Traveling is a stress-buster for most of us. The sheer excitement of planning a trip, making reservations, planning an itinerary, and packing our bags elevates our mood. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to all of our best-laid plans. Travel was found to be a significant contributor to the rise in cases early on in the pandemic. Strict lockdowns and travel restrictions were then placed all over the globe to curb the spread.
However, family obligations or work might require a few of us to travel. This leaves most of us feeling jittery and worried about our safety. How to stay safe? How do we know who might end up infecting us?
Let’s have a look at a few basic tips that can help us to stay safe from the coronavirus during the pandemic.
1. Test Ourselves
One of the first steps we need to follow before traveling is to get ourselves tested to ensure that we are not carriers. We should not travel until we do not receive our test results. Moreover, anyone showing even mild symptoms of illness should avoid making travel plans.
2. Carry Medical History
It is a good idea to carry the necessary paperwork that indicates that we are fit to travel. Paperwork indicating that we haven’t faced any illness indicating the presence of the coronavirus will ensure that we travel without any hindrances.
3. Make a List and Carry Essentials
To ensure smooth, safe travel, we need to make sure that we make a list of all possible essentials we might need during our trip. This will ensure that we do not need to buy anything from out, thereby reducing the risk of contact and transmission. Below are some of the most important things we need to carry.
- Face Masks: One necessity is the face mask. It is safest to use either a brand-new or a freshly-washed mask every time. Make sure to carry extra masks to be on the safer side.
- Face Shield: Most airports have made it compulsory to wear a face shield during air-travel. Most airlines provide a kit during check-in. This kit includes a face shield as well as a mask and needs to be worn before boarding.
- Gloves: We can also wear a pair of gloves to reduce the risk of touching contaminated surfaces. We can also carry extra disposable gloves during our journey.
- Wipes and Sanitizers: We need to make sure that we carry alcohol-based wipes and sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol) that we can use to disinfect surfaces that we might touch. Sanitizers are also a great way to clean our hands if soap and water are not immediately accessible.
- Water: It is safest to carry our bottle of water while travelling. Carrying water from home is much safer than needing to buy a bottle from out.
- Toothpicks: Carrying toothpicks to push ATM or elevator buttons is another way we can avoid contact with frequently-touched surfaces. Once used, we can safely dispose of these toothpicks and reduce the risk of touching a contaminated surface. Carrying disposable bags to get rid of waste is another way to prevent the spread.
4. Be Aware of what is Touched
We already know that the coronavirus is highly contagious. We need to ensure that we either minimize contact with frequently-touched surfaces or use a sanitizer before and after touching them. Surfaces like doorknobs, ATM buttons, elevator buttons, check-in machines, arm-rests, and the likes are frequently touched by many. We also need to ensure that we do not touch our face after touching these surfaces.
5. Lessen human contact
Social-distancing is the key! We should maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between us and others. We also need to avoid contact with anyone who we suspect is unwell.
6. Wipe your surroundings
We need to make sure we sanitize any surface that we come in contact with. Seats, doorknobs, etc should be sanitized before we use them. If possible, we need to use either gloves or toothpicks to avoid contact completely.
7. Check Local Restrictions
Whether it is the quarantine on arrival or mandatory masks, we should make sure we do our research before arriving somewhere new. This will ensure our stay is hassle-free and secure. We can check state websites for any guidance needed.
8. Air Travel
Apart from ensuring to pack all essentials mentioned above, we can also reduce human contact by doing web check-in before flying. We need to make sure to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds before and after going through screening.
9. Car Travel
Thoroughly clean the dashboard, steering wheel, gear shift, seats, windowpanes, etc. We should carry sufficient drinking water and food to avoid the need to buy anything. Payments should be digital as far as possible. It is also best to carry disposable plates, spoons, and tissues.
10. Buses and Train
Make sure to avoid commonly touched surfaces. Practicing social distancing is essential in public transport. We should also carry our blankets where required.
Following these steps can significantly reduce the risk of transmission during travel.