FAQ: Travel And COVID 19
As the coronavirus continues to spread across the globe and countries are now tightening their borders and travel restrictions, we are now plagued with questions of where it is possible to travel and whether it is at all wise to do so.
Experts say that you need to stay informed. Here are some of the questions, that you may have, answered.
I have to travel for a personal emergency- a death in the family. What can I do to minimize the health risk?
It is important to know that the more you come in contact with people while travelling, the grater the risk of getting infected.
Make sure that you are in a situation where you are least likely to mix in with other people. That means taking shorter flights and avoiding connections, where and if possible. The best option to limit contact in a three-hour long flight is to simply stay in your seat the entire time. Use the bathroom in the terminal rather than in the flight, because the terminals bathrooms are bigger and cleaned far more often than the one in the flight.
If you encounter a scenario where a sick passenger is within two rows of you and you are unable to switch seats, you could ask the flight attendant to make sure the sick individual wears a mask.
If you are wondering what more you could do while on a plane to avoid contracting the virus, simply wipe down the surfaces of the plane that you are likely to touch like the seat tray and the arm rest. It would be best if you could avoid touching any surfaces. If you have touched surfaces then make sure to wash your hands for 20 seconds and avoid touching your face.
Should I cancel my trip that is planned for April/May?
If your trip is coming up in the next two weeks, then it is best that you cancel your trip, just to make sure that you aren’t exposed to the virus. If you have planned on travelling during the month of April or May then don’t worry about making a decision right now. Wait till the go date to cancel your trip without incurring any penalties from your travel providers.
One thing that is working in your favour is that most airlines, hotels and other travel companies have loosened their cancellation policies to give travellers more flexibility during the pandemic.
I’m thinking of driving instead of flying, is it safer?
The question that needs to be answered here is not if driving is safer or not, it is why you are going at all.
The whole idea of avoiding nonessential travel and promoting social distancing is to stay close to home to prevent the outbreak for spreading.
Though, in a car you would be less exposed to the virus than you might be on a plane, the same is true when you get out of the car. It also depends on what you will be doing when you get there.
Will I be quarantined when I come back?
If you travel to a city that does have a large number of confirmed cases or if the number of confirmed cases are increasing rapidly then, there is a chance of you being quarantined when you come back home.
You may be restricted on re-entry, where you may be asked to quarantine yourself at home or you may be placed in a special facility.
Should I just stay home?
As of now, we would suggest that you stay home and we suggest that you don’t get swayed by the cheap airfares. Put some thought into why you would want to travel before booking the tickets. Don’t go on a whim.
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