Your 2021 travel safety checklist

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The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will have a lasting effect on the travel industry for some time to come. Even as countries are rolling out vaccination programmes, it may take a while before going on holiday looks like it used to. When travel restrictions are lifted, if you are going abroad in 2021, being prepared is crucial in making the process as stress-free as possible. Some of the measures you may have to take include packing extra cleaning products for your hotel room, knowing where to get a PCR test, knowing the protocols for destinations on your itinerary, and familiarizing yourself with your Local Test to Release provider.

Check your destination’s travel restrictions

Always make sure that you are aware of all the safety protocols in your destination. Many countries now require you to take a Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to departure, and you may be asked to provide evidence that you have tested negative at the border of the country you plan to enter. You may also be asked to quarantine, and negative PCR tests might be requested on certain days of your quarantine period. If you don’t comply, you travel industry could receive a hefty fine, so do your research, pay for tests and be prepared before setting off.

Check your accommodation’s Covid-19 policy

Check the sanitising procedures of the hotel or rental you will be staying in. Do not stay with friends or family unless you have quarantined and tested negative for Covid-19. Ensure that your hotel’s standards of hygiene are high and that they insist on the wearing of face masks in public spaces, have stations with hand sanitiser, give customers temperature checks, enforce social travel industry distancing and have a contact tracing policy. Try to ask for reduced housekeeping to keep contact with others to a minimum, and take care in public places such as hotel restaurants. Order room service where you can, and disinfect surfaces and cutlery before use.

Research nearby Covid-19 testing centres

If you start to display symptoms of Covid-19, you will need to get tested as soon as possible. Also, even if you are travelling to a country that doesn’t have PCR testing as an entry requirement, getting tested puts your own mind, and the minds of others, at ease. Even if you have already had the vaccine, take precautions and know where your nearest testing centre is by asking your hotel. You should also download any apps that allow test and trace.

Pack the right cleaning essentials

Not only should you ensure that you have plenty of antibacterial wipes, hand sanitiser and face masks for your trip and hotel room, but you should also think about your flight. Pack food where you can in your carry-on to minimise the need for airline food and buying food in the airport. Pack a face mask, face shield and goggles, so that you cannot touch your eyes or face during the flight. It is important that you take steps to not touch your face so often when flying, as face touching is a way that Covid-19 spreads

If your flight is under five hours, eat before you board so you do not have to remove your mask to eat during your flight. When you arrive in your hotel room, disinfect every travel industry surface, including high touchpoints such as light switches and door handles. Take a disinfectant with you (packed in your hold luggage) that is at least 70% alcohol. If you really want to be extra careful, pack a bathroom cleaner and cloth, and inform housekeeping that you’ll clean your own bathroom during your stay.

By following these tips for your travels in 2021, you can ensure that you’re keeping on top of everything you need to ensure your safety. 

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