COVID-19 Can Quickly Spread Due To Holiday Travel: Things to Know Before Journeying

4 mn read

The holidays are just around the corner, and health experts have warned people to be careful if they intend to travel during these periods. It has been reported that the actual travel, regardless of the means of transportation, poses less risk compared to the things you do the moment you arrive at your destination or return home.

The pandemic coronavirus can easily be transmitted in small social get-togethers. You also become exposed to the virus when you gather with people whom you typically don’t see regularly. Experts have revealed a lot of case studies of organised birthday parties, multigenerational family reunions, surprise parties, etc., where all that were in attendance contracted the virus.

Health experts, therefore, recommend that travellers adhere to safety measures, some of which are physical distancing, properly wearing face masks, quarantining and taking a covid-19 test for travelling abroad prior and after the trip.

What are the risks involved?

The act of travelling itself may not actually be the riskiest part of leaving home right now. For instance, the environment in an aeroplane is considered to be quite safer when everyone wears their masks.

Medical experts have come to the conclusion that it is the things you engage in when you get to your destination that have the potential to put you at higher risk of contracting the deadly COVID-19. Following safety measures is, however going to reduce the risk levels. These would include social distancing of at least 6 feet, carrying a hand sanitiser, observing hand hygiene, using face coverings in public places, etc. Until a vaccine that is universally safe, available and effective has been discovered, your best options are to either stay back at home or seriously observe all the necessary preventive measures.

Be enlightened before travelling

Several states/countries have varying requirements that visitors must or are advised to abide with before they can be granted access into the region. These basically comprise quarantining and testing. Even if the state or country you’re travelling to does not have any mandatory requirements or restrictions, it is still safer to get quarantined or go for testing for the sake of necessary caution.

There are two major reasons for quarantine: the first is if you moved from a low incidence region to a high incidence region, then it’s advisable that you quarantine when you return. Secondly, if you get involved in risk activities of being indoors with people you don’t normally see every day, then youmay have to quarantine as well.

Furthermore, it is pertinent to elaborate that a major caveat is the issue of a false negative. This means that you may be incubating the disease, but it’s rather too early for the test result to come back as positive.

The incubation span for the coronavirus can take as long as 14 days, and this is where the entire 14-days quarantine rule stemmed from. The average incubation period for many individuals is at least 5 – 7 days; however, it can also take up to 14 days too.

Therefore, you should know that undergoing a test a day before you travel or on the day you return, doesn’t guarantee that you don’t carry an active infection and can’t transmit it to others you come in contact with. What this simply means is that as at that particular time when the test was taken, you had insufficient detectable virus to be identified in the test.

What to do if you think you have the virus

If for some reasons you feel you have probably contracted the infection on your journey but are showing zero symptoms, medical experts advise that you wait for about 5-7 days at least, before you get a coronavirus PCR test in London for travel.

The reason for this is that you would most definitely have a false negative result if you do the test immediately. A lot of people are unaware of this; they just go for the test and get a negative result, and they are like “Phew! It’s negative”, when it actually may not be.

Hence, the best way to confirm that you haven’t contracted the infection after your trip is to delay the test and wait for some days. In fact, it’s better to go for coronavirus PCRtesting a couple of times in 2 weeks after your return.

How to protect yourself and others

Here is a simple advice to keep in mind before concluding on your holiday travel: “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”. This pandemic has revealed to us all that we can connect with family and loved ones via several other means. From WhatsApp, Skype, Google Meet, Zoom to the many other social platforms available today, we believe they are definitely better than having no means of communication at all. There’s absolutely no harm in having placeholders for our laptops so that we can share the Thanksgiving table with our cherished ones.

Nonetheless, if it really is unavoidable for you to travel, then be sure to put your personal risk, as well as that of the people around you, into consideration. Take a look at it this way: why take the risk of travelling to meet a high-risk person or travelling if you have an individual that is high risk at home? At the end of the day, it really isn’t worth the risk because the worst that could happen is that somebody can actually die as a result. And this would be because of some holiday time that could have waited. Therefore, everyone is urged not to travel unless it is critically important and unavoidable. Even at that, it’s still recommended that you maintain gatherings that are as small and local as possible.

One last thing: it is quite important to get a flu shot because it is common to contract influenza while travelling. In all, always remember to use the available safety measures when it is unavoidable to travel. We understand that there may be convincing reasons for you to travel or visit someone, and the good news is that the recommended measures we have can be surprisingly very effective when used consistently.

If you are in London, you can get your Covid-19 PCR test for travel by visiting us at Walk In Clinic London.

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