It all began in the deep winter month of December 2019. A quiet but deadly scenario unravelled in Wuhan city which, in a matter of four months, has spread around the globe like wildfire. The spread of Corona Virus has put the human race out of gear. Countries have not only shut down borders but even states have isolated themselves from each other. Perhaps at no other time than this, has the travel industry taken a setback in the pages of history. The ever stretching claws of the corona or COVID-19 has caused fear and panic. International flights have been suspended by most countries and airlines have waived cancellation fees as jittery passengers rethink travel plans.
In 2019, the Travel & Tourism sector experienced 3.5% growth and accounted for 10.3 per cent of the Global Gross Domestic Product. However, the global pandemic has rattled the travel industry. It may take months for the aviation and hospitality industry to regain normalcy but the outbreak will make people re-think about sanitation and the measures to take in the upcoming days when normalcy returns. We are going to be more aware of sanitation and general health care while we travel.
Travelling after the Corona Pandemic is over
Enlisted below are the points to keep in mind while embarking on any travel once the corona scare is over:
At Home (Before you leave)
- Prep starts at home before you hail that cab. Days before you take that journey, ensure that you have covered all the vaccinations that are a pre-requisite for any tourist. Ideally, consult with your travel healthcare practitioner 6-8 weeks in advance of travel.
- Travel insurance is necessary and must include medical evacuation and repatriation in case you fall ill and need to be transported home. Even with good travel insurance, individuals with symptoms of a contagious disease may need self-isolation and the return to home country can be delayed.
- Pack a first aid kit. If you’re carrying medication prescribed for you, ensure you take adequate quantity for the duration of the trip and throw a few extra for unforeseen circumstances.
- Since the COVID-19 outbreak, paramount importance has been given to hygiene. Before you start dumping stuff into the baggage make sure all the bags are thoroughly wiped clean. Bet you did not know that even our handbags carry more bacteria than an average toilet. Never ever place them on floors – in airports or otherwise.
- Even after the Corona Virus is controlled, it is advised to carry face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and reusable water bottles in your carry on luggage.
- Wear your face mask as soon as you step out of your house. Avoid touching your face.
- Reach the airport well before time to avoid standing in serpentine queues.
- At the airport wear your gloves or make sure you wash your hands regularly. You’ll be touching bags, trays, shoes, handrails.
- Except for laptops or any other required device that one needs to take out for X-ray screening, place all other in your carry bags. The less you move around and touch things the safer you will be.
- Once you pass the security check, refill your water bottle or buy bottled water.
- Have you ever wondered if the water served in the aeroplanes is safe to drink? Recent testing found the tap water on aeroplanes isn’t very sanitary. Tests have found the presence of coliform bacteria indicating that pathogens could be in the water system. It will be a good idea to drink from your own reusable water bottle when you travel or buy bottled water on flight. Keep yourself hydrated at all times.
- The same reasoning applies to the use of water in the toilets for washing hands. Use a hand sanitizer as far as possible especially before you eat.
- If you feel a cough coming, wear your face mask or cough into your elbow.
- Use clean wipes to clean your armrests and tables.
- Wipe down all your bags with wipes regularly or after each trip, since they go through many levels and surfaces from your house to the destination.
- Take a bath as soon as you check-in and enter your room.
- Sleep and learn to cope with jet lag well to keep fatigue at bay.