Class photo: February 2020 Camilla Fuchs
May 6, 2020
Surf Travel Advisory : COVID-19
As of March 20, 2020, the government of Mexico has joined Canada and the U.S. restricting entry to all non-essential travelers for at least one month to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19.
Unfortunately, Las Olas surfers are considered non-essential travelers, so we won’t be going surfing in Mexico this spring. Of course, this order is affecting many people in more traumatic ways. Livelihoods, families, necessities, and so much more depend on open borders between our countries, but we understand extreme actions are necessary and believe they will show positive results soon.
For more information on the current border restrictions visit U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
This is not unknown territory to us. We were also at Las Olas during the Zika outbreak in 2015, Mexico’s response to the H1N1 swine flu in 2009, and the SARS epidemic in 2003. Hurricane Kenna made landfall during a Las Olas surf retreat in October of 2002 and the year before that we learned about the 911 attacks from other surfers in the line up. Each of these events tested our relationships and resolve. In the end, Mexico and the waves won, so we’ll keep returning.
For answers on COVID-19’s and Las Olas surf retreats, visit FAQ COVID-19.
Border restrictions beginning March 20, 2020
March 20, 2020, the government of Mexico joined Canada and the U.S. by issuing a joint statement restricting entry for non-essential persons. Restrictions apply to those of us traveling to Mexico for the Spring 2020 Las Olas surf retreats.
“We agree to the need for a dedicated joint effort to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus and address the economic effects resulting from reduced mobility along our shared border. In order to ensure that essential travel can continue, the United States and Mexico are also temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across its borders. Non-essential” travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.”
Update April 20, 2020 DHS
“In close collaboration, the US, Mexico, and Canada have each agreed to extend restrictions on non-essential travel across their shared borders for 30 additional days.”
Travel Advisory : United States
Source: U.S. Department of State
The U.S. Department of State monitors global issues regarding the safety of US citizens.
IMPORTANT: As of Thursday, March 19, 2020 the U.S. Department of State issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory : Do Not Travel
“The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many countries are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and several cruise operators have suspended operations or cancelled trips. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be severely disrupted, and you may be forced to remain outside of the United States for an indefinite timeframe.”
This a broad advisory, but important to control the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19. Although there are no specific restrictions in the area where Las Olas operates, we are monitoring government recommendations frequently. We will update this report as soon as the advisory changes.
Travel Advisory: Canada
Source: Government of Canada
For our guests and surfcoaches traveling from Canada, we monitor the Government of Canada webpage for travel warnings.
Government of Canada : Official Global Travel Advisory
“Avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
“To limit the spread of COVID-19, many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions and other measures such as movement restrictions and quarantines. Airlines have cancelled flights. New restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Canada longer than expected.
Contact your airline or tour operator to determine options for cancelling or postponing your trip.”
Although there are no specific restrictions for travel to the area Las Olas operates in Mexico, Canada has joined Mexico and the U.S. in advising travelers to stay put.
Travel Advisory : Mexico
Source: U.S. Mexican Embassy
COVID-19: Global Cases
Source: Johns Hopkins CSSE
The information represented on this webpage is a compilation of data from governmental agencies including the CDC, WHO, and others. It is better viewed on larger screens or select mobile version from the menu.
Although China has been able to bend the curve in a positive direction since the outbreak was first reported, the number of confirmed cases has risen dramatically throughout the rest of the world.
Travel Insurance: Overview
Source: Yonder Travel Insurance
Yonder travel insurance company provides a simple explanation of standard travel insurance coverage here. For more details, call your agent as soon as possible.
“If you already have a travel insurance policy, there is limited trip cancellation coverage if you choose to cancel your trip due to an outbreak, or fear of an outbreak, of the coronavirus at your destination. Pandemics and epidemics are generally excluded from trip cancellation coverage. The virus was considered a “foreseen” event as early as January 21 and each major travel insurance providers have released position statements regarding even more restrictions since that date.
“The only type of coverage that is sure to provide some type of reimbursement to cancel would be a specific type of coverage called Cancel for Any Reason or CFAR. This benefit allows you to cancel your trip for any reason at all and receive a 50-75% refund of your insured trip cost. To qualify for this benefit, the traveler must 1) purchase their policy within 14-21 days from the initial deposit or payment date, 2) insure all their non refundable trip expenses, and 3) cancel at least 48 hours prior to their departure date.”
If you get COVID-19 disease before you travel, we are so sorry and hope you recover soon.
“Most travel insurance policies would still provide coverage to cancel your trip due to a new medical condition that causes you to cancel your trip. You may also be covered to cancel or interrupt your trip if you are quarantined or subject to a mandatory evacuation issued by the government. Medical expenses or emergency medical evacuations would likely be covered if you were to contract a virus during your trip.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, is the US organization tasked with monitoring and responding to international health concerns. Their website provides a clearinghouse of information on practically any health issue worldwide including COVID-19.
Use your judgment to determine if you have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.
Factors to Consider
• Did you recently travel from an affected area?
• Have you been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or with people with pneumonia of unknown cause?
• More than half of the U.S. is seeing some level of community spread of COVID-19. Do you reside in an area where there has been community spread of COVID-19?
Actions to Consider
• Avoid contact with sick people.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Travelers should monitor their health and limit interactions with others for 14 days after returning from travel.
• If you are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing, please stay home and call ahead before seeking medical care.
• Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care.
• If you are ill with COVID-19, but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others.
Source: Las Olas
I said unless we’re restricted from going to Mexico, we’re on our way to find more sun and surf, but I’d let you know if conditions change. Recently, we feel the conditions have changed. As governments do their best to protect us, nearly all aspects of travel are being disrupted. We’re concerned the biggest challenge at Las Olas right now isn’t paddling out past the break, but just getting to Mexico and back home again. I can’t imagine that’s any fun for you or those close to you.
Ultimately, we’ll outsmart this bug and the crisis will pass. Until then, we’ll work together to get there. Please check back often for updates and information.
Until then, can’t wait to see you in the waves,