Essential Travel Guide and Advice During the COVID-19 Pandemic

24 August, 2020

Travelling has been nearly impossible this year because of the novel coronavirus outbreak. The spread of COVID-19 is still rampant worldwide, with the Philippines registering over 74,000 positive coronavirus cases in mid-July, alone. 

Photo courtesy of Anna Shvets via Pexels

The general travel advisory is to not travel, at all; people are still being advised to stay at home to reduce all possibilities of the novel coronavirus transmission. 

However, traveling is still necessary for many people including those with businesses in different parts of the world. Travelers who got stuck mid-transit because of the pandemic have had to make their way home amidst the outbreak. Others had to move around for work purposes and other travel emergencies. 

An updated travel guide is now necessary for anyone needing to leave their homes for essential activities. With some local locations reopening for business and other countries opening their borders, too, a COVID-19 travel guide for the Philippines becomes indispensable for every traveler.

What are some new things you need to know about the novel coronavirus in the Philippines? What should you keep in mind to avoid sickness while traveling? How will you contribute to the prevention of the novel coronavirus while in transit? 

There are many ways you can stay safe and healthy during this worldwide crisis. Know the top five travel guide tips when traveling during the global pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Camila Perez via Unsplash

1. Know the latest travel updates per country

There are tons of benefits to traveling, but the whole world has had to put that hobby on hold because of this mass health outbreak. While the world is waiting for a novel coronavirus treatment to be developed, take the time to do your own research about travel updates for every country.

Check out government websites, pages, and social media sites for international COVID-19 updates. For example, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) lists the latest updates for the Philippines on their website, including travel restrictions for anyone moving in and out of the country. 

Many countries have actually reopened their borders, according to the DFA website, but the rules vary per country; and the number of positive COVID-19 cases per country changes every day. So make sure to triple-check your destination’s COVID-19 updates before deciding on any trips this year.

2. Determine if your trip is truly essential

Even if you know the situation in the location or country you’re planning to go to, will you even be allowed to go there, at all? Before finalizing your plans, find out if your trip is considered essential or non-essential by your local government.

For example, non-essential outbound travel was recently banned in the Philippines, again. This meant that only overseas workers, permanent residents abroad, and student visa holders could fly in and around the country for essential work reasons. 

Your plans to enjoy beach benefits or booking flights for fun might have to wait a while. Before you book a trip around or outside the country, know your updated restrictions, too.

3. Follow all the rules and precautions

Safety and health precautions are key, in terms of traveling during the pandemic. To avoid developing novel coronavirus symptoms while in transit, follow the rules being implemented wherever you go.

Every city implements its own preventive measures regarding COVID-19. Generally, you’ll be required to wear a face mask, follow social distancing protocols, and have your temperature checked before entering any building or public area. You’ll also have to wash your hands regularly and avoid physical contact with other people.

These rules were put in place to keep you safe; so make sure to follow them to stay healthy and virus-free. These rules also help slow down the global spread of the COVID-19 outbreak; so make sure you abide by them to help everyone else around you.

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4. Check out your airline’s policies

Every airline’s policy will differ slightly regarding flights affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Most airlines will let you rebook, reroute, or refund tickets for affected flights at no additional cost the first time you apply.

For example, Philippine Airlines allows its customers to convert their tickets into vouchers that may be used for future flights. They also let customers rebook or reroute their flights at no additional fees for the first rebooking. If necessary, customers can also refund their tickets with no penalties, depending on the type of ticket they purchased.

There’s no guarantee when the pandemic will be over; and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you can afford to postpone your trip, then it’s probably best to move it to a much later date, possibly next year.

5. Implement your own emergency protocols

Lastly, you can avoid travel emergencies by implementing your own set of emergency protocols. Having back-up plans prepared beforehand will help you stay safe and healthy, especially if you need to go anywhere during this worldwide outbreak.

Secure travel insurance with hospital coverage for coronavirus symptoms, if possible. Bring a first-aid kit that’s packed with extra face masks, soap, rubbing alcohol, a digital thermometer, and other first-aid essentials. Prepare extra cash and resources, in case you get stuck in transit as a result of sudden lockdowns.

If you cannot avoid traveling this year, make sure you have protocols ready for any emergency. If 2020 has taught the whole world anything, it’s to always expect the unexpected.

Photo courtesy of Morning Brew via Unsplash

As much as you may miss the fun of taking vacations abroad and the benefits of hying off to the beach, you need to stay safe and healthy amidst this COVID-19 outbreak. 

You don’t want to contract this disease, at all. If traveling is unavoidable for you right now, then it’s crucial that you stay informed and guided in these unprecedented times.

Know the latest updates, follow the rules, familiarize yourself with your airline’s policies, and be extra careful on your next trip. Be well-guided; so that you can stay safe and healthy this 2020.