COVID-19 has reached the far corners of the globe, meaning that travel is a very precarious subject right now.
However, there are a lot of things you can do to keep both yourself and others safe when you are flying to another country. Read our below travel guide to stay up to date.
1) Ensure You are Not Deemed a High Risk Passenger
Some people are considered at an increased risk for severe symptoms of the disease, and so this should be the first thing to investigate if you are planning to fly to another country.
The NHS Inform website has detailed information about shielding, including children and young people, and what you should do if you live with someone considered high risk.
2) Get the Latest Travel Advice Updates
Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for information on the country you are travelling to.
The FCO website is updated daily for travellers with the latest notices for each country regarding information on Coronavirus.
It is also advised that you subscribe to their mailing list, as they include a weekly bulletin with the country specific Travel Advisory Notices, meaning you are constantly in the loop with information on the country you are travelling to.
3) Invest in Essential Travel Insurance With Appropriate Cover
It is advised to take into account any hospital admission costs and check if they are factored into the policy, along with any equipment that may need to be used in the event you contract COVID-19.
Please bear in mind that different countries will have different ways of dealing with Coronavirus, and your travel insurance policy should be fully understood before you purchase.
4) Book a Low Contraction Risk Holiday
Ensure that the country you are travelling to has a low risk of COVID-19 contraction before you book.
The fitfortravel NHS website is an informative source and allows you to filter by country. To check your risk of exposure, click ‘alerts’ from the bulleted list.
The risks range from low to high.
If there is a low risk to exposure, you are free to proceed with your travel arrangements as planned.
If there is a moderate or high risk, you are advised to avoid non-essential travel to this country altogether.
5) Check Quarantine Procedures and Entry Restrictions
It is important that you understand the quarantine procedures and entry restrictions that are currently in place in the country you are planning to visit.
It is also important that you take into account any quarantine procedures you may have to comply with upon your return to the UK.
At the moment, there is a standard 14 day quarantine policy upon your return from certain countries and it is important that you adhere to these rules and regulations.
The FCO website has details of when and where quarantine measures should be adhered to, and a list of countries that are exempt from the 14 day quarantine rules upon your return to the UK.
If you are due to travel via taxi at your chosen destination, you should also consider any restrictions and rules regarding face coverings. Make sure to check before you travel, as you don’t want to be stuck at the airport without a way of getting to your hotel!
6) Physical Distancing and Hygiene Measures
It is important that you practice good hygiene when travelling abroad through the rest of 2020.
Here are a few regular questions from customers:
A: Yes, hand sanitiser under 100ml can be taken through airport security within hand luggage as per usual security restrictions. Bottles containing hand sanitiser must be sealed, in a clear plastic bag, removed from your hand luggage and placed in a separate tray for screening.
Q. Can I take anti-bacterial wipes through security in hand luggage?
A: Yes. Anti-bacterial wipes are not classified as a liquid and therefore can be taken through airport security without having to be removed from the rest of your hand luggage.
Many flight operators now require travellers to wear a face covering during their flight.
A few examples of airline requirements also are:
Temperature checks after check-in and wearing a face mask is a requirement for you to board your flight.
They also ask you to keep your mask on after landing and until you have left the airport depending on the country you have travelled to and their requirements.
It is mandatory to wear a mask if you are flying with EasyJet.
You will be refused to board if you are not wearing a face covering.
This applies to children over 6 years of age.
The mask must also be worn at the boarding gate and throughout the entire flight.
EasyJet have also made customers aware of the 4-hour life span of a mask and encourages customers to bring enough replacements for the whole party who are travelling.
Any person who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons is exempt from wearing a mask but will have to bring a letter from a doctor stating this.
This airline has taken similar precautions as both EasyJet and Ryanair regarding face coverings.
The crew also favour any protective gear that customers may bring aboard the aircraft as extra measures along with a face covering.
TUI have ensured all of their procedures before, during and after flying are in line with new government measures.
They advise passengers replace face coverings every 4 hours. The airline also recommends that hand sanitiser is used before and after removing and replacing a face covering.
Again, passengers should bring spares for longer journeys.
The airline requires each passenger to adhere to the multiple safety requirements they have put in place for travel.
Enough masks to cover the journey should be brought for each person travelling in the party.
Masks are required at all times on BA flights and to assist customers, BA have invested in a personal protection pack. This contains hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes.
Any further enquiries, regarding meal service and the wearing of a face covering should be directed to your airline before you travel.
Other Hygiene Tips to Consider
Of course, two of the most important hygiene measures that should be taken are regularly washing hands and keeping at a 1-2 meter distance from others outside your household.
This includes after eating/drinking, after using the bathroom and after coughing/sneezing. It is important to note that you MUST NOT travel if you display any symptoms, including:
– Loss/change in taste or smell
– High temperature
– A new continuous cough
You must immediately isolate yourself and other members of your household. This also applies if you become unwell on your trip.
7) Returning Home
Any self-isolation measures that are currently in place by the UK government after travel to certain countries should be adhered to when you return home.
When you arrive back into the UK, you should avoid any public transport.
It is a good idea to pre-book your airport parking in order to make your journey as stress-free as possible.
However if you do not drive, it is recommend that only members from your household should collect you from the airport.
You should also discuss with your employer if you are due to return back to work after travelling.
This may include you working from home where possible.
If you adhere to these rules whilst travelling, you should be good to go. Remember to stay safe and stay clean!