Remember the time when we used to travel on a whim, meet friends in different countries, go to concerts, and eat out at a restaurant? For the past year, these moments have been a foreign concept for people around the world. Now, as the world slowly starts to open, travelling is back on the agenda for many. As more people get vaccinated against COVID-19, they are itching to do something other than stare at screens and get back to the simple joys of travelling.
As countries make plans to open their domestic and international borders to tourists, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 has not gone away – it still poses a serious risk throughout the world. It’s possible to travel and discover new places in 2021 if we follow the necessary safety precautions.
Here are some tips on how to travel safely during a pandemic
- Remember the fundamentals of travelling during a pandemic still apply
Whether you are fully vaccinated or are travelling in a country with fewer to no cases like New Zealand, it is important to follow COVID-19 guidelines set out by the government. You may still need to wear a mask and socially distance yourself in crowds or public places. You may also need to check in on the local contact tracing app to keep a track of your travel locations.
Do your research on the COVID-19 prevention rules in your destination country or state.
It may also be advisable to know the nearest testing sites. If you have received both vaccines, carry your proof with you as many countries have different rules according to their situations.
- Mask and other pandemic essentials are now your constant travelling companions
Make sure you have packed your MEO Lite face mask along with an extra Helix Filter pack of 3 in your luggage. While you can wash the MEO Lite face masks, the Helix filters last up to 50 hours of usage, or approximately 10 days if used daily, after which they need to be replaced. Ensure you have enough stock to last you in case of any emergency.
Stock up on hand sanitisers with at least 60% alcohol, antibacterial wipes to wipe down the tray table, armrests, seat belt buckles — everything you’ll touch during the flight and on your trip.
To ensure that your skin is well looked after, after months of staying indoors, make sure to carry your sunscreens and moisturizers. MEO Air has teamed up with Trilogy™ to bring you the ‘Clean Air, Clean Skin Mask Pack!’ This set is only available for a limited time and includes a calming Serum and MEO Lite face mask and 2x MEO Helix™ Filters.
- Know the rules of where you’re going
Several countries are requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test before travellers depart their own country. Understand the rules of the country or area you are planning to visit. Do they require you to wear masks on public transport? Are you required to socially distance yourself in a restaurant or movie theatre?
To avoid any confusion, do thorough research of government websites before you travel. Make sure you have contacted your hotel, Airbnb and vehicle rental company to ensure they are compliant with all COVID-19 guidelines.
- Keep yourself updated on the news and plan for emergencies
As we have all experienced over the past year, it only takes one positive COVID case for a country to shut its borders and for a nation to go into lockdown. While New Zealand had opened its borders for quarantine free travel to Australia, one positive case in Australia, resulting in a pause of this travel bubble. Hundreds of travellers were left affected because of this.
Be prepared for anything. Ensure that you have informed your workplace about your travel plans, have emergency clothing, and supplies to tide you over in case your travel gets extended.
- Lastly, when in doubt, stay home
If at any stage of your journey, you feel unwell, stay at home. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or think you may have been exposed, do not travel. Period.
As you can see, travel is still possible during COVID-19, but you must take the proper precautions and adjust your expectations. With that said, safe travels, and enjoy your trip!