International SOS has warned travellers to be careful and consider the risks involved when travelling as the highly contagious Omicron variant emerges as a significant threat disrupting travel confidence in Asia.
International SOS’ Jamon Ngoencharee said: “It is vital that employers continue to share up-to-date advice to help their employees travel safely. Don’t overlook the simple measures that decrease Covid-19 risk – masks, social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding crowds – don’t drop your guard.”
Top tips for safe travel
Get vaccinated against Covid-19. As soon as you are eligible, get your booster when offered. An annual flu jab will help protect you from circulating influenza viruses. Don’t forget to wear masks wherever required, avoid large crowds if you can, social distance whenever possible and keep washing your hands.
Maintain flexible itineraries. It’s a good practice to keep departure and return times/routes as flexible as possible. Contingency plans are more important than ever, as travel restrictions may be imposed at short notice, or you may need to self-isolate.
Stay on top of the latest travel restrictions in the wake of the Omicron variant surge in Asia and the related changes in travel rules. It is important to check which specific restrictions may impact you, particularly as this can vary based on vaccination status and nationality. Understand if pre- or post-departure Covid-19 tests are necessary, if there are any self-isolation or mask requirements or whether you have to download a digital health pass to verify your vaccination status.
Timing is everything. Build-in additional travel time to reach your destination due to additional and changing travel requirements and procedures. For international travel, there might be new forms to complete or extra health checks. It is also likely that transit hubs and roads will be more congested due to the increased volume in travel during the festive season.
Be Crowd Safe. When we travel, we can frequently encounter queues and crowds. This is often the case as passengers have to go through additional Covid-19 checks. Once at your destination, you may also experience large crowds at festive events like markets or religious services. It is important to be crowd safe: stay vigilant, keep valuables secure or out of sight, also identify your closest points of exit and abide by local directives if an incident does occur.
Eat, drink and be informed. With numerous restrictions still in place, the key to travelling successfully is to keep informed of the most up-to-date information and any emerging developments. This is particularly important for international travel, as restrictions still vary significantly from country to country and can be imposed with little notice.