Our world is hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Economies are struggling, people are dying, and yet a solution hasn’t been found. This leaves us worried and in a dilemma whether to go on with our lives or hold tight and wait for a remedy.
Undoubtedly, we can’t hide in our houses forever, and many of us are learning to live with this virus. After all, bills have to be paid, and we need to meet up with our families and friends.
If you are one of the people whose work involves travelling, you’re probably in a fix since COVID-19 prevention guidelines advice against it.
Fortunately, health experts have outlined specific measures that can help you reduce your risk to COVID-19 even as you travel. Here are some of those measures so that you can remain safe during your travels.
When not to travel during Covid-19 epidemic
Before we even discuss how to prepare yourself for travel, let’s understand when you aren’t supposed to.
- If you’re sick– Health experts strongly advised against travelling if you feel sick, especially if you have COVID-19 symptoms. You should stay at home and isolate to avoid infecting other people. When you’re sick, your immune system is compromised, which increases your risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.
- If someone close to you has tested positive for COVID-19– While this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick, it’s essential to cancel your travel until you’re tested, and the results come out negative. Remember, you can have the disease but show no symptoms, therefore isolate for 14 days and get tested before travelling.
- If your travel partner is sick– Coming into close contact with a COVID-19 infected person increases your risk of infection. So, if your travel companion tests positive, you should cancel the trip.
Consider the following before traveling
Here are important guidelines to adhere to before you make your travel plans:
- The rate of infection at your travel destination– If COVID-19 cases have spiked at your travel location, there is a high risk of you getting infected. Research and consult widely to understand the current COVID-19 situation at your destination.
- Are you a high-risk individual– Medical research has outlined the elderly – those who are 65 years and above, and people with underlying medical conditions as being at a higher risk of getting infected with the coronavirus. If you belong to this group, limit your travels. Similarly, if you live with a vulnerable person, then you can easily infect them after travelling.
- Traveller requirements and restrictions at your destination– Some countries and cities have put mandatory 14 days quarantine for all visitors coming in. Such restrictions can prove challenging, especially when you plan to travel with your pet. Some destinations will also ask you to have a COVID-19 test done before admission. Such a test may be expensive, so you may need to carry with you some extra cash.
Observe the following as you travel during Covid-19
Below are rules and regulations to keep in mind during your travels:
- Face mask– Ensure you wear a face mask when travelling to cover your nose and mouth as it is proven to reduce the risk of infection.
- Hand sanitizer– Health guidelines indicate we should wash our hands often to protect from the COVID-19 infection. When travelling, washing your hands might prove difficult, this is why you should carry a hand sanitizer with you. Ensure the hand sanitizer has at least 60% alcohol.
- Keep distance– When travelling and in public places, keep a distance of at least 2 feet from the nearest person.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose – Avoid touching your face before washing your hands as you may have come into contact with the virus. Always remember to wash your hands and often sanitize, especially when in public places.
When choosing a travel agency or company
When choosing your preferred hotel, travel agency, or airline ensure they have put up proper guidelines to protect you from COVID-19. Measures such as temperature monitoring and mandatory sanitization of luggage are important.
You should also choose a travel agency with well-outlined guidelines on how they will handle and detect positive COVID-19 cases among their customers. Without proper measures such as isolation units, one COVID-19 case can quickly spread to the rest of the travellers.
Your travel agency or company should also be certified by health authorities. They should meet the COVID-19 safety requirements set by the local and international authorities.
Ensure the following when travelling:
Here are additional tips that can help you stay safe even as you travel.
- Wear a face mask at public places-We can’t overemphasize this enough. Ensure your mask is always on when in public places. Prevention is always better than cure.
- Use non-contact payment– One way to avoid infection when travelling is by using payment methods that will not require the physical exchange of money examples include mobile banking or the use of debit and credit cards.
- Apply for travel medical insurance– When travelling abroad, it’s vital to have travel medical insurance. Here’s a handy list of the best medical insurance coverage currently on the market. In case you catch covid-19, the insurance will sort out your hospital bills. The last thing you need is struggling with medical bills while in a foreign country.
- Minimum visiting of public washrooms– While this isn’t always possible, try to avoid public bathrooms by using one in your hotel room or your home washroom if you’re going for a short trip. If you have to use the public utilities, ensure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap.
- Disinfect the gas pump– Before fueling your vehicle disinfect the pump handle to get rid of any germs. Sanitize or wash your hands immediately after.
- Carry food– Instead of eating at hotels and restaurants, you can opt to carry your food. If this isn’t possible, buy food from a drive-through or request for house delivery services to minimize human contact.
Staying at home is the best way to avoid COVID-19 infection. However, we can’t stay locked inside forever. If you are travelling, ensure you’re well protected by observing the guidelines outlined above. That way, you will protect yourself and your loved ones.