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With borders slowly opening in most countries, I feel compelled to tackle this question since many of us are left with these very words in our thoughts and on our lips. Let us explore the options available to us and delve into how we will adjust to living in a new world, post Covid-19.
Being in the travel industry, I find that we are often now faced with question on whether travelling will become a tedious procedure, how will it affect the cost and the most important question, how safe will it be to travel? Suffice it to say that even though we are navigating unchartered waters, air travel still remains one of the safest ways to travel. For those who travel often, you would recall the plane being sprayed just before take- off. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), aircraft are equipped with filters that trap 99.9% of particles which include viruses such as the Corona Virus. In addition, fresh air from outside is circulated in the cabin every two to three minutes which is about the equivalent of the air you would breathe in an operating theatre at a hospital. We can also now rest assure that our tray tables, seats, windows and anything else that we may come into physical contact with, will be wiped down thoroughly according to the strictest hygiene policies that every airline has put in place.
During the lockdown, we witnessed domestic tourism on the rise. People were suddenly interested in exploring and discovering their own countries, their own cities. And with this there was a sudden shift in mindsets. People discovered that renting a home or “Staycations” as it is called was actually quite the adventure. Venturing out of their comfort zones, cooking on holiday as opposed to eating out for every single meal and more quality family time have become the new normal. We’re more likely to see this trend for a while as people, especially the older generation, will become more cautious when travelling farther from home. This, in fact, is quite positive in terms of boosting economies from within its borders and helping to rebuild countries in terms of infrastructure required to adapt to a more sustainable future.
So with the borders now opening up to international travel, let’s take a look at some of the procedures that may fall into place when setting out of your new adventures:
Hotels are among the hardest hit when it comes to services within the travel industry, with some well established chains having to declare insolvency or business rescue. For those who have survived, you can be certain that the most stringent measures have been applied in terms of sanitization and hygiene. Whereas each hotel will have its own unique procedures, note that they do follow rigorously the guidelines precedented by the World Health Organization (WHO).
So now that we have established the guidelines, what are the options open to us should we prefer to take the more intrepid routes? At the time of writing this article, most of Africa (with the exception of Algeria, Libya, Eritrea, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Mozambique, Botswana, Madagascar and Zimbabwe who are completely restricted), remain partially restrictive. As of 01 October 2020, South Africa along with Mauritius, Namibia and various other countries in Africa will welcome international tourists. Be prepared and stay informed on up to date information as these many change at any time. Use reliable sources when scouring the internet such as IATA travelcentre for country restrictions. Ensure that you only rely on a country’s and/or its embassy’s official websites for information pertaining to Covid-19 procedures and regulations.
2020 Is almost at an end. It has been a tough year to say the least, but it has made us a stronger, more resilient people. It has taught us humility and appreciation. And above all, it has taught us that life is far too short to waste on killing ourselves over what cannot be controlled, but rather to find new ways of crossing oceans and scaling mountains. So too, will we overcome this pandemic and once again savour the wonder and beauty of travel.
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