What Counts as Essential Travel During the Covid-19 Lockdown?

The COVID-19

outbreak has introduced us to live a new kind of lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle riddled with restrictions, and traveling is one of the most significant no-nos.The lockdowns have been in practice around the globe to help contain the virus and to stay safe. The alarming number of increasing cases has led countries to enforce safety guidelines, and restrictions on traveling are one of them.

We are all well aware of social distancing by now, which means we need to be 6 feet apart from each other to protect ourselves from catching the virus. You must also stay at home as much as you can and travel only when necessary. However, there are some instances in which it is necessary for us to travel.

Countries are only allowing travel under these essential circumstances. In this article, we will discuss what constitutes essential travel during the COVID pandemic:

What is Essential Travel?

Before 2020, no one gave a second thought to restrictions when traveling within or outside the country. Travelling was always a personal choice; however, in the wake of the current situation, our movement has been limited. Initially, all travel was prohibited; airlines, railway, public transport, and private transportation were all off-limits.

Only emergency and special flights containing stranded or sick citizens and official personals were being operated. Since June, some countries have started to relax international travel restrictions, but most of them are encouraging people to travel only when absolutely necessary.

Here is what constitutes essential travel within and outside the country:

  • Shopping for Groceries and Medicine

You are allowed to go out to shop for necessary items, including grocery, medicine, and other daily use commodity items. However, it is advised that you must not go out frequently and buy enough supplies to last you for at least two weeks.

Public transport is still not allowed in a lot of countries, and the government has specific rules and timings in the countries where public transport has resumed. Therefore, check with your local
government before proceeding to go out.

One must keep in mind that they should avoid carpooling and only travel with people they live with to transmission ofthe virus. It is better if only one person from the family goes out to shop. Traveling in your own vehicle is best; if you don’t have one, you may use public transport, but make sure to follow the SOPs.

  • Outdoors

It is unrealistic to assume that people will stay indoors at all times. Many people go out to take a run around the block, walk their dog, play a game of catch with their kids, and so on. If you are wondering whether you can continue doing these activities, then yes, you can. You can go outdoors but with a few limitations. It is recommended that you stand at a distance of at least 6 feet away from another person. Choose a time
when the area is not populated and wear a mask at all times.

  • Helping Purposes

You can also go outside and travel to help others who are having difficulty in managing their everyday work due to the COVID-19 restrictions. You may go out to drop food or medicine in your neighborhood or for the elderly as long as you follow the SOPs.

Take care of the following when you are going out to help:

Stay safe while volunteering

Help in a contact-free way

Drop items at the doorstep so the concerned person can collect from there

Try to avoid visiting indoors at someone else’s place

Try to wear protective equipment if you expect to get in contact

Immediately take a shower and wash your clothes after coming home

Sanitize your hands constantly

  • Health and Medical Reason

You can also travel and leave your house if you have a medical need. While most health care providers are providing online consultations, some medical procedures cannot be performed online. Moreover, although all elective and delayable medical procedures have been postponed, emergency medical procedures cannot be avoided, and hence you are allowed to get the medical help you need.

You must take care of the following:

Avoid visiting the hospital’s emergency room. Make an appointment before you visit.

Follow the local government and hospital SOPs

Make sure to maintain your distance and wear a mask

  • Work

Traveling to work is mandatory in some professions; doctors, nurses, other care employees, pilots, bus drivers, and janitors, etc. cannot work from home. Therefore, travel is allowed for all such professionals. When traveling for work, remember to follow the SOPs to remain safe.

  • Other Reasons

The policies indicate that people can leave their houses if there is a threat to their security or if they want to avoid any abuse or violence. Moreover, necessary traveling may also include work-related travel, pension collection, social services, legal services, and similar services.

For people who want to shift their houses, it is advised to delay the plan; however, if it is necessary, then they can do it. Moving to your personal house or to your parent’s house is also allowed. Religious ceremonies are not permitted; however, families can visit the funeral (as per the SOPs) if someone has passed away.

Acquiring cleaning services like Carpet Cleaning is also allowed. Maintenance staff can come to your place provided you, and they both show no symptoms of COVID-19. SOP’s are being followed by these services, which you can check on their websites. Freight is also considered as an essential activity, and so freight workers can also continue their work.

Final Thoughts

Worldwide, restrictions are being eased, and people are moving more freely as compared to the initial lockdown. However, people must stay vigilant and try to stay indoors as much as possible. Do not go out unless necessary. The above article highlights when you can travel and when to avoid outdoor exposure.

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