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3 Things You Should Know About Traveling During a Pandemic

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The pandemic has forced many travellers to cancel their plans – but what about those of us who have no choice but to travel for work? With frequent updates on travel regulations, travelling safely while abiding to travel restrictions during this pandemic can seem intimidating to many Albertans. Here are 3 tips to keep you safe as you start packing your bags. 


1. Plan out your trip

Having an itinerary before you travel can save you time, money and stress during your trip. Researching the hotels, places to visit, and transportation options can help you prepare for any necessary safety precautions you may run into while also lowering the risk of unexpected costs and changes to your schedule. Booking a travel consult with a healthcare professional can help you determine the safest and most cost-effective way to achieve your travel goals. When it comes to leaving and returning to Canada, things may look very different than what you saw before the pandemic. 

In the past month, the Government of Canada has announced several new mandatory requirements for those returning to Canada. Though you can find out more information about these changes in our article, What to Expect When Traveling During a Pandemic, some of these changes include the need to:

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 test result 
  • Self-isolate for 14 days upon return to Canada

With this in mind, it’s important to consider things like:

  • Where you will get a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to your departure flight
  • Where you will complete your mandatory 14-day self-isolation, and how you will get there from the airport
  • How you’ll get essential supplies such as food, and medications while in quarantine
  • How you’ll avoid close contact with household members

Being proactive in planning in advance will make you feel more in control of your trip.  At Mint, our pharmacists will not only help you ensure you’re prepared for your travel abroad but will also help ensure you get home safely as well!

 

2. Get vaccinated for travel-related diseases

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan in Alberta is based on a tier system that is based on your level of risk. Unfortunately, unless you are a healthcare worker who’s working in an intensive-care unit within a hospital or a long-term care facility, it is unlikely that you will receive the COVID-19 vaccine before travelling. But do not fret – keep reading this article for other strategies to minimize your chances of getting COVID-19

With that said, did you know the COVID-19 virus (and its variant strains) are not the only diseases that you might be at risk of while travelling? 

Hepatitis, rabies, tetanus, cholera, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever and traveller’s diarrhea are just some of the many travel-related diseases that thousands of travellers face each year while abroad. The risk of contracting a disease depends on the location of your travel destination, your health state, as well as other factors – so it is best to consult a healthcare professional to see which vaccines you may need before your departure. 

Whether you’re going on a trip to the US or Asia, make the smart decision to protect yourself (and your loved ones at home) by booking a travel consultation with one of our certified travel-health pharmacists.

 

3. Wear your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

 

Travelling, in general, can increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19, as it often requires you to be in close contact with others for extended durations of time. Wearing your PPEs, such as masks, is considered a vital way to keep yourself protected when travelling, but are all masks made equal? In short, the answer is no! 

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that your mask is: 

  • Snug –  Having a mask that is fitted can prevent gaps that can let infectious respiratory droplets in 
  • Layered  – This Will help to protect you and others from respiratory droplets
  • Nose Wired- Can help prevent contaminated air from leaking into your mask 

Outside of masking, it’s still important to follow other measures, such as:

  • Social distancing yourself 6 feet from others where possible 
  • Avoid those who are sick
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched areas

Our team of pharmacists at Mint can help ensure that you’re well equipped with the right PPEs before your travels.

Your questions are important to us, and we know travelling during the pandemic can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be, we’re always here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact your local Mint Health+Drugs to speak with one of our health experts at any time, or book a travel consultation through our website, our mobile APP (available on Android and iOS).  

References

  1. https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories/risk-levels-and-travel-advisories
  2. https://www.cicnews.com/2020/05/canada-refines-definition-of-essential-travel-during-coronavirus-0514270.html#gs.sj7ekx
  3. https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-travel-advice.aspx 
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/effective-masks.html 
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/face-masks-public-transportation.html 
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html