Trip delay – COVID-19

As I’m writing this article I’m watching the update emails come in from the FCO website detailing border closures and states of emergency being declared by most of the countries I need to transit through in order to get to my goal of visiting Mongolia.

Latest update for Georgia from the FCO

So far, Czechia and Slovakia have closed their borders to UK citizens. Georgia and Azerbaijan have put in place tight controls on people entering the country if they’ve come from the UK or via Germany including no access at all during March/April.

Mongolia has closed it’s borders with Russia completely meaning there is currently no way in or out of Mongolia as the borders with China are also closed. If you do manage to get into Mongolia currently there are strict travel restrictions in place to stop the spread of infection since Mongolia currently doesn’t have a single case of infection.

The ‘stans are also now starting to limit access to their region of Central Asia.

As time goes on, more and countries will declare states of emergency and close borders. President Macron of France is considering this at the moment which, if it happens will mean the only way out of the UK to the EU mainland will be via Hoek Van Holland, which is also currently under threat.

So what does this mean for my trip?

Well, at the moment there is no point in me going anywhere as I can only get as far as Germany and then I’m stuck. Each time I look for an alternative route the country I am looking to transit via closes their border or limits access to those that are not from the UK or other infected countries.

I am now looking at leaving the UK at the beginning of May instead of April, I’m hoping this will allow time for the peak infection to pass and for countries to relax travel restrictions such that I will be able to transit my way to Mongolia and back.

This has meant that I’ve needed to move the commencement date of my travel/medical insurance which I’ve been able to do with ease and am now looking to move my ferry crossing with Stena Line.

After almost 2 years of planning and preparing for this trip this is deeply annoying and indeed frustrating to say the least. I just want to get on and go now, everything is ready.

If it turns out that I cannot go in May then it will mean I will have to cancel the trip for this year as the weather window will no longer be viable for such a trip. Lets hope it doesn’t come to this!