How to holiday safely this summer
Written by Dr Claudia Pastides
, 4 min read
How to holiday safely this summer
Whether you’re flying abroad or planning a staycation, here are our top tips on how to holiday safely as the pandemic continues.
Although many people have been vaccinated and most legal restrictions in the UK were lifted on the 19th of July - it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.
Besides continuing to wash our hands often and wearing masks in crowded places, there are other steps we can take to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and reduce our chances of becoming infected or spreading the infection whilst on holiday.
Consider if you should be travelling
This may be a depressing first tip, but bear with me! The truth is - times continue to be strange and very changeable. Even if the planes are flying and resorts are opening, travel is not risk-free and travel disruption or national control measures can happen with very little notice.
If you choose to travel abroad, it is a good idea to check the government’s Travel Abroad & COVID-19 page for the latest information on the traffic light system and requirements to re-enter the UK, both before you travel and regularly whilst you’re away.
In England, what you must do when you arrive from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive and also your vaccination status, so make sure you’re up to speed with the Traffic Light System.
Staying safe when flying
When on a plane, keeping apart from others will be difficult (if not impossible) and the nature of air travel is such that you’ll be in close contact with many people, for a prolonged period of time.
There is, of course, a risk here that unfortunately can’t be avoided but it is a good idea to do as much as you can to reduce other opportunities for COVID-19 to spread.
The list below isn’t exhaustive but includes some key points and tips to consider when flying:
- Check in online and take as little as you can with you on the plane, to prevent your belongings from coming in contact with other people
- You’ll probably have to wear a face-covering at the airport and on the plane for the duration of the flight, so make sure the ones you bring are comfortable for you
- Depending on the length of your flight, it is a good idea to take 3 or 4 face coverings on the plane, so that you can put a new one on if the other gets damp
- If the flight is short, I’d avoid eating or drinking, but if you have to or you’re on a longer flight, make sure your hands are well sanitised before putting anything in your mouth
- Take an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with you. It’s a good way of cleaning your hands after you’ve touched a surface others might have touched or before and after you touch your face/change your mask
If flying isn’t for you this summer and you’re planning a holiday closer to home, you’ll probably find that things aren’t 100% back to pre-pandemic life, but this shouldn’t get in the way of you enjoying your break. Everyone in the holiday industry is continuing to work hard to make holidays as safe as possible for holiday-makers.
Besides following any guidance set by the facility you use, here are a few other tips on how to staycation safely.
- As with flying, make sure you have the necessary bits with you, such as face coverings in case an establishment requests it and hand sanitiser
- Continue to spend as much time outdoors as you can (fingers crossed for the weather!) as we all know by now that the virus spreads less readily outdoors than indoors
- Continue good hand hygiene if you’re touching things that many other people may also have come into contact with, such as toilet door handles. Coronaviruses have been found to live on surfaces for anything between hours and days. Use your sleeve or wash your hands after, and don’t touch your face without clean hands
- The facilities will be cleaned regularly but there is no harm in bringing disinfectant spray with you and giving commonly touched surfaces (door handles, toilets, kitchen surfaces) a clean before you touch them and in-between use too
If you get COVID-19 symptoms whilst away from home
Whatever you choose to do this summer holiday season - if you or someone you’re travelling with develops COVID-19 symptoms, you should avoid going to the hospital, A&E, pharmacies or a GP surgery, as you may spread the infection to others.
If your symptoms start whilst travelling, stop and don’t continue your journey. Seek advice at the airport or from the place you are staying. There will be guidance available at all hotels, campsites, resorts etc.
You must self isolate immediately and if in the UK, make sure to book a COVID-19 test straight away. You can book an appointment on the Babylon app to speak to a GP, nurse or pharmacist if you need more advice.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.