HOW TO SAFELY TRAVEL DURING AND AFTER COVID-19
The end of year 2019 brought with it a virus unlike any other the world has seen before. The Virus called Corona Virus or COVID-19 turned out to be a disaster for almost everyone in the world. People soon realized that this is not just a seasonal virus, but something far more sinister and dangerous than that. It started from Mainland China and soon took over the entire world.
COVID-19 DECLARED AS A PANDEMIC
Fast forward a few months and Year 2020 is still fighting and struggling with this deadly and highly contagious virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared it as a Pandemic.
COVID-19 HAS BUSINESSES AFFECTED ALL OVER THE WORLD
Corona Virus has affected almost every aspect of life. As with all the things, businesses all over the world have also been greatly impacted by COVID-19. One of the most affected Business industries from Corona Virus is Tourism Industry.
People stopped travelling due to the risk of getting infected. In fact when the Virus was at its peak, almost all major airports of the world came to a halt. They either closed or minimized their operations. This is an unprecedented situation and has never been seen before.
As the world is coming to terms with the Virus and we know a little more about it. Slowly the airports are recovering their operations while taking every bit of precautions they can to minimize the risk of spreading the Corona Virus.
AIRPORT OPERATIONS ARE EASING AS PER THE SITUATION DEMANDS
Governments of almost all the countries are continuously monitoring the situation closely. Decisions on imposing and lifting the ban on entry from other countries is been taken on a daily basis.
Moreover, people themselves are not comfortable to take such a huge risk of travelling and risking to contract this virus. Specially at airports and flights where the risk of getting infected with the Corona Virus (COVID-19) are the highest.
However, Scientists and Pharmaceutical companies are trying their best with the resources they have and with the research they have done to develop a Vaccine. A vaccine that is effective in giving people immunity from COVID 19. By the looks of it, we might soon hear some good news regarding the development of the Vaccine.
TOURISM INDUSTRY WILL TAKE A BOOM AFTER THE VACCINE IS LAUNCHED
When the Vaccine is developed and is available for the masses, the tourism industry will go up once again. People will go out and travel to their favorite destinations. People have waited enough at their homes during Lock Downs and isolations. They want out and once the vaccine is launched, Travelling is the first thing that they are going to do.
There will also be a rise in Travelling once the COVID-19 curve is flatten and cases start to decrease globally but that could be a lot riskier as compared to travelling after the vaccine is developed and ready to be utilized.
Nevertheless, before planning any travelling, there will be a few things that you need to take care of to insure risk free travelling.
HOW TO SAFELY TRAVEL DURING AND AFTER COVID-19
There are certain things that we will have to do and consider in order to minimize the risk of catching COVID-19 when travelling from now on. Following points should be folowed in order to safely travel during and after COVID-19:
1. TAKE TRAVEL INSURANCE THAT INCLUDES COVID-19 COVERAGE
Even before the arrival of Corona Virus , Taking a Travel insurance was vital as it basically covers all your unforeseen expenses. There are various plans that the travelers can select based on their needs. Things to look out for in a travel insurance plan are:
- Medical Benefits – These will include accidental medical expenses, Emergency Dental Care, Medical Evacuation in case of Emergency etc.
- Personal Accidental Benefits – These will include coverage in case of accidental death or Permanent disability in case of any accident.
- Travel Inconvenience Benefits – These will include Baggage Loss, Baggage Delay, Flight Delay, Passport Loss, Credit Card Loss, Trip cancellation or curtailment and Personal Liability in case of Third Party Property Damage etc.
Make sure when you are selecting a plan, that you select one with the COVID-19 coverage as well. That means that in case you contract the virus during your trip, your medical expenses will be covered by your insurance. This is one of the top considerations to safely travel during and after COVID-19.
