Travel in the times of coronavirus

AviationCOVID Washing hands

Want to know what’s the best thing to do with travel plans and the coronavirus malaise? Here’s a primer on what you need to know as a traveller in 2020 post the COVID travel bans!

Yes, it’s true. The Wuhan coronavirus, or COVID-19 is sweeping across the world like the biblical plague and wreaking havoc. Travel, work, entertainment and even life as we know it is being rocked awry. So, how exactly will travel as we know it change? 

The situation with COVID and us

We’re not going into the history of the bug and how it came about, because it’s the only trending news nowadays. If you haven’t already learnt about COVID-19, check out World Health Organisation’s (WHO) video on coronavirus – it’s succinct and isn’t scare-mongering. The fact is, COVID-19 isn’t as dangerous as the global panic which is accompanying the pandemic. It is the fear of what it can do which has shocked people around the globe to extreme measures. We’re not talking about medical restrictions and precautions (that’s needed to overcome the virus) – but the news of supermarket raids and fistfights over toilet paper. Caution is warranted and with due diligence – we can overcome anything. Also, if you think you’ve contracted COVID/ showing flu-like symptoms, here’s a trusty analyser – the Australian government’s healthcare site has put up a COVID-19 symptom checker. Go check it out.

Travel in these times – What can we do?

COVID safety with hand sanitiser, and mask
Sanitising hands while at home and wearing a mask – overly cautious or a sign of the times?

The world is already rocking knowledge, testing vaccines and implementing policies to ease back travel. The Australian government is talking about easing trans-Tasman travel, then it would be business and essential travel – and before we know it, holidays will be back.

But… that being said, let’s put a pause on travelling out of Australia for a couple of months, to be honest. The WHO and medical bodies are still gathering data and treating cases symptomatically; so let’s not overload the system (#flattenthecurve still!). 

For holiday bookings, advice and so on – call us! We’ve got some of the best South Pacific Specialists out there ready to help you. We’re the first ones to know about updated travel bans, when is it safe to travel again and what precautions to take while travelling in these unknown times. Not bragging, but we’re good at what we do. Talking to travel professionals will help you save money on unfeasible travel plans which will bleed your holiday budget, actual good deals, when to set doable travel dates, how many litres of hand-sanitiser and bundles of wet wipes to take along. You get the idea. 

A lot of hotels, airlines and tour operators have shown willingness to ease/waive charges on amending travel dates, cancellations and so on. Did you know that Outrigger has worked with none other than Ecolab to come up with its own set of new, stringent health and safety regulations for both guests and workers? Read more about Outrigger’s ‘Clean Commitment’ for post-travel ban holidays! As a company, we’re working closely with our suppliers across the South Pacific to get latest news, updates and communicate them to travellers at large. We’re in this together and we’re determined to work to help ease travel stress as much as possible. Talk to us about how to reschedule dates and book sensibly. In fact, check out our FAQs on travel policies.

Good Travel Practices … in the Future!

If you’re out of Australia and about, practice social distancing with a vengeance. Basically, group selfies are out of fashion in a hurry. In case you have unavoidable travel coming up, check with Smart Traveller and see if there are any travel bans for the country and the number of COVID-19 cases so far. Make a checklist of medical conditions (if any) and take a travel pack of medicines with you. If there are elderly and/or kids in your travel group, talk to your medical practitioner before setting off. Talk to your insurance provider about coverage if any members in your travel party falls sick. Plus, read up on the destination’s tourism board website on any medical updates or restrictions. 

Governments around the world and the WHO are advocating self-isolation in case of contracting COVID-19. If you’re feeling feverish, tired and ticking off similar symptoms, stay in your hotel room, order take-out and put Netflix and the free WiFi to good use. Again, use the coronavirus symptom checker before jumping to conclusions. Watch this video on how to protect oneself and others from COVID-19 – stick to trustworthy news-sources and the WHO. If you need a crash-course on good hygiene practice, learn it from this hamster! Feeling worse for wear? Call medical services first for advice and don’t turn up at the health centre in a panic. Trust medical professionals’ judgement on how to treat your symptoms – you don’t want to self-medicate/ binge on prescriptions drugs and steroids over an extra-long flu.

This too, shall pass!

All things come and all things will pass. Even as COVID-19 eclipses hope and normalcy, it too will pass. And we will be better, stronger and more knowledgeable about disease, health, hygiene and tourism. Our government is already talking about restoring travel, trade and how to go about it.

Travel and fun holidays will return. There will be sunny beach days in Fiji, jet-skiing in Cook Islands, swimming with whales in Niue and so much to explore in the South Pacific. All we can do is stay strong, be kind to one another and tide these times over. 

Bookmark this blog – we’ll update it as and when important news pops up. 

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