January 12, 2021

A safety guide to long haul travel during a global pandemic

A safety guide to long haul travel during a global pandemic

With the availability of a COVID vaccine, long haul international travel will soon become possible again. Countries like France, Singapore, and Thailand, have shown interest in opening up their borders for international travellers. However, the pandemic is far from over. Herd immunity can only be achieved if a majority of the population is vaccinated - which, as we know, is going to be a long and arduous process. While the whole world is working hard to get back to pre-covid times, here are a few ways in which you can ensure your safety on a long haul flight:

Contactless check-ins: When passing through an airport, you are constantly handing over documents to airport officials such as check-in assistants, immigration and security officials, and airline boarding staff. While coming into contact with immigration and security officials is inescapable, there are many occasions when physical contact is completely unnecessary. Voyage Manager’s vault services store all your necessary documents like your passport, boarding pass, tickets, vaccine documents in one place — making them easily accessible during the flight boarding process.

Being aware of High-risk locations: After a long and strenuous lockdown across the globe and the promise of a vaccine, countries and governments are moving towards an unlocking phase. However, in these conditions, some countries will fare better than others. Various factors such as a country’s population and its ability to purchase and administer vaccines efficiently will determine whether it will have a smooth transition out of the pandemic or not. Inefficiency during this period can lead to an increase in infections and the spread of the virus, making the country more dangerous to travel to. In such a scenario, it is crucial to determine whether the country you are travelling to is taking active measures to step out of the pandemic safely or not. With Voyage Manager’s destination guides, alert library and compliance monitoring services, you can ensure that none of your employees travel to unsafe countries.

In defense of layovers: While taking a non-stop flight to minimise contact is the most obvious choice. David Freedman, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Alabama suggests that flights longer than 14 hours might be worth breaking up under the right conditions. Ultralong flights increase the probability of passengers taking their masks off to eat, drink, or simply take a breather; hence, making it easier for the virus to transmit from infected passengers. It is also worth noting that on longer flights there is a much greater chance of bathrooms becoming contaminated with the virus if anyone onboard is infected since on shorter flights more passengers are likely to avoid the lavatory altogether. Hence, if the situation permits it, you should look at breaking up a long flight into two or more shorter flights with layovers at a relatively less crowded airports.

The pandemic has completely changed how we travel. The extra measures that one has to take to ensure safety adds to the stress of a long haul flight. However, it is still possible to take some of the stress out of long haul travel. With features like the vault, travel insights, etc; Voyage Manager brings all your travel data and advice together in a single platform.

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