What you need to know about travelling in the era of coronavirus - top 10 tips
Situation in the travel and tourism industry improves step by step: countries open their borders to tourists, more and more people think about booking their new travel. What you need to know about traveling around the world in the era of coronavirus without unnecessary health risks, read in the review of the Strategy2050.kz correspondent.
So, before taking your long-awaited journey:
First. You need to know where Kazakhstanis can travel.
To date, Kazakhstan has resumed international flights with Russia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Poland, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Egypt, Georgia, etc.
Also, visiting some countries is possible only with a special order allowing travelers to enter during the pandemic. This includes countries such as the UK, the Netherlands and Germany.
Second. Hotel reservations and sanitary measures
Many hotels have not yet opened. So before booking it is better to find out if a hotel you have chosen is working and if everything is functioning there. Also, do not forget about sanitary safety measures. Many hotels are introducing new formats for check-in and check-out procedures, applying new sanitary protocols. In addition, some hotels are decreasing the number of travelers to give visitors more space for social distancing. Therefore, don't be surprised if you arrive at a half-empty hotel.
Do not forget about rental of private houses and villas which are gaining popularity now.
Third. What things to take with you
COVID-19 has also affected the usual list of things that will have to be updated.
First of all, it is a face mask. The usual medical mask should be changed every 2-3 hours. Therefore, it is best to buy several masks at once with replaceable filters for all days of your vacation.
Further, there is an antiseptic for hands. It is convenient to alcoholize your hands with a sanitizer at any time of the trip.
Don't forget about antibacterial wipes. They need to wipe the surfaces you touch, such as an airplane seat or the handle of a suitcase.
Disposable gloves. An optional item in your luggage, but still it is one of the personal protective equipment. The main thing is not to forget to throw them into a closable tank if you touched something, and do not touch your face with your gloved hands.
It is also helpful to bring an antifebrile medicine and a thermometer to monitor symptoms at any time of your travelling.
Fourth. Conduct COVID-19 PCR testing, get medical insurance.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan has published information on the rules of entry and restrictions for Kazakhstanis who are going abroad.
Thus, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine require a PCR test certificate, the validity of which should not exceed 96, 72 or 48 hours (depending on the country you are entering).
It is not required to travel to Belarus, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan. But there is a 14-day isolation at home quarantine.
Also, an international insurance policy is required in some countries.
Fifth. Save documents electronically.
New hygiene and safety measures oblige us to adhere to certain rules to reduce the amount of papers. Therefore, it will be a plus if you save your documents (air tickets, hotel reservations, etc.) in electronic form so as not to carry papers. It's the same with money: cash in a pandemic is an extra risk. Multicurrency cards with e-wallets will avoid commissions when converting, and contactless payments are much safer than using bills and coins.
Sixth. How to behave at the airport
Different airports have their own security measures, so it is always safer to check with the official websites of the airports of departure and arrival. But certain protective measures have been introduced everywhere. Here are some of them:
Face masks. You definitely must wear a mask during the entire trip: at the airport, during the flight, right up to landing at your destination.
Temperature measurement: Non-contact thermometers and thermal imagers measure the temperature of everyone entering the terminal building.
Fewer terminals: Many large airports are closing some of the terminals to provide better security during the pandemic.
Social distancing: Airlines are changing seating arrangements in aircraft cabins, offering self-check-in instead of check-in, and redesigning their queuing system to maintain a safe distance between passengers. But in most cases, this point is not observed, especially in economy classes.
Reduced retail outlets: do not think that you will be able to shop in duty-free, as in the good old days. Many shops and restaurants at airports are now closed, with the exception of pharmacies.
Seventh. In the airplane.
You should choose seats in the first rows, since there is less foot traffic during the flight.
Choose a window seat. According to statistics, during short and medium flights, 38% of passengers do not leave their seats if they sit by the window. Most often, those who take seats at the aisle move around the cabin.
Direct the air flow towards your face, if possible, make it colder. The air in the ventilation system is cleaned, so it is better to breathe it.
Wipe down the folding tables and armrests with antiseptic wipes (usually distributed on board aircraft) or spray with antiseptic. Also, use an antiseptic to wipe down the surface of the carry-on baggage that you took with you to the cabin and the gadgets that you will use in flight.
Eighth. Rules for visiting public places.
And now you are finally at your destination. If your vacation involves only swimming and sunbathing, then everything is clear. But if you are in the mood for active rest and visiting public places, then in this case you need to think over the route in advance, find out about the working hours, precautions.
So, for example, from July 3, a visit to the Tretyakov Gallery takes place in sessions. Also, the number of visitors is limited: excursion groups of no more than 15 people. Working hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Sunday - from 10:00 am to 06:00 pm; Thursday, Friday, Saturday - from 10:00 am to 09:00 pm. Monday is a day off.
Ninth. If suddenly your vacation is canceled. What to do?
It all depends on the rules of a particular airline for the exchange and return of plane tickets. However, fees for voluntary returns are usually collected by both carriers and tour operators.
For example, Air Astana offers passengers who have received a positive PCR test for COVID-19 to refrain from traveling. These passengers can rebook the ticket without penalty.
The same applies to those passengers who decide to change the route or date on all international destinations.
Tenth. Quarantine after arrival
According to the new resolution of chief sanitary doctor of Kazakhstan Yerlan Kiyassov, citizens of Kazakhstan who arrived on international flights, in the absence of a certificate for COVID-19, received no earlier than 72 hours, are subject to isolation in a quarantine hospital for two days for laboratory examination for COVID-19.