With the easing of many coronavirus travel restrictions, understanding how you can remain safe next time you travel is essential. While many countries are currently experiencing some respite, others continue to battle through the epicentre of this global pandemic; the situation is disposed to change rapidly, and caution must be taken wherever you are travelling in order to keep yourself and others as safe as possible.
Good hygiene practices are vital for anyone, and preparedness is the key to ensuring that you can remain safe wherever you go.
Hand Sanitizer - The NHS has stipulated that hand sanitizers should comprise at least 60% alcohol. It should not be used in place of regular hand washing, but it is thought to offer an effective deterrent to the virus when soap and water are not available. While many governments have responded to the threat of the virus by installing hand sanitizer stations in public spaces, ensure that you always have your own supply to hand.
Face Masks - Initial hesitation from governing bodies has cast significant doubt over the value face masks hold for limiting the spread of COVID-19, but it is clear now the benefit they can bring, both in terms of preventing you from catching the virus, and transmitting it to others. Due to high demand, they can be difficult to come by at short notice; ensure you have enough to see yourself through your trip safely, particularly if you are unable to wash reusable masks sufficiently.
Social Distancing - Avoid standing close to anyone not part of your close circle. COVID-19 is thought to be transmitted most easily through the undetectable air droplets that we all release when we talk, breathe, cough and sneeze. Standing too close to anyone infected with the virus – knowingly or unknowingly – puts you at a much higher level of risk.
Avoid Crowds - Even with plenty of precautions in place, crowds continue to present a significant risk. If you are travelling to a highly populated area, such as a popular cultural landmark, or a country undergoing mass protests, then plan an alternative route to avoid high risk zones.
Avoid Touching Your Face - Even if you believe your hands to be clean, make a concerted effort to avoid touching your face. Your eyes, nose, and mouth all represent entry points for the virus, and if you have come into contact with an infected surface, you put yourself at a much higher risk of infection.
Maintain Your Overall Health
COVID-19 is not the only threat to your health; all the usual risks of travelling abroad continue to apply, with the added risk of you requiring medical attention in an area still struggling to treat COVID-19 patients.
Consider taking the Anytime Doctor Travel Pack with prescription antibiotics, which will provide you with a carefully selected reserve of medications used to treat common traveller’s complaints, which may otherwise necessitate a trip to the doctor. Not only will this ensure that your immune system is protected, it will also provide an additional line of defence; if you are armed with the right treatments for more common issues travellers experience, you can avoid placing any additional burdens on the healthcare system within your destination, and keep yourself away from hospitals treating patients infected with COVID-19.
Antibiotics, for instance, are used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, many of which are commonplace among tourists and air travellers. Though they cannot be used to treat coronavirus, they can prevent more serious complications from arising, and the need for more urgent medical attention.
Understand Government Guidelines and Healthcare Advice
Now more than ever, it is essential for anyone travelling abroad to ensure that they are up to date on any restrictions or regulations in place within any countries they will be travelling to. Foreign Travel Advice offers the most recent information on any new rules imposed in response to infection rates; keep yourself informed in the weeks and days leading up to your trip.
Similarly, there may well be guidelines in place for British travellers who have re-entered the country after travels abroad; at any time, the UK government may introduce a period of isolation for those returning, and it is essential that you are aware of the restrictions ahead of time.
Ensure that you are also keeping fully up to date with the latest healthcare advice. The NHS and World Health Organisation (WHO) regularly update their guidance on keeping safe, wherever you are in the world.