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Tips to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19 in common travel situations:

The pandemic has certainly altered almost every facet of our lives; this is certainly true for travel. According to the CDC, travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, but when staying home just isn’t an option, the CDC has developed some basic guidelines if you have to travel. Since I am on the road a good bit, I found these tips to be helpful and I hope you will too! ~Cathy

General Travel Safety

Bathrooms and rest stops:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom and after you have been in a public place.
  • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Getting gas:

  • Use disinfecting wipes on handles and buttons at the gas pumps before you touch them (if available).
  • After fueling, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. When you get to your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Hotels and accommodations:

Check the hotel’s COVID-19 prevention practices before you go

  • Use options for online reservation and check-in, mobile room key, and contactless payment.
  • Before you go, call and ask if all staff are wearing masks at work.
  • Look for any extra prevention practices being implemented by the hotel, such as plexiglass barriers at check-in counters, and physical distancing signs in the lobby.
  • Ask if the hotel has updated policies about cleaning and disinfecting or removing frequently touched surfaces and items (such as pens, room keys, tables, phones, doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, water fountains, ATMs/card payment stations, business center computers and printers, ice/vending machines, and remote controls).
  • Wear masks and limit close contact with others.
  • Wear a mask in the lobby or other common areas.
  • Minimize use of areas that may lead to close contact (within 6 feet) with other people as much as possible, like break rooms, outside patios, inside lounging areas, dining areas/kitchens, game rooms, pools, hot tubs, saunas, spas, salons, and fitness centers.
  • Consider taking the stairs. Otherwise wait to use the elevator until you can either ride alone or only with people from your household.
  • Choose contactless options, when possible.
  • Request contactless delivery for any room service order.

Food stops:

  • The safest option is to bring your own food. If you don’t bring your own food, use drive-through and curbside pickup options.

Anticipate Your Travel Needs

  • Bring a mask to wear in public places.
  • Pack hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Keep this within reach.
  • Bring enough of your medicine to last you for the entire trip.
  • Pack food and water in case restaurants and stores are closed, or if drive-through, take-out, and outdoor-dining options aren’t available.

Check Travel Restrictions

State and local governments may have travel restrictions in place, including testing requirements, stay-at-home orders, and quarantine requirements upon arrival. Follow state, local, and territorial travel restrictions. Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel.

If traveling internationally or across international borders, check with the destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine. Local policies at your destination may require you to be tested for COVID-19 before you are allowed to enter the country. If you test positive on arrival, you may be required to isolate for a period of time. You may even be prevented from returning to the United States, as scheduled.

After You Travel

You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can be contagious without symptoms and spread the virus to others. You and your travel companions (including children) pose a risk to your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus. Regardless of where you traveled or what you did during your trip, take these actions to protect others from getting sick after you return:

Examples of activities and situations that can increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19:

  • Being in an area that is experiencing high levels of COVID-19, including destinations with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice. You can check the Travel Health Notices for recommendations for places you have traveled, including foreign countries and U.S. territories.  You can also check states, counties, and cities to determine if these areas are experiencing high levels of COVID-19.
  • Going to a large social gathering like a wedding, funeral, or party.
  • Attending a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade.
  • Being in crowds — for example, in restaurants, bars, airports, bus and train stations, or movie theaters.
  • Traveling on a cruise ship or riverboat.

To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips and insightful articles, visit our blog!

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