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Your Covid-19 questions answered

What precautions should I take when travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic?

31 December 2021 - 07:00
The WHO has issued some advice to those travelling during the pandemic. File photo.
The WHO has issued some advice to those travelling during the pandemic. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy

As South African travellers celebrate the country being taken off the US travel red list, the World Health Organisation has shared advice on how best to keep yourself safe and healthy while travelling during the pandemic.

It said that it is important to follow all Covid-19 prevention measures, such as wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, maintaining physical distance and avoiding crowded or poorly ventilated places.

“Travelling may place you in areas that are closed, confined, or crowded (the three Cs), which puts you at a higher risk of being exposed to the virus that causes Covid-19. Whenever possible, stay in open, well-ventilated settings. While travelling, practise prevention measures even if you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19,” it said.

It advised travellers to get familiar with the travel policies and rules set out by stations, airports, transport operators and travel hubs.

“Know before you go,” it added.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases further advised that all passengers wear face masks at all times and only remove them during emergencies or when instructed by cabin crew to take them off.

“A passenger who is unable to wear a face mask due to an underlying medical condition must submit a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner to the operator before departure.

A child under the age of two may be exempted from wearing a face mask. This is because masks can restrict breathing for small children as their airways are smaller than those of older children and adults.”

Passengers should present a negative Covid-19 test, recognised by the World Health Organisation, obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel.

“In the event of a traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative Covid-19 test, the traveller will be required to do an antigen test on arrival, at their own expense.”


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