff about their travel history and upcoming travel plans when they arrive land in the UK. Travellers who show signs of fever may be detained in quarantine, so if you’re unwell, but planning on travelling, you might want to factor in a possible delay.

Train passengers on Eurostar from Paris and Brussels, arriving in London, will also be screened for their body temperature, to check for early fever symptoms.

The bottom line when travelling is to take reasonable precautions, avoid travel to affected areas, and be patient and accommodating at airports where officials are conducting tests.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    18th Oct 2014
    Good story idea Amelia. My wife and I are going to Europe (Turkey maybe) next year and the Ebola threat does have us worried, as does the border with Syria.
    On a wider note you might want to do a story (or pass it on to one of your other journos) on,
    1. which countries can be accessed without a visa.
    2. which countries Australians need to get shots for when travelling to these destinations.
    I know that I can find these myself but I believe other readers on this site would find the information helpful.
    Polly Esther
    18th Oct 2014
    Bon voyage mick, have a good one, and keep yourselves safe. Cheers!
    19th Oct 2014
    Yes I would like to know if others have had the Yellow Fever vaccination for machu picchu. Some say its hard to get back into Australia - doctor says its not a nice vacinati0on. I know I can stay another 6 days and its not needed but rather keep the airline bookings I have.
    18th Oct 2014
    Surely travellers should be screened (ie temperature etc) BEFORE boarding airplanes or trains (especially Eurostar) ? After being confined in a compartment on either, not much good when one arrives at a destination to find out a fellow traveller is suspected of having Ebola.

    18th Oct 2014
    I agree, when people are leaving an infected area they should be quarantined for the 21 days incubation period before leaving.
    I was horrified to learn that one of the causes of the spread in West Africa is due to the burial ritual. The body has water poured on it and the run off is drunk by those in attendance.
    19th Oct 2014
    Ebola is a dreadful disease - do a Google search if you wish to see images of affected patients.

    People should be checked before departure - and after arrival.

    As with most contagious diseases, there is a period after contracting the disease where there are no symptoms. There is also the problem of people who lie about where they have been before they boarded the aircraft, or who seek to hide symptoms.

    I do believe that aircraft passengers and crew arriving in Australia from affected and possibly affected regions should be quarantined immediatly upon arrival. This was accepted in the past for ships arriving with ill people on board.
    fish head
    18th Oct 2014
    I shouldn't be too concerned about Turkey, Mick. If you are doing a bus tour the closest they will let you get is Konya and if you are doing the independent thing you are old enough to know that going into a war zone is not the wisest option.It's the random bombers that you can't predict that are worrying and these days they can pop up anywhere where there are disgruntled people. The IRA taught us that lesson very clearly. The current lot are just carrying on to a different drum beat.

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