With the holidays fast approaching, you’re excited to travel with family or take your long-awaited vacation, especially after suspending your travel plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, travel restrictions have been lifted amid threats of the second wave of infection across the UK. This has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to advise against travelling even after getting vaccinated to protect you and your family. If the trip is worth the risk, here are eight tips to ensure safe travelling amid the pandemic.
1. Be aware of your area’s statistics
What are the current numbers where you live and how does this put you at risk? Regardless of your travel destination and protective measures you’ve taken, threats are still high with the current COVID-19 numbers. In the UK, the COVID infection rate is still increasing, which implies the chances of rapid spread in your community. If you’re air travelling from an area with a lot of cases, chances are you may sit closer to a passenger with the virus, which raises your infection risks. In such a situation, you’ll most likely infect a family member or anyone you intend to visit.
Take note that some countries or states will require you to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival unless you have proof of negative testing not exceeding 72 hours. However, if you have to be quarantined, prepare thoroughly by bringing provisions or groceries you’ll need as you won’t have access to stores.
2. Consider destination COVID rates
One vital thing to do when travelling during a pandemic is to assess your intended destination’s infection rate. Travelling to areas considered red zones puts you at higher risks. Chances are hospitals in such areas are already filled; therefore, you won’t get adequate care when you seek relief from such institutions. Fortunately, you can use several online resources to track the numbers or visit your local travel directory for vital information before setting off. If you’re travelling outside the UK, ensure to confirm the infection rate at your planned destination and whether individuals from your home country will be allowed entry.
3. Know your health status
Like experts have advised, it’s practical to take everything from the individual perspective and check for any underlying health conditions like kidney diseases, heart-related conditions, obesity, and cancer. Such illnesses have serious health complications when treated in addition to COVID-19. If you intend to travel with a senior or have any of these underlying health conditions, avoid crowded locations and, if possible, drive to your destinations.
4. Decide on the safest mode of transport
As indicated earlier, driving is currently the safest means of transport. This should especially be the case when you’re making a day’s journey since you have limited interactions with others. However, flying can likewise be comparatively safe provided necessary measures are taken.
Your travel airline must guarantee its plane is thoroughly cleaned and work to keep up the adequate distance between travellers during boarding and disembarking. When travelling, it’s best to go for airlines that will ensure sufficient distancing without filling every seat. Also, ensure to keep to your position throughout the flight and wear your masks every time. During flights, other passengers are more likely to remove their mask to eat or drink, which is why you should always be on guard.
5. Be particular about where you stay
The good news is that many hotels are heeding to safety protocols and measures to clean and sanitise their common areas and rooms to make them safest for their clients. A few of them also keep rooms empty for a couple of days after every guest to allow any potential virus to subside. So before deciding on a hotel to stay, remember to learn of the processes they use in keeping their rooms.
Presently, many travellers use online platforms such as Airbnb to rent a complete house to restrict people from passing through their lobby or sharing a crowded elevator. But since homes are privately owned, sanitation levels will vary considerably ahead of your arrival. If your stay will be lengthy, check accommodations websites such as Menara City One for some short-stay apartments for rent.
6. Always be alert
It’s quite easy to let your guard down during vacation, especially in the excitement of activities. Sticking to general COVID-19 protocols is a must at all times, no matter where you find yourself. Regular handwashing, maintaining a safe distance from others, always wearing your mask in public, and limiting touching your face will feel like so much work. Still, they’re crucial for your safety and that of your families.
7. Test before, during, and after every journey
You might need to take a COVID test long before you leave, provided one is accessible to you. Getting tested and knowing you’re negative will diminish the chances of unconsciously carrying the infection to your travel location.
For example, countries like Croatia presently permit guests from specific countries who have initially tested negative for the virus in less than two days to test again before they’re allowed entry. If you’re travelling to US states like New York, you must test a few days before and after your arrival. Negative outcomes in the two tests are the only means of avoiding the compulsory 14-day quarantine.
8. Reassess your every step
When planning your trip, it’s advisable to book hotels and activities you can cancel at any time. If your travel companion or the person you intend to visit calls in sick or is experiencing any symptom after getting into contact with someone with the virus, cancel the trip. While on the road, always reassess your activities and every move to know when to adjust accordingly. Experts have advised immediately vacating a facility with staff not appropriately following COVID-19 measures like wearing their masks. Even if you’ve already paid for the service, let’s say in a restaurant, it’s never worth the risk; vacate immediately.
Travelling is always an opportunity to make new memories and explore opportunities. However, in the midst of your preparations and excitement, remember to consider the above-mentioned points to make your trip as safe as possible.