WORD OF CAUTION
When selecting a Travel Insurance Plan, make sure to check out for the following:
- Deductibles – A deductible is a charge that the insured person has to pay by himself in case of any claim. Anything above that will be covered by Insurance. So make sure you select a plan with low deductible. For example, lets suppose you select a plan with USD 100 deductible and you fall ill and need medical care on your trip. You go to the hospital and the total bill ends up being USD 500. Now because your deductible is USD 100 you will have to pay USD 100 and the Insurance Company will pay the USD 400 balance to the hospital.
- Total Coverage – This is the maximum amount your insurance coverage is for. The higher the number the better it is.
- Pre-Existing Medical Problems – Many Travel Insurance Plans do not cover the risk against the medical diseases that are pre-existing. Make sure you select a plan that covers Pre-Existing Medical Problems.
- Number of Days – Travel Insurance is based on number of days. So select the plan that best suits the number of days you are planning a trip for. This will save you some money.
- Family Plans – Many Travel Insurance Plans also include Family Plans. That means if your family is travelling with you then your spouse and any kid under 18 years of age will also be covered under the same plan. This will save you a lot of money.
2- GET YOURSELF VACCINATED
The first and foremost thing we need to do as soon as the vaccine comes out and as soon as it becomes available to us is to get ourselves and our family vaccinated.
A vaccine for COVID-19 is what the world is waiting for. That is the need of the hour. Hence, before you plan your travels, make sure you and your family members take the shot. Make sure to collect the vaccine certificate and keep it safely with you. You should be carrying it along where ever you travel. Everywhere you will go you will need to show the proof of vaccination before they let you in. Administration of all the Tourist spots will want to ensure the safety of all and will want you to co-operate with them.
Not only will it save you the time and hassle but you will also be helping others by showing the certificate as quickly as you can and saving all of the tourists the excruciating waiting time.
3. MAINTAIN SOPs (STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE) TO SAFELY TRAVEL DURING AND AFTER COVID-19
Following the SOPs should be a priority even if you and your family have taken the vaccine shot. Coming out of a pandemic would be an achievement and it should not be taken lightly right after it.
For a good amount of time, even after COVID-19 is over, you should follow all the standard operating procedures and respect for the safety of everyone to get the ‘normal’ world back. We have already been through so much and after this pandemic comes to end, it is the responsibility of everybody to keep this world safe. Hence, there are a few things that should be followed:
a – WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY
Washing your hands regularly has to be the priority number 1 whenever we are travelling from now on. There are so many germs waiting to pounce on us. From Airport Trolleys to Elevators to Escalators to public washrooms, wherever you will go for travelling you will find these in your way and they will be full of harmful germs. So, in order to minimize the risk of getting infected, washing your hands regularly will be essential.
b – MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCE
It is a well know fact that COVID 19 is extremely contagious, and though research suggests that it is not airborne, it will still spread through people being too close to each other. Avoiding Crowded places should be the way to move forward if you want to keep yourself safe while travelling.
Until the vaccine is ready, Social distancing is the answer to travelling safe and hence, even after COVID-19 ends, this rule of maintaining social distancing and avoiding extremely crowded places must be followed to avoid any new risks.
c – SANITIZE, SANITIZE AND SANITIZE
Sanitizing our hands to get rid of the germs has become an essential part of our daily lives since the spread of the virus. A tiny bottle of Hand Sanitizer in our pockets has become the new norm. Whenever you touch something that you think is not free of germs, you just take out the hand sanitizer and clean your hands of all the germs.
From now on, whenever you plan to travel, a pocket hand sanitizer should be a must carry item where ever you go. On many occasions you will have to touch and come into contact with things that are highly at risk of carrying germs on them. The likes of door handles, hotel furniture, taxi doors and there’s a huge list of many more things all carry germs invisible to the naked eye.
