2020 has been a devastating year so far to say the least! I hope everyone is healthy and are coping with the new changes that we have had to face.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic many holidays have been cancelled. As we know, flights have been cancelled, boarders we’re closed and many businesses have been shut down to help prevent the spread of the virus. In the UK, the boarders were recently opened and people were allowed to fly to different countries as the virus numbers have dropped and things are looking brighter.
DISCLAIMER: I am fully aware of the number of deaths that Covid-19 has caused. I am not undermining the virus in any way. I am however, shining the light on the positives rather than the negatives we are forced to see all over the media.
So, the boarders have opened. Summer isn’t cancelled. We can finally travel. This sounds great…. businesses can recover, we get to see our loved ones and we get to finally have some joy for the first time in which seems like forever.
What happens next? People are living in fear.
Here is some first hand information to give you a little bit of insight of what it is like to travel after/during this pandemic.
1) Refunds, free amendments and travel vouchers
The travel business are desperate to have you on board and want to give you sense of security. Many airlines are offering you free cancellations and zero amendment fees. This means, should your flight get cancelled due to a second wave, most airlines and hotels will refund you, allow you to change the dates or give you a travel voucher. Check with the airline and hotel prior to booking.
2. Mask Mask Mask
Masks are the new essential. In many countries you will need to wear a mask everywhere you in pubic, except when you are eating/drinking and when you are at the beach. Other countries you will need to wear a mask when in shops and on public transport. You need to wear a mask at all times in the airport and on the airplane.
3. Airline hygiene
On the airplane you will have to wear your mask at all times! For the most, the airplane is the most feared place to catch the virus. New measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of customers. Whilst boarding, customers are given hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes for the seat/table. (I travelled on 3 airlines during July and August and this was the case, I assume other airlines take the same precautions)
Places prefer contactless payments and less handling of cash to prevent the spread of germs. In restaurants you will have to scan a QR code to view the menu rather than reuse the old menus that could have germs on. All places will now have table service and even buffet restaurants will have a member of staff dishing out for you. The aim of the game is to have less human contact so less germs can be transferred. In some places gyms and spas are still closed. Your temperature will be checked on arrival to the country and also whilst entering some stores and hotels. Check ahead to see if the country is safe to travel to. Tables are distanced apart and you will find markings in public to remind you to keep your distance.
5. Know the figures
Bare in mind that the survival rate of COVID-19 is very high and it is argued that more people die from the season flu than Corona Virus. If you are a high risk person then obviously it is definitely not advised that you travel. Always research if it is safe to travel and follow the safety rules that are issued by the government. Do not be selfish, self isolate if you have been advised to and always consider the safety of others.
I am writing this as I have visited India in March and Spain in July and would like to share my experiences. Stay safe everyone, please do not live in fear.