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Travel Restrictions to IVF/ Surrogacy Destinations

In this difficult time, Growing Families is providing an update on current travel restrictions which will impact intended parents travelling internationally for embryo creation or the birth of children.

OVERSEAS TRAVEL FOR BIRTHS (updated as at 9.48pm 30 March AEDST)

You need to consider

  • Whether your local authorities will allow you to leave your home country
  • Whether your destination will allow you to enter
  • What flights are available
  • What quarantine requirements are on arrival

Outbound travel: Note that while some governments (eg Australia) have banned international travel, you can apply for travel on compassionate grounds.

Inbound travel: Flights are still leaving the USA & Canada. For other countries, some countries will consider, on a case-by-case basis, supporting non-scheduled services, where the demand is significant, commercial options have been exhausted and where local authorities will permit such flights.

For countries not listed below, please see link

CANADA (Over 9548 CoVid cases)

  • Canada has closed their passports office however online applications can be made under humanitarian grounds. See link
  • From 18 March 2020 foreign nationals from all ports except USA are barred from entering Canada
  • Exceptions are available
    • If you have been authorized in writing by a consular officer of the government of Canada to come to Canada to reunite with immediate family members; (ask your Canadian lawyer)
  • Air Canada are still flying
  • The only airports open are Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary & Montreal
  • 14 day quarantine on arrival applies

COLOMBIA (Over 1065 Co-Vid cases)
Border closed to foreigners until 31 May

CYPRUS (Over 320 Co-Vid cases)

  • Unless you are a resident of the Republic of Cyprus, you won’t be permitted to enter.
  • Exceptions: This does not apply to passengers with a special authorization issued by the competent ministry of Cyprus. If so you must have a certificate of health stating you are free from COVID-19 issued within a maximum of 4 days before departure. You will be quarantined for 14 days.
  • Turkish-Cypriot authorities will deny entry to all who do not reside in northern Cyprus. Compulsory self-isolation measures are in place across the island.
  • Some crossing points between the south and north are closed. Current rules in place until April 1

GEORGIA (over 117 CoVid cases)

  • No flights until April 21 earliest
  • All shops with the exception of food shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks and post offices are closed for an indefinite period
  • Full lock-down from 30 March 2020
  • Foreigners are obliged to present Coronavirus free (PCR) certificate or otherwise, to undergo intensive checking procedures at Georgian border checkpoint and remain in 14-day quarantine.

GREECE (Over 1415 Covid-19 cases, 5 in Crete)
Open to EU citizens only. From 16 March, all people arriving in Greece from abroad are required to go into 14 days’ self-isolation. Has suspended all transport links with non EU countries as well as Spain and Italy till further notice. Some IVF clinics have closed for six weeks.

Exceptions may be obtained (ask your Greek lawyer) The relevant authorization needs to come from the Greek embassy/consulate.

KENYA (Over 81 CoVid-19 cases)
All international flights to Kenya are suspended.
Country in lock-down until 19 April

MEXICO (over 1215 coVid-19 cases)
Public venues in Mexico City are closed until 19 April. Groceries stores and markets remain open.  If you are in Mexico and wish to leave, do so as soon as possible by commercial means. Flights to Australia from the region through US hubs are quickly disappearing 

RUSSIA (over 2777 Covid-19 cases)

  • Open to no foreigners
  • Exceptions: passengers who are family members (spouses, parents, kids, adoptive parents, adopted), guardians and trustees of citizens of the Russian Fed., subject to the presentation of a copy of a document confirming the relationship status
  • Russia has implemented enhanced screening procedures and entry restrictions. These include border closures, flight cancellations, medical checks at international border checkpoints and mandatory 14 day quarantine for travellers arriving from a range of high risk countries. It may change these restrictions at short notice. 

UKRAINE (Over 794 Co-Vid cases)

  • From 16 March, foreigners are banned from entering Ukraine unless you hold a residence permit
  • No airlines are flying into Ukraine
  • The measure will be reviewed after 24 April.
  • E-Visa applications are closed and this will be reviewed in early May 2020. Check here for current visa access https://evisa.mfa.gov.ua/

On March 16th Ukraine closed the Metro, and intercity transportation until April 3rd. Domestic flights are grounded. Ukraine is to receive 10 million test kits in the coming days, to quell fears of low levels of testing. Other supplies coming from China include 10 ventilators, 1 million medical masks, 100,000 for medical personnel, 400,000 express tests and 10,000 litres disinfectant

USA (Over 209,071 Covid cases)
Open to some foreigners. The US has suspended entry to foreigners who have travelled to, or reside in, China, Iran, European Schengen countries, UK & Ireland.

  • Exceptions: the parent/legal guardian of an infant who is a US citizen
  • They may also deny boarding of any US bound travellers showing signs of illness. Expect enhanced screening procedures. New York, Washington DC and California are particularly affected.
  • The US Passport office is closed to walk-in applications. Online applications may take 6-8 weeks to be processed.

MITIGATION MEASURES
General Those unable to travel as planned for an upcoming birth should contact their surrogacy agency. Agencies can sometimes arrange for you to see the delivery via video. Many airlines are waiving flight change costs, however you will often need to upgrade to a more expensive fare.

USA. Agencies and attorneys in the USA & Canada may be able to arrange temporary guardianship or other care arrangements (see following blog).

UKRAINE
Pre-birth Surrogate Care: Some agencies have commenced care for some surrogates in their home city, given they are not able to travel to Kiev currently for closer monitoring. For parents and surrogates who travel to Kiev earlier , apartments can be organised earlier (eg week 25-28). For those surrogates/IPs keen to have their surrogates in Kiev for third trimester monitoring, a taxi can be arranged from neighbouring regions.
Post-birth care: Agencies will hire a  nanny/nurse to be with the baby until parents arrive. 
Birth certificates: Both parents needs to be present at baby registration for birth certificates.
Other Documents: Agencies can prepare other documents prior to IP’s arrival (eg translated hospital reports, translated surrogate consent)

GEORGIA. Maternity hospitals are not allowing visitors. Where parents cannot travel, their baby can stay in the maternity hospital until their arrival ( €88 per day).
Birth certificates: Intended Parents can assign a power of attorney to apply for birth certificate. This will take 2 weeks to 2 months. 

GREECE Where parents cannot travel, their baby can stay at the birth clinic for up to 4 weeks (€100,- a day per baby. After this time clinics will rent houses and have 24 hour care by nurses and/or midwives.
Issuing birth certificates is not possible without the parents present.

FURTHER SUPPORT

Seek advice from your surrogacy agency. If you need counselling or further support, contact sam@growingfamilies.org