Thinking Of Traveling? Take A Peek At These CDC Safety Tips First
Planning the details of a vacation can be stressful during an ordinary summer. Planning a vacation in the middle of a pandemic, however, raises far more serious concerns. How many people can go? Are hotels safe? Is it even smart to travel right now? Though it's mostly up to personal discretion, there are some critical recommendations to keep in mind amid COVID-19. Here's what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has to say about traveling and staying in a hotel.
Is it safe to travel now?
While businesses, including hotels, are beginning to open, COVID-19 still exists and is continuing to infect people. Consider these factors for travel, listed by the CDC, before planning a trip:
- The type of travel: The CDC notes that one type of travel isn't necessarily safer than others. It's important to consider airports, bus stations, and train stations may be crowded and, therefore, will increase the risk of infection. Personal cars and RVs are less risky than public transportation but still require certain degrees of caution, especially at rest stops.
- The place of travel: Check to see if the coronavirus is spreading to the vacation destination and what kind of health and safety guidelines the state and local government is implementing.
- The other people involved: Travelers thinking about visiting friends, family, or loved ones should consider the health status of those individuals, especially if they're at an increased risk of severe illness.
As for during travel, the CDC says travelers should keep these safety tips in mind, to keep yourself and others safe:
- Clean your hands often with soap and water, or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. This is especially important if you've been in a public place, touched a frequently touched surface, or before you eat.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Maintain 6 feet of distance with other travelers.
- Wear a cloth mask or face covering in public.
Once all of those factors have been considered and travelers feel comfortable planning their vacation, there are also a few guidelines when it comes to staying in hotels.
Can I stay in a hotel?
All 50 states in the U.S. have slowly begun to reopen but at different paces. Whether or not hotels are open will depend on where a person is traveling. To find out, either call the hotel or refer to this list on each state's reopening status.
The CDC recommends reserving a room and checking in online and opting for contactless payment and mobile room keys. This will limit the amount of in-person contact between travelers and hotel staff.
If mobile check-in is not available, they recommend finding a hotel that's equipped with plexiglass barriers at check-in counters. Also, call ahead of time to ask if the hotel staff is required to wear masks during work.
To make sure the hotel is sanitary, ask to see their updated policies on cleaning and disinfecting, especially with frequently touched surfaces (light switches, elevator buttons, remote controls, etc.).
During the stay
Travelers should wear masks anytime they're in proximity to other guests and staff or in shared spaces like the lobby or dining rooms. The CDC also recommends avoiding common spaces when possible.
When it comes to dining, opt for contactless room service delivery (if available), and try to avoid shared serving stations, like the breakfast buffet.
While travel options are becoming more available with time, it's important to continue taking safety precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Keeping the above considerations in mind, continuing to wear masks, washing hands frequently, and social distancing are still critical. For those who don't feel safe or comfortable traveling out of the home, plan these equally fun staycations.