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The Corona Virus Era: Can I still Travel?

So, you cannot wait to proceed traveling and to enjoy the wonders that the world has to offer; we can imagine! It is essential to make sure you take the necessary measures to protect yourself and others nowadays. Your research and travel planning will need a proper touch up. Learn in 5 steps how to stay safe while traveling in the Corona Virus era, in a nutshell.

Step 1: Choose your (low-risk) destination wisely

  1. Is it a low-risk location?
    How many cases were there, was it a “hot zone” and has the destination been affected to the Corona Virus much?
  2. Warm areas with high humidity seem to have less risks of a spread.
    Therefore, check the weather characteristics of your destination.
  3. What are the measurements that the local governments took or are still taking?
    Does this give you a good sense of safety?
  4. Check if your home country and destination require self-quarantine
    Before or after returning from a high-risk country, even if you are not infected.
  5. Choose your travel insurance health plan carefully, as well as your destination.
    See what your travel insurance covers if you get sick with Corona Virus. High risk destinations such as China, Italy, France, Spain may not be included in your travel health care insurance.
  6. Is there plenty of “outdoor living” at your destination?
    Think about outdoor dining options, outdoor activities, outdoor unwinding, and is there nature present? Being outdoors instead of indoors with a lack of fresh air, increases both your safety and sense of freedom.

Step 2: Consider the following facilities before making reservations at any hotel, in order to secure your safety

  1. A trained housekeeping team
  2. Triple checked hotel rooms before check-in of every new arriving hotel guest
  3. See if the hotel staff is trained about the hygienic rules concerning the Corona Virus; know how and when to wash hands thoroughly etc.
  4. Are there Hand Sanitizer dispensers on multiple locations
  5. Is there an Internal Cleaning and detailing Checklist
  6. Ask for any extra hygienic measures such as the cleaning of surfaces that are touched often are being cleaned extra. Such as Elevator buttons, Room key cards, stair banisters, doorknobs of hotel rooms and offices as well as in-room phones and digital devices.
  7. Does your Accommodation provide High-temp wash & disinfectant linens, bedding items, cushions, kitchen equipment, towels, beach towels, etc.
  8. What’s the location of your Accommodation? It’s a great safety perk if the hotel has an on-call General Practitioner and is located close by a pharmacy and hospital.


Important notice when selecting your Hotel/Resort/Apartment: make sure that you book a risk-free stay (flexible cancelation policy), in case you have to cancel abruptly.

Step 3: Check for Visa limitations

Several countries are taking measures to protect their citizens from the virus. Some also prevented entry or lifted Visa exemptions for people traveling from China, Italy, Iran, or South Korea. Check if there are extra Visa requirements or limitations of your destination.

   


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Step 4: Safety Measures at the Airports

Airports around the world have ramped up their screening methods for infected passengers. Airports in Canada, the United States, Malaysia, and also Curacao have implemented more stringent screening measures.

Special medical bays have been prepared to immediately quarantine passengers showing any symptoms of the disease. Airport staff and flight attendants have been asked to wear protective masks.

Some travel companies require testing for the Corona Virus before traveling. Contact your flight carrier, and/or tour operator or accommodation to check what their requirements specifically are as they may handle different guidelines and protocols.

Step 5: When Traveling in the COVID-19 era, take note of the following advice according to the World Health Organization (WHO), you must:

  1. Wash your hands and sanitize frequently
    It is probably the most important thing you can do to minimize the chance of contracting the Corona Virus. And not just a quick rinse-wash your hands with soap for every chance you get for at least 20 to 30 seconds-particularly after being in public or traveling by public transport. If you fly by plane, wash your hands after you have left the airport but also the tray table, armrests. When you do not have access to soap and water, rub on your hands and wrists a hand sanitizer cream with an alcohol content of at least 60 percent. But note, the hand sanitizer isn't as good as thorough soap washing. Don’t forget to sanitize your phone, passport, luggage handless and the hands of your children too.
     
  2. Do not touch your face with unwashed hands
    Don’t touch your face unless you have thoroughly cleaned your hands. The Corona Virus can still infect you if you touch your mouth, nose, and eyes.
     
  3. Keep your distance
    If you notice someone is coughing, sneezing, or showing symptoms similar to that of the flu or a cold, make sure to stay at a distance. If possible, at least 2 meter (6 feet) away from them. Their airborne respiratory (cough or sneeze) droplets may contaminate you.
     
  4. Clean frequently touched objects with a cleaning spray or wipe
    If you're staying in a hotel or apartment when you're abroad make sure that you're booking somewhere you know it's going to be safe. A 4 or 5 star hotel will probably offer a safer and cleaner environment than a hostel or a 3 star hotel. Even so, checking in with staff and management will not hurt to see if they have thoroughly cleaned your place – or maybe just sweeping yourself with a disinfectant to frequently-touched items. Scroll below to learn what to ask or look for at your future accommodation.
     
  5. Avoid crowds, especially in closed spaces
    If you are going to a country with a high number of cases of Corona Virus, it's best if you stay away from any location where a large number of people are present. It’s recommended to be in outdoor areas as much as possible.

    Additional Side Note: Air Travel remains a safe way to travel during COVID-19; advanced HEPA filters constantly clean the air onboard, limiting the risk of virus transmission and providing a safe environment. Air flow from ceiling to floor further reduces the potential for transmission forward or aft in the cabin, moreover, air flow rates are high and not conducive to droplet spread in the same way as in other indoor environments.
     
  6. Do your research regarding the spread of the Corona Virus outbreak in the country you are visiting.
    See what the health and government officials are advising in that country and follow the same rules. If they advise you to stay away from crowds, or any place, you should do the same.
     
  7. Wear a mask and seek medical help if you develop cold or flu symptoms.
    If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing, wear a mask so that you don’t risk infecting other people, and seek medical help immediately.

TIP

When you already had the Corona virus check if you can obtain a copy of a blood test result, or medical discharge letter that shows that you already had it and that you are for now immune to the virus.
If you haven’t have or had the Corona virus yet and did a blood test, make sure to bring a copy of this too.


Last but not least; check your airline on the day of your flight if your flight still leaves according to plan.
 

Enjoy your upcoming Trip and stay Safe! 

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