Over 102 countries are now welcoming Canadian tourists and as long as you are fully vaccinated, so you can now start exploring the world once again. Travelling abroad can help open your eyes to new cultures, new cuisine and new opportunities, and as long as you are taking the relevant precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones, now is a great time to book a trip! In this article, we’re going to discuss ways to minimize your risk of COVID-19 while outside of Canada, top tips when you arrive at your destination and new variants to be aware of.
Best Ways To Minimize Your Risk While Flying
Here are some top tips to help reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 while travelling overseas;
To keep your risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 while travelling, make sure that you keep up to date with the latest official advice regarding safe destinations for Canadian tourists.
Check the travel restrictions and requirements for foreign tourists for the country you are travelling to.
Pack extra PPE for your trip such as face masks, hand sanitizer, tissues, antibacterial wipes etc.
Being fully vaccinated is a must for Canadian travellers and this will significantly help to protect you from becoming very unwell should you get COVID-19 while away from home.
While at the airport and onboard the aircraft, make sure to wear a face mask covering your nose and mouth.
At your seat, use antibacterial wipes to wipe down your seat, tray table and armrest before taking your seat. Should you happen to touch these areas and then adjust your face mask, you’re far less likely to transfer bacteria and germs close to your face.
For short flights, if possible refrain from eating while flying, as this can increase your risk since you’ll be handling food and removing your mask.
If you can, book and pay for extra legroom to give yourself more space when flying long-haul.
Try to only use contactless payment at the airport.
Top Tips When You Arrive At Your Destination
What can you do when you finally arrive at your destination to minimize your risk;
Open the windows and doors to allow fresh air into the room.
Wash your hands and remove the face mask you’ve been wearing and dispose of it. Then wash your hands well once again.
Leave your shoes at the door so you don’t bring dirt and bacteria into your hotel room.
Use anti-bacterial wipes to sanitize surfaces such as light switches, door handles and tabletops.
Take off the clothes you’ve been travelling in and put them in a separate plastic bag or wash them immediately.
Take a warm shower and wash your face well.
Sanitize your phone, laptop, passport case, wallet and any other items that you’ve had out of your bag at the airport or on board the aircraft.
Never put your suitcase on the bed and this can quickly add dirt, bacteria and germs to your fresh bedding.
New Variations Of COVID-19 To Be Aware Of
The best way to protect yourself against the emergence of new COVID-19 variants is to wear PPE, such as a face mask over your nose and mouth, wash your hands frequently with soap and water and be fully vaccinated. But being aware of the possible risk is also key!
Some variants can spread more easily and quickly than others, which is why it is important to be aware of any new strains that start to spread. So what COVID-19 variants should you be concerned about while travelling abroad?
Delta - B.1.617.2
First identified in India, this variant can spread a lot faster than others and can cause illness and death. Thankfully vaccinations are helping to combat COVID-19 and its variants however that doesn’t mean that vaccinated people are immune or can’t pass the virus onto others.
Delta Plus - AY.4.2
The Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed recently that a new mutation of the Delta variant, dubbed Delta Plus has made its way to Canada, with nine reported cases since July 2021. UK officials are also monitoring this new mutation which is now connected with 6% of COVID-19 cases in the UK. Tests are being carried out to understand the new variant. Experts are claiming that AY.4.2 is unlikely going to pose a significant risk and vaccinations should help prevent the spread.
What To Do If You Think You Have COVID-19 While Travelling
If you find out that you have been in contact with a known COVID-19 case, follow the public health advice in the country you are visiting and contact your travel insurance company for further help and support. Should you be required to quarantine or self-isolate by the authorities, you must do so.
Should you develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in quarantine or self-isolating, such as a high temperature, change or loss of your sense of taste or smell, or have a new continuous cough, call your healthcare provider and insurance company. They will be able to guide you through the next steps such as seeking medical help and support. You may be required to take a PCR test or rapid antigen test to determine whether you have COVID-19.
Only when you are fully recovered and provide a negative COVID-19 test result will you be able to fly home. This is why having the right travel insurance cover in place is so important. For more information about travel insurance and COVID-19, read our latest article here.