Planning for Travel Post COVID – PART 2Reading Time: 4 minutes
Post-COVID Travel Precautions
Whether you travel domestically or internationally post-COVID, the health risks presented by travel means that we can expect our experience to be different. We will need to take new precautions in terms of modes of travel, where we stay, and where we visit.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
Planes might seem like one of the most dangerous ways to travel post-COVID, because of the risk of transmission both in the airport, where thousands of people from different places are passing through and on the airplane, with a lot of people crammed into a small space.
But air travel is safer than it appears, as it is one of the most organized and regulated forms of travel.
As you pass through airports in Nigeria and around the world, you can expect to have your temperature checked regularly, to have access to alco-gel to sanitize your hands, to encounter barriers that prevent you from exchanging breath particles with staff and other passengers, and for both staff and passengers to be wearing protective facial masks. Cleaning and disinfecting procedures have also been intensified.
Trains, buses, and other forms of public transport pose a greater risk as they are less strictly regulated.
Driving in your own car is the safest way to travel. When it comes to rental cars, you will need to trust that the car has been cleaned and sanitized properly, or do this yourself.
Whichever way you choose to travel, there are additional precautions that you can take:
Bring your protective equipment with you, such as masks, gloves, and alco-gel.
Bring alco-wipes with you to wipe down surfaces that you will come into contact with during travel, such as fold away tables, remote controls, and touch screens.
Use your own headphones
Bring your own food, which you know has been prepared in a sanitary environment.
Avoid touching your face at all times.
This last one is the most important. COVID can pass from one person to another through breath particles, and this is why social distancing and facial masks are recommended. But in the majority of cases, COVID is passed through contact.
Someone with COVID touches a surface, leaving the germ behind where it can live for hours or even days. A healthy person touches the infected surface, picking up the germ, and then later touches their face, allowing it to enter the body via their nose, mouth or eyes. This is why it is essential not to touch your face while traveling, and to wash and sanitize your hands frequently.
Get updates on travel conditions in Nigerian airports from the official Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Twitter account.
Where you choose to stay, whether in a hotel, self-catered apartment, rental, or with friends, it is a matter of trust. It is a matter of trusting that surfaces have been cleaned, sheets have been changed, and staff that present any symptoms are being supported to self-isolate.
If you cannot stay with family and friends, many travellers choose to stay in self-catering apartments where they can tackle those cleaning tasks themselves and have limited contact with staff.
However, if you are only on a short trip and you do not want to spend most of your holiday cleaning, it is still possible to stay in a hotel. But you should do your research into the hotel to determine whether there are likely to be delivering on COVID hygiene and safety.
The main things to look out for while researching are:
Have protective barriers been installed in key locations, such as reception?
Are staff equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment?
Are staff being given paid sick leave?
Can you check in online and use your mobile phone as a room key?
If these kinds of measures are in place, you are likely to be staying in a relatively safe hotel. However, you must still maintain appropriate social distancing. This means avoiding elevators, not using the pool when it is busy (it should be fine when it is vacant), ordering room service rather than going to the restaurant, and so forth.
When it comes to activities on holiday, these also need to be chosen with care. You want to avoid activities that will take you among crowds where social distancing is challenging. Planning daily activities to avoid the use of public bathrooms and eating facilities is also advisable.
This doesn’t mean that you have to miss all the most popular spots. Look for museums with restricted timed entry to reduce crowding. Go to national parks, but avoid group activities that require close proximity or sharing equipment.