COVID pandemic has changed not only the way we live and work but also how we travel.
Most travel lovers who are thinking to travel in India in the new normal, are worried again after seeing the recent development of an increasing number of Covid positive cases in the country.
A country with a billion people and diverse cultures, India is a heaven for all those looking for a unique experience. Be it the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas, the deserts of Rajasthan, or the metropolis of Mumbai, this country will leave a lasting impression on you.
But there is one question that has come to every traveler’s mind is, can you travel in India in this pandemic?
Can You Travel in India in This Pandemic?
The answer is YES. Yes, You can travel in India.
Like many countries around the world, India has implemented ‘New Normal’ policies for travelers.
If you are planning to travel, then you should try and learn about effective ways to keep yourself healthy and safe. You have to follow the guidelines given by the Government of India.
Aside from the local government’s health protocols, travelers should take preventive measures to protect themselves and the people around them.
If you are traveling in India, be a responsible traveler and kindly read and follow the rules given below about Health and Safety protocols.
Rules for travelers :
a) Compulsory quarantine for 7 days on arrival
b) Mandatory temperature check and thermal screening as per protocols
c) Mandatory to present a negative PCR test certificate carried out less than 72 hours before departure
d) Recommended to download the Arogya Setu App
Exceptions may apply, check full details here
Travel Essentials for Travellers in the ‘New Normal’
The below guide takes you through everything you need to know from planning a safe trip to visa and passport essentials to travel insurance to what to pack, etc.
1) Packing Essentials
One important thing that this pandemic has taught us is to always take precautions.
Hand sanitizer – Hand sanitizers typically have an alcohol concentration of around 60%. It has been observed that hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol concentration can inactive the coronavirus.
Despite the availability of sanitation stations, it’s advisable to carry your own sanitizer in case you run into an emergency.
Gloves – You should keep your hands from getting contaminated. To do that, use gloves that can prevent your hands from getting contaminated. Remember to carry a bunch of gloves due to their disposable nature.
N-95 masks – The N95 mask is a global-standard respirator mask and can filter out at least 95% of very small particles. It is also capable of filtering out all types of pathogens, including bacteria and viruses.
With the mandatory use of masks across airports and all forms of social interactions, it’s mandatory that you carry an N95 mask with you.
Portable charger – We all understand the value of staying connected in this pandemic.
As travel in the Post-COVID world moves towards a more contact-free and digital experience, it’s important that you always carry a portable charger when you travel.
First-aid Kit – Carry a first-aid kit with yourself to prevent unnecessary trips to the hospital. Take a digital thermometer to keep a regular check on your body temperature.
Ziplock bags – Use zip-lock bags to isolate items that you will not be using again. This will prevent any possibility of cross-contamination.
Extra clothes – While catching the airborne virus can be prevented by wearing masks and social distancing, carrying an extra pair of clothes just minimizes the risk that much further.
Opt for Cashless Transactions – We are getting used to practicing social distancing during COVID-19. We can continue to do so while we are traveling and limit contact by opting for cashless transactions.
Besides credit and/or debit cards, you can use electronic money, which you can purchase and top-up at the nearest mini markets or supermarkets. This will make it easier and more convenient for you to travel.
2) Health & Hygiene
The most essential thing to do to protect yourself while traveling is to strictly follow all the health protocols throughout your journey.
Always wear a mask – You can’t be too careful. From the moment you step out to visit your favorite destination till the time you come back, make sure to wear a mask.
Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease and is air-borne, you should wear a mask in public to prevent getting infected and spreading it to others.
Maintain distance and avoid close contact – When someone coughs or sneezes, or speaks they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus.
Maintain at least 6feet distance between yourself and others.
Avoid Overcrowded Spots – Even in the non-pandemic context, overcrowded spots can be a bit inconvenient to some people.
Doing some research to find an overlooked gem would make your trip safer and unforgettable.
Wash your hands frequently – Wash your hands with soap regularly to remove pathogens. You can also use alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol to kill bacteria and viruses.
Clean and disinfect surfaces – Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant. Cleaning with soap and water reduces the number of germs and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
3) Travel/Health Insurance
Travel insurance is now going to become more important. Whether it’s regarding flight cancellations or medical emergencies, insurance while traveling is going to play a major part post covid pandemic.
