More countries will open their borders as we learn to live with the COVID-19 Pandemic and life return to the “new normal”. As a result, more people will embark on overseas travels. Passengers will commute by aeroplanes, cruise ships, international rails and speed trains. But, before undertaking your next journey abroad, there are vital travel health tips that will help make all your overseas trips safer.
Travel health tips before your journey during COVID-19
- Check official government websites such as the CDC and Smartraveller for advice on travellers’ safety and emerging diseases.
- Consult your GP/ Family Doctor for a health check, and they will provide you with tailored travel advice.
- You will need travel vaccinations tailored to your travel destinations and health conditions.
- Print out a copy of your health summary and a list of medications to take with you on your journey. Also, have an emergency contact list and medical alert bracelets relevant to your health conditions.
- Buy comprehensive travel insurance, including a medical evacuation to your home country for treatment if required.
- Buy a First aid kit containing the relevant products for an injury or medical emergency.
- Make contingency plans for what you would do if you had to prolong your stay overseas longer than expected. Reasons for doing this may include travel restrictions, flight cancellations or testing positive for COVID-19.
- Most countries also request evidence of COVID-19 vaccination.
- Again, most countries and international airlines need evidence of negative COVID-19 tests done before and after your trip.
- Malarial prevention is essential for travel to regions with high malaria incidence.
Travel health tips during your journey overseas
- Wear appropriate facemasks and maintain social distancing as required.
- Practice safety-in-flight measures to lower the risk of leg clots. These include drinking enough water, reducing alcohol intake, and walking.
- You may need to show a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival.
- Drink only bottled water and avoid raw vegetables to reduce water-borne diseases like hepatitis A, cholera, and typhoid fever.
- Use seat belts and helmets when operating vehicles to reduce personal harm and deaths from accidents.
- Avoid animal bites to lower the likelihood of rabies and tetanus. Also, avoid bathing in still water.
- Use insecticide-treated bed nets and wear long-sleeved clothing to reduce the risks of malaria, Ross Virus, and dengue fever.
- Practice safe sex through the use of condoms and vaginal dams.
Travel health tips upon your return from overseas
First, most countries now require returned travellers to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of returning from overseas.
Also, you may be required to quarantine or isolate for seven days.
You should book a follow-up appointment with your General Practitioner on your return for a health check. Your doctor will enquire about details about your activities abroad, with the following points in mind:
- Did you comply with the use of malarial prevention medications?
- Were you exposed to wild animal bites or stung by insects?
- Did you engage in unprotected sexual activities?
- Do you have symptoms like post-travel fever, yellow eyes, diarrhoea, or skin rashes?
Afterwards, you will be asked to perform the necessary blood tests and receive the correct treatment tailored to your condition.
Such treatment may include follow-up vaccinations or medications.
As more international borders open, more people will head overseas. So, it will be essential to have travel health tips in place. That includes specific measures to take before, during and after your trips.
How has the current COVID19 Pandemic affected your travel plans?
Which travel health tips will you consider implementing during your next travel overseas?
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for your time.