The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has spread globally, and has been declared a ‘pandemic’ by WHO, the World Health Organization. Subsequently, travel restrictions have been placed all over the world, with lockdowns being observed in many countries. With the situation stabilizing and returning to somewhat normalcy, important and necessary travel has resumed, during which travellers must take all essential precautions. To avoid getting the disease, here are some important tips for travellers:
Travellers must be aware of symptoms, which are primarily fever, sore throat, coughing, and shortness of breath. In the event that they are experiencing any such symptoms, they should avoid travel completely, get tested, and quarantine at their residence unless their case is severe. Travel is only encouraged, if necessary, for those who are healthy, do not show symptoms, and have lesser risk of contracting the virus.
Wash your hands carefully and thoroughly. Individuals should use clean water and soap to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, and should ensure that they scrub all surfaces (fingers, nails, and palm). One can also use a hand sanitizer with around 60% alcohol, which is more convenient for travellers, as it can be carried in one’s pocket or with luggage.
One should avoid close contact with people who display any symptoms, and try not to visit crowds and public places. Areas such as airports, bus stops, and train stations tend to be crowded, so one should maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet from other people. They should avoid touching exposed surfaces, at least without gloves, and in case they do so, they should clean their hands, and avoid touching their face after that.
Travellers should get scanned to check temperature at entry and exit points, to reduce the risk of spread. In case issues are detected, travellers should isolate or quarantine themselves, and if there are complications, they should visit a doctor. Getting tested is very important.
Travellers should defer all cruise travel, as cruise ships increase the risk of transmission. There are reports of outbreaks on many ships.
Travellers should wear masks to reduce their risk of virus transmission. To maintain good hygiene, the same mask should not be worn repeatedly, and used masks should be carefully disposed of. This avoids spread of the disease through droplets. For safety, travellers should also ensure that they cover their face when coughing or sneezing.
The coronavirus has a greater impact on those with compromised immunity, so those who wish to travel soon should be fit and healthy. For that, they should eat clean, home cooked meals, carefully wash fruits and vegetables, serve food hot, pasteurize dairy products, drink bottled, sealed, or disinfected water, and ensure that all food is well cooked. Proper food and hygiene practices should be followed.
One should know important contacts at their destination for medical issues. For emergency cases, they should carry a card that identifies their blood type, allergies, and other important information. They should pack important medication, and essential precautionary items such as gloves, masks, and sanitizer, in case it is not available at their destination.
As the virus spreads from person to person transmission, or contaminated surfaces, precautions such as masks, gloves, sanitizer, and safe distances can protect travellers from the risk of contracting the virus. Travel should be avoided unless entirely necessary, and travellers should be aware of travel restrictions and flight conditions at their destination.