The global pandemic has changed the course of the world. It has led nations to declare travel bans, lockdowns, self-isolation, and social distancing; measures that are crucial to curb the rate of infection.
As such, travelling is heavily restricted right now, with passengers only allowed through for reasons that were classified as essential or urgent.
Hence, in this article, we are going to explore what counts as essential travel during this lockdown, as well as how to keep yourself healthy and safe during your trip.
What Counts as Essential Travel?
There is no specific definition as to what can be deemed as “essential travel” during this pandemic to keep the rule flexible as needed, especially since there are a lot of unforeseen factors in COVID-19 that are yet to be discovered.
There are two factors that are highly regarded as urgent travel, though: family matters (such as when someone at home is in a critical health condition and there’s no one able to care for him but you) and delivery of essential goods (like pilots who are delivering medical supplies in rural areas).
In the end, it will all boil down to how you gauge your personal risk. If you think that you can risk getting infected because for reasons that are direr, then you will probably be allowed to pass through.
On the other hand, if it is found out that your reasons are proven non-essential (such as when you only opted to travel for recreational purposes and mass gatherings), then you can be sure that there will be a hefty fine to pay.
1. Hygiene Safety
If you do decide to push through with your trip, then the first thing that you need to keep in mind for a safe journey is your hygiene. COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets that can contaminate physical objects and surfaces. It can also go airborne in confined and ill-ventilated spaces.
This is the reason why the use of face masks is now required, and why it is highly discouraged for one to touch objects and surfaces, and more especially their face, with unsanitized hands.
As such, it is recommended to always keep a disinfectant in your person like alcohol, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or disinfecting wipes. While it is ideal to wash your hands with soap and water whenever you can, having a small spray bottle of alcohol will prove handy in times when there are no handwashing stations around.
2. Social Distancing
There are two types of COVID-19 patients: symptomatic and asymptomatic. The first type applies to people who are showing obvious symptoms of being sick. The latter, on the other hand, are people who are not showing symptoms at all.
The second type is actually what health organizations are wary of since they can spread the disease without even being aware of it. This is the reason behind the use of face masks.
It is not just to protect yourself from others, but to also protect others from you, just in case. Aside from face mask use, though, there is a second essential protocol that must be observed in public spaces: social distancing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ideal distance between people is six feet. Aside from that, physical contact is also discouraged. That means no shaking of hands and high-fives for now.
3. RFID Wallets
RFID is a welcome technology during this pandemic since it allows contactless payments and transactions. However, it also exposes our personal and financial information to great risk. Just imagine what’s at stake if an RFID reader or scanner was used for theft and fraud?
This is where RFID wallets will prove useful. They can prevent scanners from accessing the information stored in your cards and IDs.
4. Secure Briefcase
Don’t think that COVID-19 will prevent people with malicious intent from touching and stealing your things. Hence, it’s always wise to invest in a reliable briefcase to use for travel.
This is the type of storage recommended for short overnight or two-day trips. It has a space wide enough for a set or two of clothes, a pair of shoes, your digital devices, and your work essentials.
They come in a variety of different materials and features. Leather is a timeless choice, while puncture and water-resistant features are highly recommended.
For those who need to bring more things and apparel with them, then a wheeled briefcase might be the better option. It increases one’s mobility while also efficiently reducing the burden of your luggage’s weight. We recommend using packing cubes to further organize your things, especially when using an extra spacious piece.
On the other hand, those who don’t need to bring a change of clothing will find attache cases more than adequate for their work essentials. It also has a hard case that can protect your laptop and documents from getting dinged or wrinkled. There are also cases equipped with locks for added security.
Restrictions and Requirements
Now that we have covered hygiene procedures along with some measures to keep your belongings safe, let’s talk about travel restrictions and requirements next.
You see, each state has its own specific travel restrictions, as do countries. It’s smart to do your research before you book that flight in order to avoid any delays or worse, stranding yourself in an airport just because you can’t pass through a border.
There are also places that require a certificate of good health or negative COVID-19 test results. While both can easily be procured if you are healthy, test results do take a while to process.
Don’t forget to check out the operation hours of the establishments that you expect to use or visit whilst there like restaurants, delivery systems, and lodging establishments.
Mode of Travel
Some of the tips shared above pertain to air travel, but what about other modes of transportation?
- Public Transportation. For those who are forced to rely on public transportation to get from one place to another, then don’t forget to practice social distancing when choosing your seats as well. Make sure that you are a seat apart from other passengers. Again, the ideal distance is six feet, but if that can’t be prevented, then at least keep a seat away from other people. It’s also a good way of protecting your gold jewellery if you’re wearing some.
- Car Travel. If possible, try to plot your journey to avoid high-risk areas. If they can’t be avoided, then at least try to stay inside your vehicle while passing through those locations.
Again, contactless or cashless transactions are preferred, but in case these options are not available, just remember to keep your hands constantly disinfected after touching any object or surface outside your vehicle, and whatever you do, don’t touch any part of your face before disinfection.
There might be a lot of travel restrictions due to the pandemic that’s currently sweeping across the world, but there are still ways to move around safely if the need is indeed urgent.
COVID-19 is spread by coming in contact with contaminated objects and surfaces or being in close proximity to people who are infected with it. Thus, social distancing and proper hygiene are key to give yourself the first line of defence that you need against the virus.
Select your luggage pieces carefully. RFID wallets and quality briefcases, for instance, are preferred. Don’t forget to check specific travel restrictions and requirements according to the places that you are going to be passing through during your trip, and most of all, your destination.
By keeping these tips in mind, we’re sure that you will be able to complete your travels without any complications, health-related or otherwise.