It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or at least it’s supposed to be right? Even though it’s not our first rodeo with Covid-19 during the holiday seasons there’s always a sense of hesitation. We have the mask-wearing, hand sanitizing, and social distance routine down to a drill now – but how do we factor these into our holiday travel plans?
Planning a family vacation is a challenge on a normal basis, let alone amidst a pandemic. There is an assortment of key factors that one has to consider. These can range from:
- Analyzing the various risk levels for individuals (kids, elderly, anyone with other pre-existing conditions)
- How at ease you are with travelling yourself
- Or even the current Covid cases at home or your given destination
However, all things given, we believe that the holidays are meant to be spent with loved ones. Therefore, we have compiled for you a quick guideline to travel safely with or to your loved one.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other leading authorities have recommended avoiding any nonessential travelling. Nevertheless, if you do have a family trip planned it’s important to be well informed about any possible travel restrictions. Whether it is interstate or international, having a thorough knowledge of any precedent guidelines can save you from facing any potential hassles or wasting money.
This can include any quarantine days, for example, the United Kingdom has a 10-day quarantine policy upon entry which is more the most part footed by the traveller. With the breakout of the Omicron variant, you want to ensure that your destination is not listed under a red zone or is banned – this can cause potential issues when trying to enter your home state.
Travel Covid Testing
While we cannot stress the importance of being fully vaccinated this holiday season. When it comes to travelling it may not be enough. PCR tests for travel have become essential, especially if you are planning on hopping borders this season. Most nations require a PCR test that has been conducted within 24 to 72 hours of travelling.
If you are symptom-free consult your nearest clinic for your covid test for travels. Some clinics now even offer private testing at the convenience of your own home – making it that much easier to check this off your list of things to do. Even if international travelling is not on your agenda it is always a wise idea to get tested before family gatherings, in case you happen to be an asymptomatic carrier.
When travelling with family, the various age spectrums will play a huge role in determining how your travel plans play out. If you plan on travelling with a multigenerational group, assess the risk factors for everyone. For example, if grandma and grandpa are coming along on the family vacation then their safety will supersede that of a teenager travelling with you. The elderlies or those with any underlying health conditions are at a higher risk of being infected than those who are younger and in better health.
Choose your travel destination very carefully. With the Omicron variant looming around there have been many travel restrictions placed on foreign nations. Canada has banned travellers from nearly 7 countries including Nigeria, Malawi, and Egypt. The last thing you want is to end up being stranded in a foreign locale with no easy way to return home. As Covid-19 is a forever evolving matter, it’s crucial to be flexible when it comes to travelling.
Choose Accommodations Wisely
It would be safe to say that this pandemic has taken a toll on the travel industry more than anyone. Leaving many to offer shockingly low discounted rates, however, we recommend doing your research. Are these hotels truly offering remarkable deals or are they trying to overcompensate for something?
We suggest perhaps opting for more isolated accommodations, checking for hotels that offer a contactless check-in and perhaps even packing your pillowcase covers and bedsheets.
Method of Transportation
If you are flying we cannot stress enough the importance of knowing your airline policies like the back of your hand. Check their requirement for coving testing for international travels, mask mandates, and of course seat availability.
Among your packing gear be sure to pack pandemic staples:
- Hand Sanitizer
- Face Masks
- Disinfecting Wipes
- Health Insurance Cards
- A Thermometer
- Latex Gloves
- Hand Soap
If you are planning a car road trip we suggest packing snacks and beverages to limit the number of stops that you may need to make.
If you aren’t travelling somewhere warmer then this task becomes slightly challenging with the brutal Canadian winters. Nevertheless, try to opt for activities in well-vented and spaced-out venues. A fun family activity would be going to see Christmas lights around the neighbourhood or good old carolling.
Educating Family Members
Above all, an integral part of your holiday travelling revolves around how educated your family members are about Covid-19. Before initiating your journey, engage your family in an active conversation about precautionary measures, any special protocols that have to be followed when you reach your destination, and in general just staying safe.
How We Can Help
We are on a mission to keep Canada safe during this pandemic. From PCR tests for travel purposes to private at-home testing, we want to ensure that your travel itinerary and loved ones are the only things you have to worry about.
We offer same-day results and travel certificates – allowing you a direct transition to the airport or on the road. Call us today to book your appointment or simply walk in to any one of our 4 clinics.