2020 has been a challenging year for everyone concerned. The global tourist industry was brought to a grinding halt in March of this year. Even though most of the world’s governments have reopened their economies and are allowing people to move around more, the virus has not disappeared.
To date, several European countries like Ireland, Italy, Spain and France are experiencing a spike in infection rates. Even New Zealand, which was the first country to eradicate the virus and lift most of its social distancing or lockdown restrictions, has locked down Auckland, New Zealand’s most populous city because of the first community transmission rates in more than 100 days have occurred.
While travelling to these regions has not been banned, other countries like the United Kingdom have declared that anyone travelling from these countries must self-isolate for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus into areas that have managed to control it.
The caveat here is that this SARS-CoV-2 virus is highly contagious and spreads quickly and almost silently. Therefore, it is expected that countries like the UK will add areas where the virus is rising rapidly to its list of high-risk areas and add them to its traveller-quarantine list.
Therefore, the question that begs is, how do you manage your travel arrangements when they could change at short notice?
By way of answering this question, let’s consider the following tips:
Book your holiday travel with a specialist that keeps track of the impact of the virus on travel
The succinct answer to this question is that you book your travel, both to and from your destination, and travel around your holiday destination through a specialist travel website like Omio that keeps track of the areas where you can travel safely. This list is kept up to date and is responsive to changes where there is very little time to notify people travelling to and from these destinations.
Adhere to local COVID-19 preventative measures
As much as the human race is inherently social, and we thrive on face-to-face contact, this virus spreads rapidly via person-to-person contact. And, while the common thread or belief running through large sectors of the global population is that because the virus is so contagious and spreads so quickly, we might as well ignore social distancing and mask-wearing requirements because we are going to get the virus anyway.
Not only is this an unwise attitude because the virus seems to affect different people in different ways, but some countries have severe monetary penalties or even jail terms for people who do not adhere to their mandated social distancing rules.
This statement is not meant to scare people away from travelling outside of their own country. Travel is good. And it is important to travel to new destinations. It has proven physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. The quotation by Terry Pratchett from his book, “A Hat Full of Sky” confirms some of these benefits in the following quotation:
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
Be considerate and polite
An article published on euronews.com highlighted that irrespective of the world’s governments’ requests to adhere to social distancing measures, people were largely ignoring them. The following quotation highlights the attitude New York City locals had at the beginning of the outbreak:
“Further afield in New York City, the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak in the United States, Prospect Park, and other places in the city remained busy over the weekend.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo commented on clusters taking to parks: “It’s insensitive, it’s arrogant, it’s self-destructive, it’s disrespectful to other people, and it has to stop.””
As a visitor to another country, it is especially important to adhere to the rules and treat other people, including law enforcement officials, with respect.
Finally, the cdc.gov website notes the following about COVID-19 and its impact on the world’s citizens:
“Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and increase stress and anxiety.”
People tend to overreact when they are stressed and anxious. Consequently, it is to be expected that someone will occasionally overreact to a comment made or an action taken. It is essential as a visitor to another region, to remain considerate and polite no matter how you are treated.