You are surely aware that traveling has become a huge struggle in the last few months due to the global spread of Coronavirus. Many individuals are canceling trips that are previously booked and health officials have issued warnings saying contact must be reduced when you plan to travel to certain countries.
If you have planned and booked an international trip months ago and have been dying to set sail or perhaps you want to save some cash by taking advantage of the sudden drop in air ticket prices.
Regardless of why you want to travel, you need to think about how you can keep yourself and others safe from Covid-19 while you travel even if it means buying saliva testing kits to know your status before departure.
Is traveling during the covid-19 outbreak safe
Regardless of your health status, travel destination, or age, nobody can truly verify if traveling during the spread of the coronavirus is totally risk-free. Even though the fatality rate of coronavirus comes across as low, you can come back from your trip in good health, but with that said, here are a few things to keep in mind before you embark on your journey abroad.
Older people, in particular, those who are past the age of 80 are most susceptible to the coronavirus becoming fatal, compared to those aged 10 – 39 showing a lower fatality rate (about 0.2%). It does not mean, however, that if your chances of infection are lower that you can’t become fatal and that you can’t infect others with the virus.
Your medical reputation
Individuals with a medical history are more prone to become badly ill from coronavirus compared to those who don’t have pre-existing conditions. If for instance, you have a history of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, hypertension, or diabetes you should rethink traveling.
Which country do plan to visit?
There have been more than 130 000 cases of coronavirus reported globally and the numbers are rising constantly. Most of the cases are from China where the initial variant of the virus started.
However other “key zones” include countries like South Korea, Italy, and Iran. So as a safety measure the CDC has issued a warning against taking a trip to these countries unless you absolutely have to. This however does not mean traveling to smaller countries with fewer reported cases is totally safe also.
Also, bear in mind that you will be required to quarantine yourself for about two weeks once you come back from a country with high-risk numbers even if you are covid free.
How will your plans to travel be impacted by the coronavirus?
Many states are taking precautions to protect their inhabitants from contracting the coronavirus. Some states have even lifted visa exemptions or banned entry for people coming in from Iran, China, Italy, or South Korea.
Many states in the US have had most of their schools closed during the outbreak, Italy has had strong lockdown regulations. So if you do plan to travel you will certainly be affected one way or another.
And because a lot still remains unknown about the biology of the virus, health officials are always warning people about the risk implication of traveling to affected places. They continue to urge people to avoid attending big gatherings indoors or in public and keep advising people to stay at home for as long as possible.
But if you still want to take a trip – either because your trip is important or you’re going to a low-risk location or you want to take chances, you need to ensure you take the needed precautionary measures to keep yourself and others free from exposure to the virus.
Precautions you can take to protect yourself from contracting the virus while you travel
According to advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO), you need to adhere to the following safety measures to protect yourself and those around you during your travels.
Constantly wash your hands
This is by far the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of getting coronavirus. Doing a fast rinse is not enough – you need to use soap for about 15 to 30 seconds whenever you get a chance, in particular, if you’ve been using public transport to travel.
If you used the plane to travel wash your hands straight after you leave the airport. If you happen to not have soap and water close by, then you’ll need to use a gel sanitizer to rub your hands. The sanitizer needs to have about 60% alcohol, but a soap wash is always more effective compared to using a sanitizer.
Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
Another tip, don’t touch your face with hands that are unwashed after being in a public space. The coronavirus can live on various surfaces for multiple hours after an infected individual has touched the surface and can therefore proceed to infect you if you happen to make contact with your nose or face.
Social distancing is key
Ensure you stay at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from a person you observe to be sneezing, coughing, or displaying similar signs like a cold or flu because it’s possible for you to be infected through airborne respiratory droplets.
Use a spray to wipe objects that are touched often
During your trip abroad, if you’ll stay in a hostel or hotel, ensure that you book a place where you know for sure will be clean. Even if you can’t access that information, it won’t hurt you to check with management if your room has been cleaned properly. Alternatively, it will help you to give objects that are touched often a wipe with a disinfectant yourself.
Stay away from crowds – especially in confined spaces
If you decide to travel to a country with high coronavirus cases, it’s a good idea to avoid any place and space where a big number of people are gathering to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Before you embark on your trip, do some research about the outbreak of coronavirus in the country you plan to visit. In particular, find out what government and health officials are saying about the management of the virus and assess whether or not you’ll be able to follow these rules. If for instance they also advise that you would need to stay clear from crowds or away from certain regions in that country, re-arrange you’re itinerary and stay away from those regions also.
In addition, always put a mask on and look for medical intervention if you develop any symptoms. If you happen to develop symptoms from the virus, such as finding it difficult to breathe, experiencing fever, or coughing, you need to ensure you wear a mask to avoid infecting other people while you seek medical assistance right away.