There are 5 major types of insurances available for you to consider:
Medical Insurance – Medical insurance covers the cost of transportation in case of emergency medical evacuation, due to injury or sickness. Some medical insurances also cover COVID-19 infections should you get infected after the effective policy date.
Flight Delay/Cancellation – Flight delay/cancellation insurance pays for new travel arrangements/flight tickets and in some cases, accommodations and meals. This depends on your provider so read your policy carefully.
Trip Cancellation – These insurances cover you if you were to cancel your trip due to unforeseen circumstances such as injury, illness, or death suffered by the insured or a member of the insured’s family.
Baggage Loss – Baggage loss insures you in case your luggage is lost. It sometimes includes a cash payment if your bags are delayed for more than 12/24 hours after you arrive at your destination.
Travel Document Protection Travel document protection insurance covers you so that you can replace a lost passport or other travel documents. Sometimes you have to pay upfront for your medical services, which will then be reimbursed by your insurance company.
4) What to do in an Emergency
Seek medical attention if you have any of the following symptoms:
a) Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
b) Troubled breathing
c) Bluish lips or face
d) Inability to wake or stay awake
If you think you have been exposed to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or have any of the symptoms mentioned above, seek medical attention immediately.
How To Travel?
- When going on a road trip, make sure you have all the information regarding entry requirements, COVID guidelines, etc on the destination.
Make sure you have your face masks and sanitizers at all times. When shopping for meals, choose restaurants that are safe, or carry your own meals during the trip.
- When going for a trek, make sure you check the packing list provided by your operator.
Some operators may also want you to carry your own tents, sleeping bags, and utensils. if not, ensure that your sleeping bag is not exchanged with other trekkers in the camps.
- When taking a flight to a destination, check all the entry requirements and restrictions of the destination.
You might need a permit, registration, or COVID negative certificate for entry. Make sure you go through the guidelines of the airlines. They might need you to carry an extra document or masks, shields, etc.
Make sure you are wearing gloves, masks, and have hand sanitizer in your handbag.
- When using trains and public transport, ensure you adhere to social distancing at all times when boarding, in the vehicle, and while deporting.
Always wear your mask when on the train or public transport and sanitize your hands regularly to minimize the chances of catching an infection.
- When choosing your stay and destination, check for the following things
a) Does the destination require any passes or certificates?
b) Does the destination have any mandatory quarantine rules in place?
c) Will you require a return ticket booking to enter this destination
d) Will you need a confirmed booking at a hotel or resort for entering this destination?
e) Is the accommodation following all the safety guidelines and measures?
f) Does the accommodation check their guests for COVID symptoms during check-in?
- When packing for a trip in the new normal, ensure that you have the following in your bag.
-> Hand Sanitizer
-> 3 or 4 Masks
-> Extra clothes to wear while traveling
-> A medical kit which includes medicines for fever, cough, sore throat
India may be gradually unlocking, but the recovery of travel, and the future of millions of people associated with the tourism industry, is still uncertain.
Here is how travel trends will look like in 2021
1) Road trips – In a recent survey, almost 60% of travelers said they would prefer traveling by road in their cars rather than on flights, trains, and buses.
2)Staycations – Demand for staycations in luxury resorts has gone up 2 times in the past few months since travel has started resuming.
More and more travelers are choosing to stay at luxury resorts and indulge in in-house and local experiences provided there.
3) Workstations – It has been more than years since the country went into lockdown and people started working from home.
The exhaustion of the monotonous routine of work from home has resulted in an increasing demand for workstations in the mountain and at the beaches.
4) Outdoors and adventure – As outdoor activities and experiences allow travelers to abide by social distancing and stay safe in nature, the demand for outdoor activities has exponentially increased.
Congratulations! By following all the above-mentioned tips and guidelines, you can protect yourself and others around you while traveling in the ‘new normal’.
Now, the last thing you need to do is share your travel story through social media and inspire your followers to be wise travelers, just like you.
Don’t just tell them about the wonderful destination that you visited; let them know how you managed to protect yourself along the way.
Traveling is fun, but being able to enjoy your trip without ignoring your safety, and that of others, would really be a great experience. Travel tomorrow, but travel responsibly.
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If would like to travel in India do read Best Tourist Places In Goa To Visit In 2021 and Best Places to Visit in Mumbai With Friends in Summer. It may make your journey life-changing and unforgettable.