The COVID-19 pandemic had impaired certain parts of the world for weeks, and many travelers around the world had been unable to go on a vacation because of this. While the threat of COVID-19 is not gone yet, you can now get back on the road and visit both local and foreign spots that you are interested in – however, if you are planning on taking a trip during the ongoing pandemic, then you should be prepared to take some safety measures and precautions that can keep you, and everyone around, you safe.
While traveling is possible, it is still strongly recommended to consider postponing your vacation plans – your trip will expose you to contact with hundreds of individuals, and you will always be at some risk of contracting COVID-19 even if you take the necessary preventive measures. If you or anyone in your traveling party has pre-existing health conditions that COVID-19 is known to worsen, then it is best to skip on the trip. Do not forget that not all people carrying the COVID-19 infection have obvious symptoms – often, people might spread the virus for days or weeks without feeling sick at all.
If you, however, are determined to complete your trip, then we have prepared some tips for ensuring safe travel amid COVID-19.
Check the COVID-19 Situation in your Desired Destination
Needless to say, going to a country or city where the pandemic is rapidly growing, is a bad idea. Another issue to check is the potential quarantine that you may need to undergo – this usually varies on a country by country basis, and it may also depend on your country of origin. For example, at the beginning of July, the United Kingdom imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all newcomers. In the meantime, travelers from the United States were barred from entering specific countries for a limited period of time.
Safety Precautions to Take During your Travel
One of the most important things to remember is that you must always wash your hands when you have an opportunity – water and soap is the recommended way to do it, but if you do not have them at your disposal, then you can use a hand sanitizer. It is recommended to go for a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
You should strive to make a habit of keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose, or mouth – these are the infection vectors that COVID-19 is known to exploit more frequently.
Social distancing is also recommended – stay at least 6 feet away from other individuals, and avoid stacking in large groups. Another safety precaution to take while outside is to wear a double-layered cloth mask at all times.
Consider Your Travel Options
Traveling is another potential problem that you should take into consideration while making your plans. While traveling by airplane is faster and more comfortable, it is also the travel option that exposes you to contact with many random people – you will have to pass through security lines and airport terminals, and you may often come in close contact with people, or items that they have touched. Furthermore, crowded flights make social distancing impossible. Air travel is considered to be the worst option if you wish to stay safe from COVID-19.
Bus and train travel involves less contact while boarding the vehicle, but you will not be able to the social distance while inside.
Car travel is the safest option since you will only come in contact with other people while taking breaks for food, gas, or going to the bathroom. It is recommended to reduce the riskiness of these encounters by wearing a cloth mask and using hand sanitizer.
Essential Protective Gear to Bring With You
Reusable cloth masks are your number one priority – everyone in your party should have a few at those packed in their luggage, and they should be put on whenever you interact with other people. 60%+ alcohol hand sanitizer is also a must-have as it can help disinfect hands, items, and surfaces with ease. An even more comfortable alternative when it comes to disinfecting surfaces and items are disinfectant wipes.
Read about Essential Travel Gear 2020
Isopropyl wipes are excellent for cleaning frequently used items – health experts advise travelers to regularly disinfect their credit card and smartphone. If you want to be extra safe, you may also want to pack enough pairs of latex gloves – remember to dispose of them after each use.
Since you cannot just purchase a COVID-19 test from a local pharmacy, you may need to find an alternative way to check on your symptoms – a thermometer is always a nice addition to your luggage since it can be used to check on your temperature. If you have a high temperature paired with fever, sore throat, and shortness of breath, then you may be symptomatic.
Other Things Worth Mentioning
Maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet (2m) is one of the best ways to reduce the odds of being infected. The virus is spread primarily through airborne droplets, and maintaining a proper distance and using a cloth mask offers great protection. Do not forget that the droplets are able to settle on all kinds of surfaces, so you should avoid interacting with any items or surfaces unless they have been disinfected first.
While on the topic of social distancing, you should be prepared to experience some difficulties while visiting landmarks, museums, stores, galleries, and other favorite destinations of travelers. Due to the enforced social distancing rules, you may have to stay in the queue for longer than usual – remember to maintain a safe distance from the people in front and behind of you, as well as to avoid large groups of people.
Once you are back from your vacation, you should try to get tested for the COVID-19 virus immediately. If this is not possible to do immediately, you should impose a self-quarantine on yourself and avoid interacting with other people – do not forget that no all COVID-19 cases are symptomatic, and you may be spreading the virus without feeling ill at all. Being tested by medical professionals is the only way to make sure that this will not happen.