With the global outbreak of the coronavirus, COVID-19, all non-essential travel has been discouraged to high-risk places found here. For the UK, the government have outlined what they mean by 'non-essential' here.
Along with your hygiene, another thing to keep in mind is our social behaviour. In times of crisis, fear can feed discrimination as a method of collective coping. We should not let this viral outbreak also become an outbreak of unwarranted racism. Everyone is experiencing the same worries and concerns with public hygiene, so please be respectful of others, especially travellers and diaspora from affected destinations across the world.
Below, we’ve rounded up some tips and products that will help you ride out the outbreak in style and in health.
1. Wash your hands properly
This seems pretty straightforward, but doing it properly, means lathering up the hand soap and washing your hands thoroughly for 10-20 seconds. Make sure to get the tips of your fingers, the back of your hands and to turn off the tap with the tissue you use to dry your hands.
2. Stock up on hand sanitisers
A travel essential in all cases. Choose products that are alcohol-based with more than 60% alcohol. We’ve heard a lot of pharmacies have been selling out of these, so another good and affordable alternative is to bulk-buy 1.5l’s of antibacterial alcohol hand sanitiser and use a travel bottle set to take with you.
The virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! You will only contract it through your nose or mouth via your hands or through an infected cough or sneeze onto or into the same areas. So, masks are only helpful in using them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth… which we do 90 times a day without even realising!
Medical officials have also urged the public to stop buying surgical face masks, as it could risk a shortage harmful to public health officials caring for the sick. So we’ve put together a list of alternatives for your travels:
Soapland’s free mask giveaway on Instagram
4. Buy some zinc lozenges
Zinc lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve.
5. Pack disinfectant wipes
Bring some aboard to make sure the surfaces around your seat on the plane are safe. The air on the plane will not infect you; it’s all the surfaces around you, where these droplets land, that pose a risk. With that in mind, be diligent with what you’re touching.
Our favourites are Trip Wipes which are scented, individually wrapped and sustainable.
6. Keep handy some disposable gloves
Use latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves when going into the airport, boarding your flight - especially if coming into contact with destinations which have experienced high numbers of cases. Although many opt for blue, we love the black nitrile latex.
7. Check your travel insurance
Know what you’re entitled to: what’s your scope of cover? Will you get compensation? If you happen to be in a country that has an outbreak, will you be allowed to go home? Prepare for the unexpected.