Is it safe to travel during the COVID 19 pandemic? With many states reopening their borders, it's obvious that some people will want to test the waters with summer vacation or a home getaway even though these trips won't be similar to the past tours due to the corona-virus safety regulations.
Traveling increases your chances of getting COVID 19. Therefore, the safest way to protect yourself and the vulnerable around you is to stay at home. However, this can be inevitable due to work and family obligations that require you to travel.
According to experts, it is possible to travel and vacation safely while practicing the same precautions you would be taking if you were at home.
Here are a few things you need to focus on and some that you don't need to sulk about.
Observe the public health care rules
Following the warning from the center for disease control and prevention, never travel if you are sick, if you are experiencing symptoms related to the disease or if you have been in contact with someone suffering from Covid-19.
If you are traveling from an area reported to have high-transmission rates, and your COVID 19 test comes out negative, chances might be that you are asymptomatic. Hence, you must take extra precautions not to spread the virus to areas where the cases are few.
Pick the safest means of travel
The safest means of travel is where you avoid other people. This makes it easy to mitigate the risks of getting sick. One of the easiest and feasible ways to avoid potentially infected people is by averting public transportation. Travel by your vehicle or a rental car and ensure you make minimal rest stops.
If you must travel by air, do it cautiously as this carries more risks than traveling by car. According to infectious disease specialists, choose a seat near the window as far away from the washrooms as possible.
Keep the overhead air vent open to enable continuous airflow to do away with exhaled air from other passengers. Make sure you disinfect your hands when you get to your seat, after touching surfaces, before touching your face or when you remove your mask to eat. Follow these instructions accordingly to protect yourself.
The pandemic packing checklist
Packing for this year's trip won't be similar to the previous years. To the list of your usual vital vacation items, add the Coronavirus essential items.
Pack a few face masks to wear in public areas. Since the Coronavirus spreads through droplets, it's important that you properly cover your nose and mouth. Also, avoid crowded places and maintain six feet distance from other humans.
Carry with you an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to decontaminate your hands after touching surfaces.
Plan by packing foods that will last during your entire trip just in case restaurants are not open.
You don't need to fret about wearing gloves. This is because when you touch surfaces, they similarly become contaminated just like hands. Just make sure you disinfect by washing your hands with soap and water.
Inquire about the local travel restrictions and regulations
Territorial governments in certain states have set up local laws for external travelers. It is important to be aware of these regulations to avoid surprise visits from local authorities.
Such laws include: remaining socially distanced at home and self-monitor for symptoms for a period of 14 days after arrival, filling a primary questionnaire upon arrival for contact information, temperature screening, and wearing a mask at any public place, be it a store or restaurant, among others.
Moreover, research the local business hours and closing hours for restaurants and other places you may wish to visit. This information can be easily accessed from state and local health department websites.
As we plan for trips and vacations amidst the pandemic, risk analysis is still an integral part of our daily lives.
For some, the benefits of traveling and reuniting with family and friends outweigh the risks, while for others, it does not. Whichever way, the ultimate decision is yours. Nonetheless, safety comes first.