The Coronavirus outbreak has been a huge cause of concern for people around the world, but perhaps one of the greatest issues is that facing travelers. Because travel plans are difficult to change and tickets often already booked, it may make more sense for you to continue with your plans instead of canceling. If you choose to do so, take advantage of these tips to make sure that you travel safely during the Coronavirus outbreak.
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What Is Coronavirus?
First, what exactly is Coronavirus? It’s a strain of the virus that comprises such respiratory illnesses as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). This year’s novel Coronavirus is termed COVID-19 and is believed to have originated in the Hubei province of mainland China, in the city of Wuhan. It is a highly infectious disease with cold-like symptoms, including fever, sore throat, cough, and a runny nose. Since it first came to recognition in January, the disease has spread across much of Asia and the rest of the world, affecting countries such as Japan, South Korea, Italy, the United States, and Iran. This has resulted in travel restrictions or travel advisories in many locations, though many more are still viable for travel.
How To Travel Safely During The Coronavirus Outbreak?
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned against nonessential travel to those countries most highly affected, much of the world is seeing limited, if any cases. The World Health Organization has deemed COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern rather than a pandemic, which means you can keep on with those travel plans if you’re careful. Just take extra care to maintain your health using these tips:
Tip 1: Get All Your Vaccines
While this may seem obvious, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got all your vaccines before beginning your travel. In order to find out what shots you’ll need before you go, check the CDC’s website for health information. Making sure you’re protected from as many preventable illnesses as possible is key to keeping your immune system strong.
Tip 2: Bring Disinfecting Wipes
Some of the worst outbreaks have been seen in locations with close contacts, such as the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, which remains anchored just outside of Tokyo. If you’re also traveling amongst many other passengers, such as on a plane, be sure to keep your area clean. Bring and antibacterial wipes and clean your area when you arrive. This includes wiping your armrests, cupholders, tray tables and any area that you’ll be occupying.
Tip 3: Keep Your Hands Clean If You Want To Travel Safely During The Coronavirus Outbreak
While many people are trying to steer clear of the virus via face masks, in reality, doctors have found those do little to nothing to keep you healthy. Instead, hand washing often is found to be most effective in staying healthy. If you’re traveling somewhere where you won’t frequently be able to wash your hands, bring hand sanitizer instead and use it frequently.
In this same vein, keep your hands off your face, and away from your mouth and eyes. These are the higher risk areas for you to get an infection.
Tip 4: Get Travel Insurance
If you’re US-based, plenty of credit cards offer built-in travel insurance, though you’ll need to check with your card issuer to see if the new Coronavirus outbreak is covered. For everyone else, however, you’ll need to purchase travel insurance if confirmed cases of the virus begin popping up and spreading in your country of travel.
This tip also extends to refundable travel, such as train tickets, hotels, and tours. While it may cost more upfront to book, the flexibility of having refundable travel plans can pay off big in case of cancellation.
Tip 5: Stay Away From Crowds!
Health experts have warned that the virus spreads via community contact, which means you should stay away from crowded places as much as possible. This minimizes your exposure to sick people. Of course, tourist attractions do tend to attract crowds, but you should still be able to visit during off-peak periods when visitors are low. In places such as Paris, this may mean visiting the Louvre at museum opening or just before close instead of the middle of the day when tourist traffic peaks.
Of course, it may be impossible to avoid crowds entirely, especially in festivals. While much of Europe has proactively canceled festivals such as Italy’s Carnivale and even the Mobile World Congress expo in Spain.
Tip 6: Take Care of Yourself
Travel is hectic, we all know that. However, the high-speed go nature of travel doesn’t mean that you need to run yourself ragged. It may sound appealing to wake at the crack of dawn and head out until past midnight, but it’s important to make sure you take care of yourself amidst all the fun. Why? Because sufficient sleep and a healthy diet mean your body can defend itself against illnesses. This is especially important for those who are more susceptible to diseases, such as the elderly or those with comprised immune systems.
Travel Safely During The Coronavirus Outbreak — Bottom Line
While there is certainly a concern for those who have booked travel during this time, there are ways for you to travel safely during the Coronavirus outbreak. The COVID-19 infectious, but many countries are not yet affected and are still safe for travel. If you plan on continuing with your vacation, use these tips to keep yourself healthy. Make sure you sleep enough and eat well, get all your required vaccines, clean the areas around you with disinfectant, and keep your travel plans flexible. Buy travel insurance and avoid crowded areas as much as possible, and above all keep aware. Keep yourself truly prepared in case of Coronavirus outbreaks pop up in your country.
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