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TRAVEL

Tips For Travelling During A Pandemic

Yes, your vacation is definitely overdue but things have changed

BY Naledi K

Jun 16, 2021, 02:27 PM

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After being locked down on several levels and in various aspects of our lives, it’s only right that most of us want a break. Vacations, baecations, bestiecations, solocations and whatever other “-cations” you can think are long overdue for everyone who has had to deal with the heavy blow of a global pandemic.

Some of you have air tickets that had to be parked because all planes were grounded and others have pending reservations at hotels because they couldn’t get to their destination of choice due to restrictions. We are far from being “free” of Covid-19 but after a year, we’ve managed to find some ways to get some “normalcy” back.

Looking back I know I can’t be the only one who has been in denial about just how dramatic Covid-19 changed our lives? I was laughing the other day thinking back to 2020 and how when president Cyril Ramaphosa interrupted the daily TV programs to announce that SA would be going under level 5 lockdown on that fateful day in March, I actually thought it would only last 21 days.
"I know, it wasn’t the rational me talking, it was the me who was in denial and hoping with her whole heart that things would go back to where they were before Covid-19 found its way to Mzansi."
Now, over a year later, I’ve sort of accepted that things will never take that pre-2019 shape. Too many things have happened to us and there’s just no going back. However, now that I am attempting to live my best life in the “new normal”, one of the things I am looking forward to the most is travelling. Only thing is, that too has changed, hence the following important considerations.
We are about to get our vacation on, you and I. 

Just as soon as we answer three important questions:

How Engraved Are The Covid-19 Regulations In Your Head?

Most people have the Covid-19 fatigue and if you are one of them, then you shouldn’t even think about travelling. Why? Well, if you are going to travel, you need to have internalised a few things by now, including but not limited to the fact that the virus is dangerous and the strict regulations put in place by the government are meant to protect you and the people you will meet on your travels.

So things like wearing your mask, social distancing, sanitising your hands etc. should be second nature to you because airports, hotel receptions, car rental offices and other places essential for you be at one point or the other as you travel are public places where one mistake from you could risk everyone’s lives and vice versa. 

How Healthy Are You And Those You Love?

I don’t think I need to say this but just in case, don’t you dare travel when you are sick, especially if you tested positive for Covid-19. That being said, things might be a bit different once most of us get vaccinated but until then, you need to ask yourself the following questions and be brutally honest when answering. Are you at increased risk for severe illness? Better to ensure you and your immune system are as strong as you can be to fight the virus should you get it. 

Do you live with someone who's at increased risk for severe illness? If you get infected while traveling, you can spread the virus to the people you live with when you return, even if you don't have symptoms. So think about this seriously. I mean, you don’t wanna be the reason your grandma with underlying conditions dies because you brought the virus home to her.

How Ready Are You To Travel In The New Normal?

Instead of ensuring you have bikinis for every day of the week, what you need to prioritise as you pack for your trip will be stuff like: Face masks, tissues, alcohol-based hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol), disinfectant wipes (at least 70% alcohol) for surfaces and perhaps even a thermometer. This is how things are done now.

Also, save yourself unpleasant surprises and delays by checking for restrictions at your destination and anywhere you might stop along the way. Keep in mind that restrictions can change rapidly depending on the local conditions of wherever you want to travel to. It's also important to keep in mind the COVID-19 situation, such as the level of spread and presence of variants, varies in each country. So make sure to check that continuously before you book that Airbnb.

After all is said and done, the bottom line is: Don’t travel if you are going to be a danger to other people or yourself.