Ways to travel safely amidst Covid-19 pandemic

Several countries have opened their borders for tourists. Many travel-enthusiasts who could not travel last year are much eager to travel again.

There is also a surge in travel bookings since the vaccination of COVID-19 has been rolled out. The desire to travel hasn’t gone away in many but it will take several months before the Coronavirus vaccines are widely available in order to make the whole population immune.

Here we have listed down the ways with which travelers can lower their risk of contracting novel coronavirus. These safety tips would help you have a hassle-free and safe journey throughout.

Check your country’s travel advisory: Before you plan a trip, it is important to check the travel guidelines as well as the rules & restrictions of your departure country and abide by it. In few countries, it is mandatory for returning travelers to quarantine, possibly at your home, or a hotel, or at a government-run accommodation facility. You can avoid the risk of extra costs for quarantine if you travel domestically rather than taking a trip internationally.

UAE capital Abu Dhabi has a list of ‘Green’ countries, region and territories that is regularly updated based upon the health measures and safety in countries of origin. Passengers traveling from green-list countries do not require to quarantine on arrival in the Emirate. They however need to undergo a PCR test at Abu Dhabi Airport on arrival.

Check the guidelines of the visiting country: To ease your travel plans, it is advisable to read and understand the guidelines of the place you are visiting and comply with the same. Also, check the restrictions they have for travelers due to COVID-19.

Again, you can save your pocket if you check the quarantine rules in advance. Many countries require only a negative PCR test on arrival and no quarantine.

Choose destinations, hotels following COVID-19 guidelines: Make a wise decision while choosing your travel destination. Prefer to visit a place that has low numbers of active COVID-19 cases.

The economy of many countries lies in tourism and the tourism industry is slowly getting back on track. In this case, businesses would not like to take any risk and so has COVID-19 safety guidelines in place.

To ensure your accommodation and leisure activities are COVID-19 safe, ask what protocols the hotels and tour operators follow before you book. It is also good to check the list of activities that is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Web check-in: Check-in online with your booked airline. This will help you escape from the rush and the airline may have advice on what time to arrive at the airport.

For a contactless journey, you can get your boarding pass and baggage tag printed or in a soft copy. This will minimize the contact at the airport. Also, pre-book online all your additional services like meals or preferred seats for your safer flight journey.

Safety at the airport: Welcoming people from all over the world, airports are believed to be a potential source of increasing COVID-19 infection. Maintain social distancing at the airport while at check-in, immigration, security and boarding.

Many airlines have implemented stringent disinfecting measures and usually check the temperature of passengers before they board.

Wear N95 mask: As social distancing is nearly impossible on a flight, it is very important to wear a protective N95 mask throughout the journey. Wearing masks on flights will lower the risk of contracting coronavirus. Also, follow best practices on how to wear, remove and dispose of the masks.

Sanitize hands regularly: For safe travel, you need to perform hand hygiene frequently. Keep an alcohol-based sanitizer handy and refrain from touching your mouth and nose. If you need to cough or sneeze, cover nose & mouth with your elbow or a tissue and then wash your hands or sanitize them.

Seek medical care: Inform the crew and seek medical cake if you feel sick while traveling. If symptoms like fever, cough or difficulty breathing occurs at the airport or in your arriving country, you are advised to contact healthcare providers and inform them of your symptoms and travel history.

Self-monitor: Self-monitor your health for around 14 days when you return back from your trip. World Health Organization (WHO) recommends travelers to follow national protocols of receiving countries and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days if returning from affected areas.

Avoid crowded places: It is safe to stick with wide-open places wherever your go. Avoid going to crowded places as it may increase the risk of contracting novel coronavirus. Also, avoid touching things when you visit a public place or at the airport.

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