Travel Health Guidelines

Travel Health Guidelines and Recommendations

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD):

Ebola Virus Disease is a virulent disease which is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people or by contact with contaminated objects. Symptoms include fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and in some cases, bleeding.

Update: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) 2018

Statement on the 1st meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding the Ebola outbreak in 2018, 18 May 2018     

WHO Advice to travelers:

WHO recommends that it is particularly important there should be no international travel or trade restrictions.

Vaccine-preventable diseases (cholera, hepatitis A & B, measles, polio, etc.)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), before departure, travellers should be advised about the risk of disease in the country or countries they plan to visit and the steps to be taken to prevent illness. The risk to a traveller of acquiring a disease depends on the local prevalence of that disease and on several other factors such as: age, immunization status and current state of health, travel itinerary, duration and style of travel. The traveller’s individual risk assessment allows a health care professional to determine the need for immunizations and/or preventive medication (prophylaxis) and provide advice on precautions for avoiding disease.

For further information, please visit WHO’s International Travel and Health book: Chapter 6.

Zika Virus

Yellow Fever

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV):

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause a range of illnesses from the common cold to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The strain of coronavirus that causes MERS was first identified in 2012. The current pattern of disease appears to be the result of repeated introductions of the virus from camels to people, resulting in limited, but not in sustained human-to-human transmission. Groups considered at high risk of severe disease from MERS-CoV infection are people with diabetes, renal failure, chronic lung disease, etc. There is no information at this time to suggest that widespread transmission is occurring in communities.

WHO advice to travellers:

  • WHO does not recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions or entry screening.
  • WHO encourages countries to provide information and guidance on MERS to transport operators and ground staff, and about self-reporting of illness by travellers

For further information, please visit:


Following the Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, UNWTO compiled experiences and challenges the travel and tourism sector has made and faced in a report which was published as part of the Toward a Safer World initiative, led by the Word Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations System Influenza Coordination (UNSIC). To read the UNWTO report ¨Towards a Safer World: The Travel, Tourism and Aviation Sector¨, please click here.

Influenza A (H7N9):

Influenza A (H7N9) is considered an influenza virus that normally circulates among birds.  There are rare cases where the disease has passed to humans.  The World Health Organization (WHO) stresses that there is no evidence of ongoing human-to-human transmission.

There is no present threat to tourists and WHO does not recommend any travel restriction. Although both the source of infection and the mode of transmission are uncertain, it is prudent to follow basic hygienic practices to prevent infection.

For further information, please click here for the WHO Frequently Asked Questions on Influenza A(H7N9).

Pandemic (H1N1) 2009:

The H1N1 pandemic was characterized by the emergence of a new influenza virus to which many people had no pre-existing immunity. It caused unusual and extensive outbreaks of disease in the summer months in many countries and very high levels of disease in winter months. It was also characterized by an almost complete dominance of the pandemic virus over other seasonal influenza viruses, and by unusual clinical patterns where the most severe cases occurred most often in younger age groups.

The pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus has become a seasonal virus, continuing to circulate with other seasonal viruses since August 2010 when WHO declared the end of the (H1N1) 2009 pandemic.

Avian Influenza/H5N1:

Avian influenza, or “bird flu”, is a contagious disease of animals caused by viruses that normally infect only birds and, less commonly, pigs. Avian influenza viruses are highly species-specific, but have, on rare occasions, crossed the species barrier to infect humans.

In domestic poultry, infection with avian influenza viruses causes two main forms of disease, distinguished by low and high extremes of virulence. The so-called “low pathogenic” form commonly causes only mild symptoms (ruffled feathers, a drop in egg production) and may easily go undetected. The highly pathogenic form is far more dramatic. It spreads very rapidly through poultry flocks, causes disease affecting multiple internal organs, and has a mortality that can approach 100%, often within 48 hours.

For further information, please refer to the following links

The following links provide a first overview of guidelines and other similar documents related to the Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and Avian Influenza:

The following guidelines have been used during the Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and are a good example of how the industry requires practical and feasible guidance adjusted to the concrete challenges they are facing. Please indicate other documents of relevance to All documents reflect the views of their respective authors and not necessarily the views of UNWTO.

Documents Prepared by the Travel and Tourism Sector:

Generic Links for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises:

The following links provide further access to relevant guidelines: