After months of strict travel restrictions, people can now travel a bit more freely. But the risk of contracting COVID-19 is something you must account for wherever you go. This means you must take necessary precautions whenever you are traveling to keep yourself and others safe. The three tips below are worth keeping in mind:
Follow WHO guidelines
The risk of viral transmission is greatly reduced by following the World Health Organization’s guidelines on proper wearing of facemasks, frequent handwashing and sanitising, and not touching public surfaces. These safety protocols are effective even in enclosed spaces, which is why you must be aware of them.
So, always bring a COVID-19 pandemic travel kit that includes an adequate supply of facemasks (preferably N95s) and small bottles of alcohol and hand sanitiser. And where possible, Dr. Lin H. Chen of the International Society of Travel Medicine recommends staying at least a metre away from others and avoiding crowded places altogether. Wear your facemask correctly, too, which means having your nose and mouth fully covered.
Research your destination
It is crucial to research the country you are visiting so you can find out its COVID-19-related travel requirements. For instance, Singapore allows only short-term tourist visits from Australia, Brunei, Mainland China, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Vietnam. These are subject to conditions such as securing an Air Travel Pass, taking a PCR test upon arrival (which costs S$196), and downloading the Trace Together app. The Philippines, on the other hand, requires visitors to present a confirmed booking of at least seven nights at an accredited quarantine hotel, or else be denied entry.
Additionally, doing research lets you flesh out your itinerary so you can make the most of your stay there, and avoid crowded places as much as possible. Fortunately, you can find everything you’ll need online. Travel and gaming website ExpatBets has an assortment of guides for popular destinations in Asia such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. With these guides, you’ll learn more about various Asian countries, including their top tourist attractions, their cultural practices, and the things to do there. With proper research, you’ll be able to prepare all pertinent documents and plan your trip in great detail.
Be picky with the establishments you’ll visit
Always be fastidious when choosing the establishments you’ll go to. This way, you’ll be able to make sure that every place you visit is doing everything to ensure the safety of both their staff and guests. As such, call beforehand as the staff’s answers will give you a better sense of how seriously they are taking this pandemic.
The article “COVID-19 Travel Safety Tips & Resources” suggests asking these four questions:
1. Are the staff required to wear masks and wash their hands frequently?
2. Are the staff routinely tested for COVID-19?
3. What is the sick leave policy? (Businesses that don’t provide adequate sick leaves are likelier to have sick staff coming to work.)
4. How often do you clean and sanitise common areas?
If the answers leave you feeling unconvinced about that establishment’s COVID-19 safety protocols, then it would be wise to just skip it.
Indeed, the pandemic has complicated travel and made it a bigger health risk. Following the three tips above, though, will minimise this risk, and let you travel even in these uncertain times — enjoying more but worrying less.
If you still find yourself worried while planning your trip, check out our article “Pre-travel Anxiety: What It Is and How To Battle It.” Don’t forget to check out our other features here on The Wellness Insider for more tips.
Written by Jett Sidaway
Images: Envato and Pexels