Travel Safety Updates
Confused? Worried? Apathetic?
Besides cheaper PPE and much improved information on Covid and its treatment, there are other exciting developments in travel safety. Here are a few followed by my personal tips for flying.
Many airlines and airports ask for tests pre departure and/or on arrival. Example, if you are coming from the US and going to Dubai or connecting in Dubai, you need a test that Is less than 96 hours old. It must be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and you must present the official hard copy certificate. The rules can change.
Some of the well-known labs like Quest, for instance, have ‘at home kits’ which are fedexed to the lab and return results in 24-48 hours, enough for most airlines and airports. But you need to match up your test with requirements in effect in the destination or connecting airport.
Airlines are taking temperatures with special cameras, which is great news to all of us. This procedure will turn away non Covid sick people, the ones that sneeze or cough for 8 hours. There is actually a definition of having a temperature; it is 100.4 or 38 centigrade. If you have a temperature and are turned away, most US airlines give a credit for the flight. You will still need travel insurance for your taxis, trip costs. Your luggage will have to be found and returned to you. Note: new procedures take time.
A few airlines (Virgin and Emirates for example) include free travel insurance to cover costs if you become ill in your destination. Travel insurance does this for you anyway, as long as you see a doctor and get a letter. Travel insurance is much more comprehensive but free is free.
Countries are opening to US travelers again: most prominent in the news is Mexico. Today Costa Rica announced it’s opening and in the past weeks so have other areas and much of the Caribbean. There is talk of an air bridge between NY and London with looser rules.
Some countries control the virus by locking down only the affected areas. Authorities often use a phone app for instant tracing something we don’t yet do in the US. This means your trip can go ahead if you can avoid certain areas. These apps are new and full usage of the population will take time. Overseas one does not hear objections about privacy issues as much as in the US.
Good news is that most countries outside of the US require masks and fine heavily for not wearing them. Many also fine in the $thousands for breaking quarantine. And for instance, in Britain, authorities might call you on the land line where you must quarantine for 14 days; you better answer!
Bottom line, everything dealing with the virus and travel is moving in the right direction. Some precautions like more intensive cleaning of airport and airplanes are welcomed by even the least germaphobe.
I am taking a trip shortly to Mexico’s Ixtapan Fitness and Spa Resort and will be sharing it on my company Facebook page with videos. Here is my personal tips for safety and health.
- Only fly with airlines that leave middle seats empty. Delta gets the gold star. Other airlines with distancing are Alaska, Jetblue, SW. The list is longer and changes. Delta has been forthright in discussing its air filtration system; look for it on line.
- Bring a correct mask, wipes, hand sanitizer, a few straws. There are correct masks and there are cowboy scarves. Here is the correct mask from the CDC: it covers your nose and mouth and is secure under your chin. No vents, breathable washable material with two or more layers. The mask should be tight against your face. (A shield is not recommended.) Gloves? The CDC says to clean your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer and not touch your face. Gloves are not necessary and require frequent changing like hand washing. Plus they are a not biodegradable.
- No eating on the plane or in airport. Water only through a straw and only from a sealed bottle. Frequent hand washing with alcohol wipes or liquid sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. (You are allowed to carry on a 12 oz bottle of hand sanitizer).
- Sanitize the seat arm rest and not use the tray table, which even in normal times can be icky. Then set the phone alarm for every 30 minutes for another hand sanitizing.
- Muster the chutzpah to complain directly to the purser, if anyone nearby does that chin mask thing. The purser is the one, not general airline staff. The captain is next for a continuing situation. You want the incident to be taken seriously and notated.
- Display the confidence to sanitize or do anything else for personal safety no matter what others say or stare at.
- Check in luggage so TSA staff do not go through my clothing.
8. Watch movies? Probably but with my own earphones. Charge my devices? Yes. Each time for both movements sanitizing hands again.
Sit back and relax. Begin to enjoy travel again. More tips can be found on our facebook page and blog: https://www.thewomenstravelgroup.com/traveltips/