01/9How to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic
The phenomenon of ‘revenge’ travel, as experts call it, is slowly picking up with people who have been long confined to homes incling to step out. However, having said that, it isn’t an activity that seems as relaxing as it would be, in an ideal world. With pictures of crowded streets with maskless people going viral on social media, travelling, even though relaxing for the body, does not come without its own risks.
02/9How safe is it to step out right now, with the Delta variant fast spreading?
Even though we have access to vaccines, the current wave of infections is dominated by virulent strains that can spread easily, and cause severe symptoms as well. So, what really is the safest way to travel right now? What precautions does a traveller need to follow to be safe?
Travelling during a pandemic not only requires a careful and cautious approach, but also needs to be done in a way so as to ensure you minimize risks of infection. Below listed are a few tips to not just travel safer, but also make your trip more enjoyable. We tell you some of the important things to keep in mind if you are looking to travel right now:
03/9Vaccination will make your travel a lot more safer
While travelling does assume a level of risk, remember that vaccination is the definite option which will make your experience safer (not fool proof though). Vaccination against coronavirus secures you against the risk of a number of complications- including severity, mortality and many risks that are far more scary for somebody who is unvaccinated right now. Many states, or countries abroad also require a proof of vaccination from travellers, hence, if you must wish to travel, do get inoculated as and when it’s made available.
It’s also important to remember that full-vaccination (i.e. two whole doses) of the COVID-19 are needed to be fully immunized and have protection against coronavirus and the many variants which continue to lurk around right now. While the first dose offers some (or scanty) protection, the second dose is extremely crucial to charge the immune system, and cut out many of the risk factors of contracting COVID-19 when you go. Once you are fully immunized, you will be relatively safer and travel wisely as well.
04/9Opt for low-risk places
Travel and tourism has opened up across the country. However, we are very much still in the middle of a global pandemic, and right now, some areas may be less safe than others. If you are currently seeking to travel, or have made bookings, it would be a good idea to stay abreast with the active COVID-19 cases in the city or place you plan to go to, and the restrictions put in place there. If an area is low-risk, or has fewer COVID-19 cases, or is relatively less crowded, it would automatically offer a level of assurance to you.
For added precaution, it would be advisable to pick for offbeat locales, or schedule your visits during non-peak times.
05/9Maintain a safety bubble
While you travel, a good way to minimize your risk of catching COVID-19 is to maintain a safety bubble wherever you go. If you travel in a group, try individually, minimize risks, ensure that you are all vaccinated, follow all precautions and limit movements as well. Maintaining safety bubbles is especially helpful if you are somebody who has a high-risk, or lives with somebody more vulnerable to COVID risks.
06/9Quarantine, if necessary
Many states or guidelines for international travel still require passengers to quarantine upon arrival. Quarantining upon travel is also helpful to make travelling safer for the ones around you, if you are going somewhere that’s high-risk, or coming from a place which had a high caseload. This is particularly helpful if you have long-term travel plans.
07/9How to protect yourself from COVID-19 while travelling in a car
Short trip travel plans and car travel are picking up. While the car remains to be one of the safest ways to travel right now, it’s important to ensure that the vehicle is fully sanitized and masks are being worn by all passengers. Remember, COVID or no COVID, your car can be one of the germiest places you might be touching or using.
Newer studies have emerged that COVID could transmit through aerosols or humid air. Hence, as a measure, it is a good idea to clean your vents and coolants of any bacteria, fungi, or virus which may have collected
08/9Is air travel safe?
There is a low risk of transmission on flights, but airports still could be a possible place for COVID transmission. While the risks are unavoidable, do remember to keep your masks (and face shields) on while you board the flight.
While most planes in operation right now are blocking the middle seat in lieu of social distancing, one of the ways to minimize your risk of COVID exposure is by sitting on the window seat.
The risk of catching viral transmission through any respiratory droplet also comes down to the bare minimum when one is using the window seat, simply because most germs and viruses, which spread through large droplets, can’t move beyond one-metre distance. This may not be entirely true, but still guarantees a certain benefit to an extent.
09/9How to travel safely with kids
If you are travelling with kids, there might be some additional steps to take. Not only are kids ineligible for COVID vaccination right now, it cannot be possible to push kids to wear a mask at all times, especially with younger children, the way to ensure your travel is safer is to go for places where there’s a low established risk, and requires shorter travelling timelines.
At the same time, carefully consider the use of playgrounds and help children follow guidelines.