How Safe It Is To Travel – Coronavirus Travel Tips
Travelling to another country or across oceans can be scary enough without the threat of an infectious disease outbreak. Yet that’s exactly what globetrotters are facing right now. Here are important Coronavirus travel tips.
With much of the nightly news focused on spreading mass hysteria and panic, it can be difficult to separate the rumours from the truth. The truth is, it’s highly unlikely you will be exposed to the coronavirus infection unless you travel to areas where it is actively spreading.
However, Inspire4travel urges clients to prepare for a worst-case scenario in order to enjoy yourself once you reach your vacation destination. Knowing as much about the epidemic as you can before travel will help ease your concerns and worries. Here are some practical tips for avoiding contracting the Cornonavirus
What is Coronavirus and How is it Transmitted?
Coronaviruses are not a new thing. The SARS outbreak in the early 2000s was a variant of the coronavirus that’s infecting people throughout the world in 2020. Researchers and scientists still don’t know much about the respiratory disease or exactly how it transferred to humans.
It is known that the disease was first detected in Wuhan China, and possibly originated in a food market that housed animals near human activity. The main theory is that the virus was present in a snake or a bat that came into contact with a person and the disease spread from there. New theories include the possibility that it began elsewhere and was spread to animals in the market who then spread it back to the public.
The infection first came to the awareness of the World Health Organization (WHO) in late December 2019. Since that time, the disease has caused over a thousand deaths in China alone. The infection has reached as far as the United Kingdom and North America. So far, the confirmed cases outside of China are comparatively few per country and are being identified and dealt with swiftly.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
For many, the symptoms of coronavirus are similar to that of a cold or a mild strain of the flu. The beginning symptoms of the infection include cough, fever or runny nose. Those most at risk for the disease to turn life-threatening are the old or frail. In fact, the majority of the cases of coronavirus deaths are people 60 or older with contributing medical problems.
China is currently quarantining people who test positive for the infection and closing some borders. They are hoping such methods will stop the outbreak from spreading further.
Guidelines for Travel During Coronavirus Outbreak
If reading about the infectious virus makes you want to curl up in bed and never leave your house, you’re not alone. Realistically, unless you live in China or have travelled there recently, your odds of contracting the virus are relatively low. Giving in to fear and cancelling your long-planned vacation is short-sighted. However, there are still some precautions travellers should take when going abroad or even to a neighbouring country.
- Obey travel advisories from your home country. Many countries are implementing travel advisories against travel to China. A complete list of the travel restrictions can be found here. You should also keep informed about information coming from the Center for Disease Control who is leading the global effort to stem the spread of the virus.
- Wear a protective face mask in populated public areas. You’ve likely seen news coverage of people wearing white surgical masks over their faces. Experts say the masks are often unnecessary but it’s better to be safe than sorry. These masks may protect you for catching another type of virus or common cold from other travelers as well.
- Practice good hygiene. Proper hygiene means washing your hands with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying. Illnesses and viruses are most commonly spread through contact with an infected person.
- Be aware of airline and hotel cancellation policies. Not all companies are offering refunds for cancellations. Check with your accommodations before canceling. Always consider securing travel health and trip cancellation insurance well in advance of your travel dates.
- Don’t travel if you’re sick. This applies to any contagious illness.
Be Vigilant but Avoid the Hysteria
The coronavirus is all over the news these days. Television, newspapers, social media are rife with doomsday stories about the infection. However, the outbreak of common influenza is more worrisome to health officials than the coronavirus. Following good hygiene practices, diligently washing your hands, keeping hydrated, and avoiding crowds when at all possible, are the best ways to prevent getting sick, no matter what the illness is called.