Covid Delta variant: What precautions can UAE residents take if travelling this summer?
Precautions and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour are the need of the hour, say doctors.
Fully vaccinated individuals in the UAE can pack their bags and travel quarantine-free to some countries, but they must adhere to precautionary measures wherever they go, medical experts have said.
With an ever-evolving pandemic, especially with the detection of the Delta variant in nearly 85 countries, Emiratis and UAE residents must consider extra precautions when travelling, irrespective of what the norms are in the country they plan to visit.
Also, unvaccinated people have been urged to reconsider travel plans, as they are susceptible to greater risk of contracting the virus.
Dr Rasha Alani, specialist family medicine, Medcare Medical Centre, Al Khawaneej, Dubai, stressed that fully vaccinated people must continue observing precautionary measures to protect themselves and others.
“If you’re fully vaccinated, you’re less likely to get and spread Covid-19 but international travel can still increase your risk of getting new variants. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you should avoid travel until you’ve been fully vaccinated, when possible,” said Dr Alani.
People must not forget to wear their masks when holidaying or attending business meetings abroad either, experts advised.
“Watch your health closely before and after your trip and check your temperature. Make sure to use a face mask during your trip, even if the destination country rules do not require it. Use your own equipment and do not share it with others. After returning, make sure of your test results and watch if you have any symptoms,” she added.
Dr Sarla Kumari, specialist physician and diabetologist, Canadian Specialist Hospital, Dubai, noted that, with summer vacation starting for school students, families — including children — may plan to fly out and take a break. However, they must not let their guards down.
“This is the time for many people to travel to their home country or tourist places. Many countries have opened their borders for quarantine-free travel. But doing so amid the pandemic requires lots of caution. If possible, avoid travel until you’ve been fully vaccinated. If you must fly out, take every precaution to protect yourself and others,” said Dr Kumari.
Doctors have suggested a host of precautionary measures to be taken apart from wearing masks always, avoiding crowded places and maintaining safe distance.
Checklist of precautionary measures
* Check local requirements of the destination you plan to travel
* Even if you are fully vaccinated, wear a mask on planes, buses, trains and other public modes of transportation
* Try to avoid eating or drinking on public transport as you will need to remove your mask
* Note down the contacts of healthcare facilities and emergency medical services
* Avoid crowded places
* Maintain physical distancing
* Use hand sanitisers or wash your hands often
* Carry disinfectant wipes
* Opt for cashless payment wherever possible
* Be alert in all public places and avoid people who are coughing and sneezing
* Keep a thermometer handy and use it
* Stay updated on the latest developments and restrictions in the country you plan to visit
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