Coronavirus pandemic: Tips to keep in mind while traveling

As the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus continues to progress with an alarming rise in number of new cases across the globe, countries are implementing stricter rules to reduce the risk of infection.  Health officials have alerted people that one of the reasons due to which this deadly virus has spread rapidly in several countries  is traveling.    Over the past few weeks, there have been reported cases of a large number of passengers and crew members on a ship being tested positive. This news has left many people with concerns and questions about traveling by all means.

However keeping in mind the present scenario, several people have cancelled their trips and are being cautioned by health authorities to limit any nonessential travel. But unfortunately for all those who have to travel within the country or outside due to certain unavoidable reasons need to take complete precautions. Since the virus has spread to more than 25 countries and until today there is no news of vaccination available, people have to be extra cautious while traveling.

In this article, we present you with a few safety tips while traveling-

 • Restrict your travel to countries that have been most hit by this virus- The first and foremost thing to do before making your unavoidable travel plans is to find out the extent to which the virus has caused damaged in the country that you are planning to travel. If the number of cases have been increasing everyday in the country your planning to travel then you might have to reconsider your travel program. This said, it doesn't imply that its safer to travel to countries with a relatively smaller number of reported cases.

 • Be aware and follow the travel safety guidelines given by the health officials- Once you decide on traveling, the next thing you must do is to read and follow the safety guidelines laid out by the health officials. Make sure you are well aware of your itinerary and your travel plan. Consulting your general physician before traveling is a good idea.

 • Cover your nose and mouth with a mask- Although a lot of healthcare practitioners do not recommend wearing a mask as they believe that  it doesn't help with preventing the virus but just to be on the safer side, you must carry one and use it when you feel the need for it. Although it may not work to the full extent but it will still help with controlling the spread of the virus.

 • Wash your hand with soap and water- An effective preventive measure we must all follow is to regularly wash hands with a soap and water for atleast 20 seconds. While traveling, incase you don’t have access to soap and water, you should carry and frequently use an alcohol based sanitizer. You must clean your hands before eating and when you come in contact with any surface. Touching your eyes, nose and mouth is not a good habit.

 • Stay away from co-passengers- Along with maintaining personal hygiene, avoid coming in contact with your co-passengers. Do not hug or give a hand shake to anyone while traveling. It may not be easy to avoid coming in contact with people, especially when your traveling on a cruise ship, plane or other means of transportation but wearing a mask and gloves will surely help.

 • Get a travel insurance coverage- Getting a travel insurance is very essential keeping in mind the present scenario. Make sure to get a full coverage with the medical benefits implied for medical emergency and evacuation. Although getting an insurance may not necessarily save you from getting infected but it will definitely provide the medical support you need incase you are tested positive for coronavirus.

 • Stay in a good hygienic place- If your planning to stay in a hotel during your visit then you may have to do some research on hotels that follow a good hygiene, or the other option would be to book a trusted place where you know cleanliness is maintained. Before going to the hotel,  you should check with the hotel staff and make sure your room is well cleaned. Another useful tip to keep in mind is you should wipe frequently touched objects with a cleaning spray or a disinfectant.

 • If your feeling sick, you must inform the appropriate people- Incase you happened to fall sick while traveling, you must notify the crew members that you are unwell. Also you should maintain distance from other passengers if possible. If you have a preexisting health issue or  a senior citizen then you should refrain from traveling at any cost.

 • Beware of screening/monitoring at the entry and exit- While traveling you have to keep in mind that you will have to go through screening at the entry and exist. Also another important point to remember is  after you reach your destination, you are suppose to self-isolate for about fourteen days even if you have no symptoms.

-Akhila kakarala
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