December 6, 2023

Riskline points to pandemic travel risks

Business travellers still on the move during the COVID-19 pandemic are being warned of a number of related security risks, including protests, cyber-crime and xenophobic attacks.

In its latest update on the virus pandemic, Riskline is also warning travellers they could be impacted by strikes, disruption to essential services and terror attacks.

The associated risks are all on top of additional screening and quarantine measures in place across the world that could disrupt travel.

“Travellers should expect health screening measures – from non-invasive temperature screening to a full COVID-19 test involving nasal and throat swabs – at points of entry that remain open.

“They may be quarantined until test results are complete,” says the report, put together by travel risk analysts.

A growing number of countries have implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine, sometimes at designated facilities, for all arrivals regardless of nationality, symptoms or recent travel history. In some locations, this quarantine has been extended to 28 days. Furthermore, a growing number of countries have either banned all foreign nationals or restricted entry for passengers who have recently been to coronavirus-affected destinations.

Riskline advises travellers to reconfirm itineraries prior to departure and closely follow travel alerts and advisories.

The Riskline report also warned of strikes by workers in several countries over a lack of protective equipment and other working conditions.

“Further strikes are certain and carry the potential to disrupt essential services,” it says. Since the start of the outbreak, protests have erupted in several countries, including Egypt, Brazil, Ukraine, Chile, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, Israel, Iraq, Kenya, Colombia, and Lebanon over governments’ handling of the pandemic.

Scams, phishing attacks, malware and other forms of fraud are also likely, according to the report, which says around 3,600 new internet domains containing the word ‘coronavirus’ were created between March 14-18 alone.

Common scams involve fake fines sent by text message for violating lockdowns. Travellers are therefore advised to take common sense precautions, including verifying URLs and the source of message attachments before opening them.

Riskline’s report identifies the UK, US, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey, Dubai and Brazil among 15 ‘extreme level’ COVID-19 risk destinations.

View report