Since, you want to make sure that your travel during and after COVID-19 is risk free, keeping a pocket hand sanitizer with you and using it time and again will save you from not only Corona Virus but from all the seasonal viruses that can hamper your tour. Regular Sanitizing will give you the peace of mind and you will get to enjoy your trip risk free.
d – WEAR A MASK
There is a very high percent chance that wearing a mask will protect you from catching the Corona Virus. Wearing a mask not only saves you from the flu but other people also feel safe in your vicinity and hence your trip becomes all the better.
Travelling means going out in public and that means exposing yourself to the Virus but if you are wearing a mask than chances are that you will not catch the virus provided you are wearing the mask properly. Many people are not comfortable wearing the mask and they tend to put the mask on their chins or take their nose out to breathe but that is not the right way to wear the mask and it makes the whole exercise a total waste.
Wearing a mask when travelling will give you that added peace of mind that you wouldn’t have without it. Make sure you keep enough masks with you if you are taking the disposable ones as there might be a shortage of masks where you are going or they might be expensive. Furthermore, it would give you the confidence to enjoy and fulfil everything on your trip in a much better way without having much doubts in your mind.
4. GET YOURSELF TESTED FOR COVID-19
One of the things that will become mandatory is the checking of COVID-19 Test Results at the airports. Believe it or not but this rule is here to stay. So, get yourself tested before travelling as it is a mandatory requirement for most of the airports from now on.
Each country has a separate SOP that they follow when it comes to the COVID-19 tests. Some will want the test to be done anywhere in the last 96 hours before the flight whereas some will want the test validity to be in the last 48 hours. Make sure to check your respective destination country rule before going for a test.
This goes without saying that if the results are negative, only then you will be allowed to travel otherwise you will not be allowed to go. Hence, get yourselves and your family tested for Corona Virus. Present the reports at the airports to proceed with the travel plan. Even some of the tourists places will want to check your test result. The likes of Theme Parks, Cruises etc. will all want to check your test results before letting you in. Make sure you keep the results with you at all times.
Also Read: Top 10 Essentials for Travelling with a Baby
5. BOOK EVERYTHING IN ADVANCE
Whether you are travelling alone or with family, whether it is a leisure trip or a business trip, you are most likely to visit your destination city in your spare time.
Due to the COVID-19 SOPs involved with all the tourist spots from now on, one of the changes that the tour companies, restaurants, clubs, theme parks, cruises, dinner arenas, spas and many more such places would want to bring would be to take lesser crowd in. All these places will limit the number of guests and will be taking less people in. This means longer waiting times for people who will buy the tickets at the destination. It will be frustrating for you to waste your precious time waiting for your turn to buy the ticket.
Make sure you book everything in Advance to save yourself the hassle over there. Booking in advance will also save you the time and money as early booking usually means better rates. Further, booking in advance would also ensure that you take the tour on your preferred date and not alter your tour once you go there and find out that the tour is full for the day.
Planning a well scheduled trip beforehand might not be everyone’s choice, but due to these unusual circumstances, the tour companies would definitely want to take all the precautions possible to avoid any kind of unneeded situations. Therefore, book everything in advance before leaving to enjoy the trip to the fullest and feel safe.
Corona Virus has shaken up the entire World. People cannot wait to come out of this pandemic situation. The travelling industry, from airlines, to hotels, to the tour companies to even malls, every single entity is badly affected because of this unprecedented situation. Once this is all over, travelling will start again the way it used to be. Even if we think everything is back to normal, we need to follow some basic ground rules if we are to enjoy travelling like before and keep ourselves safe. It is not very difficult to follow these few steps. In fact following these steps will give you the peace of mind. It will let you have the time of your life.
The Tourism industry will continue to suffer until they can make sure that people can safely travel during and after COVID-19. People also need to understand if they are to safely travel during this COVID-19 Pandemic then they need to follow the SOPs. Unless the Tourism industry and tourists both don’t follow what is required to once again kick start the industry it won’t be possible to safely travel during COVID-19.
This post was on How to Safely Travel during and after COVID-19.
Also Read on Infinity Folder