Summer is here with full force – the sun is shining and the nature has blossomed, but countries still struggle to attract tourists and resorts are constantly empty due to Covid-19. However, some of us dare to purchase plane tickets, as restrictions are being lifted all around the European Union and we crave that summer cocktail of relaxation, adventures and new memories to cherish, after those past few exhausting months.
The majority of the public is still rightfully afraid of planning trips abroad for the next several months, however, it is good to be mindful of our actions if we’ll be among those, who decided to take the risk and travel to a foreign destination. First and foremost, you must always remember: Protect yourself. Protect the others. Protect our future.
Know the regulations of your destination
As you have chosen a destination abroad for your summer vacation in the middle of a pandemic, it is important to note that you must obey foreign regulations after arrival. This means that, for example, even if your home country does not expect citizens to wear face masks in all closed spaces, the country you are traveling to might have made them a mandatory accessory for indoor areas. Be sure to constantly check out the situation in the country you’re visiting online, as everything is quite dynamic and regulations change day after day. Be aware of all the details around Covid-19 and get introduced to all limitations that you might not know of. Buy a good amount of masks (or wear reusable ones), as many cities and smaller towns sometimes experience a sudden shortage of face masks, especially if regulations require citizens to wear them at all times.
This website is quite useful for EU destinations and important information: https://reopen.europa.eu/en
At the airport
Currently, low-cost airlines are trying to fly to as many destinations as possible, considering the situation. And as the companies are struggling by the low numbers of passengers and the variety of measurements in different countries, they are attempting to ensure a safe journey to everyone onboard. Great ventilation systems, high hygiene standards, compulsory masks in the plane and special distanced seating – those are just some of the measures that airlines take.
According to Dr. Lin H. Chen, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of Cambridge’s Travel Medicine Center at Mount Auburn, studies and data so far suggest rare possible occurrences of in-flight transmission of the virus. So as far as you have a hand sanitizer and a mask, it shall be all good. Wash your hands, try keeping a reasonable distance from other passengers and never get your mask off at the airport and onboard. Everything must be fine if you strictly obey safety measures.
At the hotel
When choosing a hotel to stay at, be sure to check the quality of the hygiene (for example, booking.com has specific categories with rankings and one of them is hygiene). The better the hygiene, the better the safety measures are implemented. In some cases, you might even have to choose a slightly more expensive hotel, as higher-class accommodation is the best performing one not only in comfort, but in hygiene, too. Look out for hotels that have installed plexiglass at reception and other areas, be sure that the management requires staff to wear masks and see if there is an option to check-in online.
Once the hotel is chosen: Wash. Your. Hands. Simple as that. First and most importantly, wash those hands as often as possible, every time you enter your room and leave it. Wear your mask in the corridors and try using the stairs as much as possible, as you won’t have to stand in a tiny elevator with other people, touching buttons, which were probably touched by way too many people before that. Remove your mask only when is absolutely necessary.
If you are outdoors, there is nothing much to worry about. Most of the time, you won’t have to wear a face mask out on the street – many EU countries lifted that measurement already. Yet, be careful, sanitize your hands occasionally, try buying most tickets online (transportation, museums, etc.) and keep a safe distance from others. If you follow rules like queuing with a certain amount of distance kept and other similar advised measures you will most likely be safe.
This is perhaps the most dangerous part of your trip, as you must take off the mask and sit with many other people nearby. The safest choice? Pickup or delivery.
However, if you’d really like to dine outside of your hotel room (which is absolutely understandable), there are several things you can do to be at least a tiny bit safer. Choose restaurants with outdoor areas and check if the tables are reasonably positioned with bigger distance in between. Look around – are the waiters and waitresses wearing masks? If you see that the place is meeting all the requirements, then it is perhaps as safe as it can be and the staff would do their best to keep everything under control.
If you’re wondering what’s the risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus from the food you order, don’t waste too much time – the chances are very low, as the high temperatures of cooking most likely inactivate the virus. Same for utensils, which are going through dishwashing machines that effectively eliminate gems and viruses.
What would you recommend for a safe trip abroad this year? Tell us in the comments!