When it comes to curbing the spread of Covid-19, are ‘coronavirus travel bans’ effective? Countries all over the world are cracking down on travellers from areas with high rates of coronavirus cases. But, just how well does this work? Scientists have published their findings in the journal Science.
Are Travel Bans Effective For Curbing Coronavirus Spread?
The researchers believe that the travel ban led to a 77% reduction in cases coming from China to the rest of the world in early February. This is compared with no travel ban.
However, this lower level of cases only lasted about 2-3 weeks. After this time, the number of international cases grew due to cases from other parts of China. The travel quarantine of Wuhan delayed the overall epidemic progression by only 3 to 5 days in Mainland China.
Further study found that even very strict travel restrictions — which reduce air travel to and from China by 90% — would not have a large effect on the outbreak’s trajectory unless there are extra efforts to slow down the rate of disease transmission between people. These include early detection of COVID-19 cases, isolation of cases and contacts, and tried-and-true public health measures like hand washing.
Moving forward, the researchers ‘expect that travel restrictions to COVID-19 affected areas will have modest effects.