Amid COVID-19 cases continue to rise and fall worldwide, many countries have opened their borders to tourists and travelers.
Though it might seem that this is the best time for traveling overseas and preparing a visa has been a lot easier with onlinevisa.com, the risk isn't eliminated yet.
Some countries require travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before leaving their country or upon arrival to the destination. Whoever tests positive on arrival may be forced to self-quarantine. And, some countries require all travelers to go through the quarantine period, regardless of whether they provide negative results.
Before you start planning your trip, check the status of the government's travel advisory. The advice can change in a short time, putting you and your safety at risk. Your government may put you in quarantine on arrival, either in a state-run accommodation facility or at your own expense.
So, consider all these factors and make a wise decision.
Basic safety tips for traveling amid COVID-19
- A country that is open to travel doesn't mean the place is no longer at any risk. Some locations may have been opened due to political and economic pressure, not because the virus has been eliminated.
- It's important to wear a mask on your flight and wherever your destination requires. If your destination has restrictions regarding wearing a mask, you should seriously consider follow those thoroughly.
- Wash your hands well regularly and avoid touching your face. Though washing hands with soap is the most effective way to avoid illness, it is also advisable to carry a hand sanitizer for situations when it's not possible to wash your hands.
- Maintain Social Distancing— stay at least six feet away from people except for your family and direct travel companions.
- Most importantly, follow all local regulations and understand what they are before traveling. If a country imposes a compulsory quarantine on immigrants who have tested positive, please do not try to fly home. This may infect hundreds of other passengers. If the destination has imposed a mandatory quarantine on all arrivals, don't think that a negative test or full vaccination can rule you out from the requirements. You can be subjected to fines or even imprisonment on failure to comply.
- Please do not travel if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.
- Even if you have been completely vaccinated against COVID-19, you may still need to wear a mask and maintain social distance in crowds or public places. The vaccinated person may carry COVID-19 and spread it to other people. Wearing a mask prevents both you and others from the infection.
- At last, do comply with the requirements of the airport, transit, and destination.
Is it safe to fly during COVID-19?
Airlines usually go through strict disinfection measures, and the passengers must wear masks when flying. Some airlines even check the temperature of the passengers before boarding. Many countries/regions require passengers traveling to that destination to show a recent negative COVID-19 test result before boarding the plane. Although all kinds of safety measures are taken, flying does involve risks. Even if the middle seat is always empty, it's almost impossible to maintain standard social distancing throughout the flight. So, it's important to wear a mask and wash your hands with soap before eating or drinking, after using the lavatory and sanitizing your hands after touching anything.
Search for the countries that have lower COVID-19 cases
Some countries or regions are relatively unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. And, in some countries, COVID cases have decreased after vaccination. If there are few cases at a destination or no new cases within a few weeks, the risk of infection is low unless travelers infected with COVID-19 spread it there. No matter where you go, it is safest to avoid the crowds. Hence, large music concerts, bars, nightclubs, amusement parks, or stadiums should be avoided.
Find which hotels and operators are following COVID-19 safety guidelines
The World Travel and Tourism Council has introduced its Safe Travels Program by setting protocols for 11 industries, including hotels, airlines, and tour operators. Once the health and hygiene protocols are properly maintained, companies and destinations can apply for a Safe Travel stamp.
The Adventure Travel and Trade Association has launched similar protocols for the adventure tourism industry. Currently, these activities have a set of general guidelines—hiking, biking, rafting, wildlife tours, gourmet experiences, boat cruises, skiing and snowboarding, lodging in small hotels, and cultural tours. Operators who follow the guidelines can request a badge for their website.
But remember, the stamps and badges are based on self-assessment and not a certification. While using them, the company or destination is confirming their compliance with those protocols.