Good Planning and good personal hygiene - the new essentials.
As summer approaches, countries are considering how to welcome tourists in line with the new health and safety standards. Besides, most people who have been confined since March because of the coronavirus are hoping and looking forward to travelling somewhere in the upcoming months.
If you're planning a long road trip and your country has relaxed its coronavirus restrictions, experts offer the following tips:
Strong recommendation: If you are not travelling with family members or relatives, we strongly recommend to use a face mask, to wash your hands regularly and to avoid physical contact.
In some countries such as Spain wearing a masks in both public (metro, bus, plane, train, boat) and private (car, motorbike) transport is now compulsory when travelling with people you do not live with.
PLAN YOUR ITINERARY
Now more than ever, planning is essential. Even if you are going to make your usual trip, you must be careful and well informed before leaving. Remember that you may experience unexpected changes or temporary closures.
Before you leave, calculate, plot your route, check the cities or countries you are going to cross. Also, read all the travel advisories and new rules. Some countries have already announced changes at strategic points such as tolls (a mail invoice if no electronic payment) or changes in opening hours for both resting and food areas.
Be aware of the latest specific country information and changes related to the Coronavirus.
PACK & SANITIZE
After planning, you will have to add the new essentials to your usual suitcases. This includes your normal necessities such as clothes, medicine, or snacks, but also hygienic products that are now fundamental for your health and safety. It is strictly recommended to bring hand sanitizer, community masks (comfort masks), disposable gloves, wet wipes, tissues and disposable plastic bags.
Good hygiene on the road is much like at home as washing hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating and after going to the bathroom). But this requires more attention at the busiest road stops, like public bathrooms and gas stations. Moreover, it is highly recommended for drivers to wear disposable gloves when pumping gas, rather than worrying about wiping the fueling nozzle itself.
In public bathrooms, please avoid touching surfaces such as door handles after washing your hands (to avoid the opposite effect). Tip: Use a paper towel to protect your hands after washing them.
EAT AND RESTING AREA
Some restaurants are resuming their service, but changes are expected, such as limiting the number of customers allowed inside and providing additional space between tables. For your health and safety, we advise you to bring your food and beverages to reduce physical contact and to avoid confined spaces. Another recommended alternative is to buy take-out food and eat in the car or open spaces.
Don't forget to wash your hands thoroughly after eating and to wear your mask, especially when keeping the social distances is impossible.
SLEEPINGAvoiding spending a night over on the way to your destination is the best option. However, if you need to spend the night somewhere, call, and book in advance. Some hotels are still closed, especially in large and usual tourist places. Nevertheless, many hotels located along motorways have gradually restarted their activity.
During these special times, hotels are also rethinking their approach to social distancing and sanitation. Many hotels and hotel services such as Airbnb have already announced increased cleaning and safety standards in the coming weeks and months. Contactless customer registration procedures or the use of hospital-grade sanitizer use seem to be part of the essential rules in this sector.