When a region tries to prevent an outbreak of an epidemic, two broad strategies are available: limiting the inflow of infected cases by using travel restrictions and quarantines or limiting the risk of local transmission from imported cases by using contact tracing and other community interventions. A number of papers have used epidemiological models to argue that inflow restrictions are unlikely to be effective. We simulate a simple epidemiological model to show that this conclusion changes if containment efforts such as contact tracing have limited capacity. In particular, our results show that moderate travel restrictions can lead to large reductions in the probability of an epidemic when contact tracing is effective but the contact tracing system is close to being overwhelmed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
T.B. acknowledges funding from the Swedish Research Council, grant no. 2015-05015. Acknowledgements
© 2020 The Authors.
- contact tracing
- travel restrictions