Covid: Travelling safely in the pandemic
As the world continues to suffer from Coronavirus without an imminent end in sight, it is time to adopt a few safety habits when travelling.
Thanks to the vaccination programmes around the world, we are not in as much danger as we were in at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. But we are not exactly scot-free either. While the vaccines lend a certain level of protection, and the precautionary measures set up by governments worldwide help quite a bit, it is still every individual’s personal responsibility to stay safe.
While the extremely transmissible SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19, is easily transferred or caught on the best of days, the situation becomes especially unsafe when one is travelling.
Post-covid foreign travel comes with much red tape; tests are involved and, in many cases, a mandatory self-isolation period too. But can the governments of the world be blamed for all the travel restrictions they have set up? Air travel does indeed help spread viruses and diseases quicker and to greater extents than any other form of travel.
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Although every country has its own rules when it comes to national safety and foreign travel, you must also take care to stay safe for the entire duration.
Whether you are travelling overseas or locally for business or leisure, the following guidance can lend you an extra measure of much-needed safety while the pandemic persists.
Wash your hands every chance you get
When out and about, you are sure to touch many surfaces. Bannisters, handles, tabletops, doors, doorknobs and public seats are just a few to name, but in reality, this list is a mighty extensive one. These are the surfaces that other people have touched before you – the same one that many others will continue to touch long after you.
Thus, you must wash your hands as often as you can. According to experts, simply washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is the most effective way to keep your hands (and, in association, yourself) free of viruses and germs.
If you do not have access to hand-washing facilities for prolonged periods, liquid hand sanitisers are a good alternative.
Wear a mask when indoors or on public transport
It goes without saying, you must always cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Wearing a mask when around people not only protects you from the airborne virus but is an extension of the aforementioned etiquette.
When masks are worn along with frequent hand washing and being vaccinated, the practice becomes a highly effective deterrent to the further spread of the virus.
If you are unable to wear a mask, face shields are recommended.
Avoiding lines at the airport is an impossible concept, to begin with. However, there are a few steps you can take that may help you steer clear of a few queues at least. Do an online check-in and print out your boarding pass(es) before you go to the airport.
Additionally, try your best to only travel with carry-on luggage. Although there has been advice contradicting this plan of action, this is a sure-fire way to avoid at least one more queue. Furthermore, your luggage would have been touched by fewer hands by the time you reached your destination.
And when you find yourself in the obligatory queues, make sure to keep an appropriate distance from other people.
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Make yourself a travel kit
Whether you make a kit well ahead of your journey or you simply pick up the items on the way to the airport, be sure to have on your person the following:
- Extra facemasks
- Hand sanitiser
- Anti-bacterial wipes
Include other things in this sanitation kit, like disposable gloves, if you deem them useful, but the three things listed here are essential for when you travel.
Visit VIVO Clinic’s Travel Portal to easily find the entry requirements of the countries around the world.