Do’s and Don’ts while travelling during the Covid- 19 pandemic

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

The year 2020 surprised us with a whole new dimension of life. Before that, we had only heard of pandemics like the Black Death (1347-51), the Spanish Flu (1918-19), and the H1N1 pandemic (2009). COVID-19 made us witness the horrors of the pandemic. Starting as an epidemic in the Chinese state Wuhan (Dec 2019), it eventually resulted in a pandemic. We as a generation witnessed and suffered the deadly COVID-19 virus not only physically but also mentally and socially. The coronavirus is not yet over, so wear a mask and keep yourself sanitised. It is an ongoing deadly global pandemic caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. Since it is caused by a severe acute respiratory syndrome, it causes respiratory illness of mild to moderate nature. The virus gets severe in people with underlying health issues like heart diseases, diabetes, respiratory diseases, and cancer. Every person is well aware of the symptoms of COVID-19, but if you plan a trip, it is better to check if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Skin rash or diarrhoea

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So far, in the UK, 4.5 million people caught this virus, while 4.2 million recovered, over 128K died. The UK government has imposed a total of 3 lockdowns so far, with imposing and easing restrictions as per requirement. As more people are getting vaccinated, the government is trying to ease the restrictions imposed since the outbreak of the 2nd deadliest wave of the infection. Among several other restrictions that are uplifted, travel restrictions have also been eased, and travel guidelines are issued to facilitate people wanting to travel overseas. A permitted reason is no longer required to travel. Since the pandemic is not yet over, it is better to stay home despite being vaccinated. If you are desperate enough to plan some vacation or there is some travel emergency, do check the latest update on travel restrictions and guidelines provided by the travel advisory.

Do’s while travelling during the COVID-19

Travelling these days is not risk-free. Plan a trip that is safe for you and the people around you.  Before planning your trip, make sure to go through the following checklist:

  • The COVID-19 situation (the infection rate) in the city you live in and the rules for that city.
  • The infection rate of the country you plan to visit. Don’t visit a country that is on the red or amber list of the UK.
  • It is better to subscribe to a travel advisory to get updates regarding your destination or the transit countries.
  • If not yet vaccinated, get your PCR test done.
  • Do check the entry requirements, testing, and quarantine requirements of the country you plan to go to.
  • It is good to get travel insurance, especially if you and your travel companions are at high risk of catching the infection.
  • Check the COVID-19 safety measures at the hotel or accommodation where you plan to live.
  • Try to get a fully sanitised and well-ventilated hotel room and maintain cleanliness.
  • Postpone your trip if any of your travel companions are sick, were tested positive for coronavirus, or were around people who were tested positive for covid-19 in the last 14 days.
  • Despite being fully vaccinated (received 2 jabs), try to maintain a safe distance (2 meters) from others during the flight as a preventive measure.
  • Try and maintain hand hygiene, sanitise your hands as frequently as you can. Use antibacterial wipes.
  • Try to cough or sneeze into a tissue or bend your elbow while sneezing.
  • Even if you have got your full dose of vaccine (2 jabs), wear a mask in a car, train, ferry, or aircraft.
  • The face mask is also a must to avoid fines.
  • Arrange for safe transportation during your trip.
  • Spend more time outdoor than spending in an indoor hotel room.
  • If you get sick at your destination, seek available treatment. If you experience any of the COVID-19 symptoms, get a PCR test.
  • Do check the testing and quarantine requirements of the UK on your return.
  • Again have your PCR test 72 hours before your flight.

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Don’ts while travelling during COVID-19

Try to be in a healthy and risk-free environment and strictly observe these aspects despite being fully vaccinated as preventive measures:

  • Don’t travel to countries that are on the red or amber list of the UK unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Try not to touch your face.
  • Try not to get close to people (maintain a safe social distance of 2 meters), avoid crowded area or gatherings.
  • Avoid eating outdoor; prefer eating in a safe and hygienic environment.
  • Be careful about your health, and don’t ever neglect any symptom of COVID-19.
  • Don’t forget to wear a face mask in a taxi, bus, train, or private car.
  • Avoid travelling in crowded buses or trains.
  • Remember not to touch door handles, railings, or surfaces.
  • Try not to touch lift buttons with a bare hand.
  • Don’t go shopping in busy markets or crowded malls.
  • Try to avoid parties and large gatherings.
  • Don’t forget the prerequisites while returning to the UK, like PCR test or quarantine booking if required.