When the world is gradually freeing itself from the clutches of the current pandemic, one question still prevails: will traveling be the same after lockdown? Well, not really! Everything is gonna change on its own; trains not providing bed sheets and towels, limited choices of plane seats, health check-up prior to and after traveling and many more. In this blog post, let’s look on 8 important aspects of travel after COVID-19 that have been transformed post lockdown.
- Expect a comprehensive check-in procedure
Remember the last time you boarded a flight? You just needed to screen your baggage and undergo a security check before you get access to the gate. It was just a matter of 45 minutes to an hour depending upon the rush. Unfortunately, things are going to change now! You may have to go through screenings of temperature check and heart and respiratory rate checks at the airport. Furthermore, wearing masks and gloves while avoiding trolleys as baggage have already been screening in various media ads. The airlines are also keeping their middle seats blocked to maintain social distancing during the fly. This means seat selection will also be restricted in case of web check-in.
- Passport won’t suffice
The airport rules are going to be more stringent in case of an international trip. If you are coming from a hotspot region, it is more likely that you need to carry a fit certificate declaring you are not suffering from any ailments which foster the COVID-19 virus in your body. These rules will surely vary as per the particular country’s regulation to which you are traveling to.
- Not all places are safe to travel
You have to keep a close look on the places as which ones are allowing travelers in their territory. Additionally, you also need to check whether airlines are operating to that place (or not) and if the hotels have opened there. The best suggestion in this regard is trying to explore destinations that are close to your home; an offbeat hamlet, a less-traveled route, or an untouched seaside. You will surely be surprised to find one such paradise near your home that you never imagine could exist!
- Can you make a budget itinerary?
Now, this is a tough question? The airline and hotel prices may or may not increase depending upon their necessities. While currently several attractive airline and hotel deals can be found for later part of the year, the expenditure curve tends to hit downwards for the travelers. But as speaking of the fuel price, no such assurance can be provided regarding its price drop or shoot. Nevertheless, shooting up of it will surely have an impact on the airline deals and fares.
- It is time to revise your travel insurance
Did you ever notice that the travel insurance does not cover the risks owing to the pandemic and similar hazards? Well, now its time that the airlines and insurance companies are going to revise their policies. Keeping in mind the current crisis, the insurance terms are going to be more flexible and strong. They will even allow flight cancellations owing to any reason up to several hours before the take-off. This will also skyrocket the selling of travel insurance policies both for the regular and intermittent traveler.
- We won’t wait for our bucket list to be fulfilled
COVID-19 has shown us how futile life can be. It has taught us to live in the present bothering less about the future. This realization will no doubt help us in achieving our bucket list as soon as possible. Check on your bucket list now and you may not wonder why it has been years since you have been planning to visit that dream destination of yours!
- Road travel will take more time
Though several individual states have been opened, many borders and areas are still under prevention. This will undoubtedly lead to a longer road journey while you are out on your car (which means your much-desired long drive will truly be a ‘long-long’ drive). But before you leave for one, make sure to check the tire pressure, battery and other car operations (like AC, sound systems etc.).
- No more heavy packing
Are you a light packer or otherwise? Do you keep on pondering at the airport that what might be inside that hefty trolley of your fellow passenger or how one can literally ‘travel’ with such a meager handbag? You are surely either of them; to add to it, airport authorities are only allowing one check-in bag and one cabin bag. Finally, it is time to decide what all you do not want on your trip!
Here is a quick look at the new guidelines implemented by the Indian Government on domestic and international travel:
- It is mandatory to have the Aarogya Setu application on the devices of the passengers. Besides, passengers, except children less than 14 years of age, need to show their app as ‘safe’ before entering the airport.
- States must ensure setting up of thermal screening platforms at the departure points of the airport, railway stations and bus stands.
- The travelers showing no past history of the same will be permitted to travel after giving an undertaking to self-quarantine for 14 days (mandatory for international travel). But passengers reflecting any symptoms of the same will be admitted to the dedicated COVID health centers of the states.
- In addition to the protocol of the above guidelines, international passengers need to submit a self-declaration form to the immigration desk at the airport. The form will be made available to the commoners through Aarogya Setu app.
- While regular disinfection and sanitization procedures must be carried out at the railway stations, bus terminals and airports, flight authorities have been asked to regularly disinfect the flight interiors as well.
- Passengers are advised to maintain social distancing while maintaining their personal hygiene by using masks, gloves and sanitizers.
- According to a statement by Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, if the novel coronavirus ‘behaves in a predictable manner’, international flights are likely to start operation by mid-June or end-July.