Travelling during a pandemic is daunting, especially after we’ve experienced a third wave. But we do know that with SOPs in place and personal safety measures taken, we can travel worriless… Or maybe just less.
PLANNING THE TRAVEL
Before embarking on a journey, keep in mind that with the pandemic, extra precautionary measures are necessary to your vacation plans.
Keep track of destination COVID-19 updates
With the interstate travel ban lifted recently, most of us are returning to work physically and getting our travel plans in gear. Therefore, do ensure that you are up-to-date with the status of COVID-19 cases at your destination to better prepare and pack.
Note: If you’re travelling to a red zone area, please check if travel permit is required.
Inquire hotel in advance on safety protocols
It is important to have an idea of where you’ll be staying for the night before arriving at your destination. Knowing where will help you avoid too much travel in public areas, thus lowering your chances of physical contact with strangers. Study the hotels available and arrange a call with the administration to get more information about their safety procedures during the pandemic.
Here are some questions you can ask:
- How many occupants do they allow per night? (to get a rough estimation on the crowd)
- How often does the hotel sanitise the building?
- What COVID-19 SOPs do they currently have in place?
Avoid travelling if a family member is feeling unwell
Having family members unfit for travel due to any sickness/ailment is a HUGE factor as to why you should cancel any travel plans. With a weak immune system, a sick patient is an easy target for a virus attack.
Have an adequate supply of face masks and disinfectants
Because of the unpredictable pandemic situation we have been in, having a spare face mask or bottle of disinfectant goes a long way. With the country still recovering from the third wave of COVID-19 attacks, let’s continue to be cautious and maintain the relaxed movement order as it is. We need to play our part!
Pack bottled water and snacks for the journey
One of the easiest ways to avoid contact with others outside family or travelling circle is to pack food and drinks for the ride. You won’t have to worry about the cleanliness of the packaging. And if you’re travelling by express bus, alighting for a bite at the R&R would be unnecessary. As for driving, you won’t have to skim the isles of the nearest gas station shop. In fact, a bag full of food and water should suffice you until you reach your destination.
Get your swab test on!
Applicable for air travel only, you will have to undergo a swab test (appointment-base) at the nearest authorised clinic or hospital at least 3 days before your scheduled travel date. And if it is a return journey, budget enough money for a swab test for each way.
Note: A swab test for one (1) person, travelling one (1) way, can cost approximately between RM100 – RM500
DURING THE TRAVEL
Now that you are on the way to your destination or have arrived, what about during the vacation itself? Here are some basic things you can and should do.
Wear your face mask properly at all times
Remember that not wearing a face mask could result in you getting a summons AND more vulnerable to catching the COVID-19 virus. The mask functions simply to:
- COVID-19 Carrier : Reduce inhalation of infected air particles
- Non-COVID-19 Carrier: Limit trajectory of infected air particles
When wearing a face mask, make sure that it covers the entire lower half of your face—protecting your nose, mouth and chin.
Check in with the MySejahtera app
Ensure you’ve installed the MySejahtera app in your mobile phone and ALWAYS check in your location. Apart from tracking travel, it will be easier to be notified of any COVID-19 cases at places you’ve recently visited.
Maintain 1-metre social distancing wherever, whenever
Similar to wearing a face mask, allowing a physical distance of just 1 metre between you and the other person is two steps to reducing down the spread of COVID-19. Be it a big crowd or small one, it is wise to ensure that you are not in close proximity with those outside your family or travel circle as you do not who could be infected.
Restrict contact with other people
Part of the new norm is learning to keep to you and your own as much as possible. And that implies changing our approach when socialising with one another. If you see someone in need or lost, make sure at least one of you has a face mask on and that both are standing 1 metre apart before offering help. Nobody’s health is worth risking.
Sanitise/bathe immediately upon arriving at hotel
Once you reach your place of stay, make sure to sanitise any doorknobs you’ve touched and to take a shower. By doing this, you’ll eliminate impurities from the journey—especially if you’ve had a busy day and don’t plan on leaving the room soon. Don’t forget to separate your dirty clothes from the clean ones to avoid contamination.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO WHEN RETURNING FROM VACATION
Coming back from a vacation requires just as much precaution as when going on one. Follow these 5 tips to ensure a safe environment for your home.
- Wash all clothing packed and brought for the vacation
- Wipe down luggage and electronics with a disinfectant/alcohol wipes
- Take a thorough shower immediately before sitting/laying on furniture or facilities
- Boost your immune system with nutrients
- Drink plenty of water
NOTE: Before planning the next vacation, allow at least a two-week break to monitor the health of you and your loved ones.
Hope you found this article helpful. Please stay safe and here’s to brighter days ahead!
Featured Photo Credit: Nikkei Asia