Stacks of boxes, bubble wrap, delicate chinaware set aside and labeled FRAGILE, packing all your possessions into suitcases – telltale signs that you’re possibly moving. In the midst of the excitement and longing for something new, relocation can also be a frustrating and exhaustive process, but imagine doing it during COVID! The Coronavirus (Covid-19) kicked off a global pandemic that left us nestled in the confines of our homes. According to the World Health Organization, cases have risen to around 40,114,293 worldwide.
As the numbers soar, it’s paramount that we do everything in our power to keep safe; especially when traveling or moving during COVID. We know the show must go on, but how does one move to a new state or book a flight while the world battles Covid-19? Fret not, here are our best safety tips for moving during COVID.
Is your Destination Safe for Moving?
Before gearing up to board the next flight or even drive your car thousands of miles to another destination, you need to know whether it is even safe to move or relocate to your target country. Different destinations have different pandemic protocols and response levels and certain areas are flagged as hotspots for the virus in comparison to others. Checking the government’s or local authorities’ website for information on the area you plan to travel to will give you an understanding of how many cases have been confirmed in that particular area. You may consider contactless services for your destination too. For some countries, if you are a non-essential worker or a non-resident you may not be able to travel; or if you do, you may have to be quarantined for a number of days. Here are a few countries where it’s currently safe to travel.
Research and Line Up Insurance
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that we are living in unpredictable and unprecedented times. No one knows if or when there could be a surge in the number of confirmed cases of the virus; so it’s important to safeguard against the uncertainty, before it actually happens. If you’re jetting off to a new country, state or province, getting your travel, health, medical insurance and even renters insurance, in place early makes a huge difference. Anything can happen and insurance helps to financially protect you in case something catastrophic happens.
Do Not Underestimate Masking Up
We all know that Covid-19 is highly contagious. That means it spreads so easily from contact with other persons, once you are in contact with it, the chances are high that you will be infected. Wearing a mask acts as a blockade or a shield in this duel of virus versus humanity. Simply put, it helps to keep the virus out – and that is more than welcome when you have to move through crowded airports. Many airlines, public transport stations have strict guidelines that speak to the wearing of masks. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is highly recommended that you wear a fabric mask that covers nose, mouth and chin.
In addition, you may also wear a medical mask. This mainly applies if:
- You are giving care to an ill person
- You are over the age of 60 years
- You have an underlying medical condition.
Masks have become a necessity, almost on par as having your cell phone or wallet with you, so never leave home without it. And of course, after each wear, wash your mask or dispose of it.
If you’re traveling with children under the age of five, they are not required to wear a mask. However, this is based on whether you are moving to a Covid-19 hotspot, the capacity of the child to properly use the mask with minimal assistance, as well as overall safety.
Always, Always Sanitize and Wash Your Hands
Public transportation is clearly more prone to be a hotbed for viruses and germs. Whether you are taking the bus, boarding a flight or taking the train, your hands willingly and unwillingly touch several surfaces and as such you NEED TO WASH THEM as often as possible. Wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry as often as you can, especially after touching common areas; such as: door handles, gas pumps, tables etc. It is also recommended that you travel with an alcohol-based sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and antiseptic wipes.
Maintain Social Distance
Sigh! This one can be a challenge, but given the contagious nature of Covid-19, we must minimize the amount of contact, especially while travelling. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, social distancing means keeping a safe space, ideally 6 feet away or two arms length away from persons outside your household.
The more closely you interact with others; the higher the chances of contracting the virus – so let that sink in. If you MUST go out, you may want to bear these tips in mind:
- Skip a row or a few seats on trains, buses etc.
- You may not be able to skip seats, depending on how crowded a plane is, for example, so try to travel at times when there may not be a congested flight. You can enquire with airlines, to ask how many passengers are expected to travel. In that case, choose a flight with the least amount of passengers.
- Avoid carsharing. Try your best to travel alone or with a limited number of persons.
- Avoid traveling at peak hours. Go out at times when fewer people will be out and about.
- Avoid crowded or popular public places. That Starbucks’ Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino is going to have to wait if you see a swarm of people in there.
- Wear your mask (cannot stress this enough).
- Carry a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Don’t Travel if You’re Sick
If you are sick, now is definitely not the time to travel. The reality of this virus is that persons who have underlying medical issues are more susceptible to contracting Covid-19. If possible, delay your move, travel, and all plans that would seek to put you in the public domain and stay at home. Self-quarantine, contact your physician and monitor your symptoms carefully. Stay inside and Stay Alive!
Candidly, this pandemic has upended our lives in ways that we cannot imagine. However, if you must move around and relocate, use our safety tips and enjoy the moving process!