• Quarantine and testing strategies to ameliorate transmission due to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic: a modelling study.

      Wells, Chad R; Pandey, Abhishek; Fitzpatrick, Meagan C; Crystal, William S; Singer, Burton H; Moghadas, Seyed M; Galvani, Alison P; Townsend, Jeffrey P (Elsevier, 2022-01-10)
      Background: Numerous countries have imposed strict travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing to a large socioeconomic burden. The long quarantines that have been applied to contacts of cases may be excessive for travel policy. Methods: We developed an approach to evaluate imminent countrywide COVID-19 infections after 0-14-day quarantine and testing. We identified the minimum travel quarantine duration such that the infection rate within the destination country did not increase compared to a travel ban, defining this minimum quarantine as "sufficient." Findings: We present a generalised analytical framework and a specific case study of the epidemic situation on November 21, 2021, for application to 26 European countries. For most origin-destination country pairs, a three-day or shorter quarantine with RT-PCR or antigen testing on exit suffices. Adaptation to the European Union traffic-light risk stratification provided a simplified policy tool. Our analytical approach provides guidance for travel policy during all phases of pandemic diseases. Interpretation: For nearly half of origin-destination country pairs analysed, travel can be permitted in the absence of quarantine and testing. For the majority of pairs requiring controls, a short quarantine with testing could be as effective as a complete travel ban. The estimated travel quarantine durations are substantially shorter than those specified for traced contacts. Funding: EasyJet (JPT and APG), the Elihu endowment (JPT), the Burnett and Stender families' endowment (APG), the Notsew Orm Sands Foundation (JPT and APG), the National Institutes of Health (MCF), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (SMM) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada EIDM-MfPH (SMM).