What to do before and during your trip. Practical advice to mitigate the spread of coronavirus for people travelling during the era of COVID-19.
Coronavirus requires all of us to stay up to date with reputable advice, particularly those of us travelling during this period. We always recommend travellers utilise government advisories, such as Smart Traveller in Australia, before and during their overseas trips. The use of official travel advisory resources is particularly relevant in this era of coronavirus. Although most countries in the world remain relatively safe to visit, it is still recommended travellers take appropriate measures to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.
Practical Tips to Protect Yourself and Others Against Coronavirus while Travelling
Cover Coughs and Sneezes
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and immediately dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.
Regularly Wash your Hands
Soap is perfect for killing germs. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time. Keep a bottle of hand sanitiser on you for those moments when you are unable to access a sink. Use hand sanitiser immediately after touching objects in high traffic public spaces such as airports, railway stations, museums, etc.
Avoid Touching Your Face
Authorities have warned all of us to avoid touching our face to reduce the spread of coronavirus in the community. This advice is especially relevant for those travelling through large public spaces.
Carry Anti-bacterial Wipes
Anti-bacterial wipes are a great asset when using public transportation such as planes, buses, trains, etc. Use these to quickly wipe down any objects you will be in contact with such as trays, armrests and seatbelts.
Avoid Close Contact with People who are Sick
Although this is good advice in general, it is particularly relevant while travelling during this coronavirus outbreak. It is especially important to avoid contact with people showing symptoms consistent with coronavirus.
Is there a Heightened Risk of Contracting Coronavirus on an Aeroplane?
Because of how air circulates and is filtered on planes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on planes. However, it is still recommended passengers maintain high hygiene standards while onboard the aircraft, including regularly washing their hands with soap or using hand sanitisers.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
COVID-19 causes a range of symptoms. Patients have experienced mild to severe respiratory illness. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Current advice is to seek medical help if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.
Essential Packing List
The below items will help you maintain hygiene standards while transiting through busy public spaces. It’s a good idea to keep a small travel size packet of each of the following items in your daypack. We have not included face masks in this list, as the current advice from the WHO is you only need to wear a mask if you are either coughing, sneezing, or directly caring for a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
- Hand Sanitiser
- Anti-bacterial Wipes
Providing you stay up to date with government travel advice for your destination and transit routes, and follow advice from organisations such as the World Health Organization, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, travelling during the current situation can still be immensely rewarding.