Guide for travelling around the UK
Coronavirus has gripped the entire globe since its inception in late 2019. The nature of the virus has already affected thousands of people from every Continent, with little signs of slowing down. It has shut down borders, ground whole cities to a halt and created an unbalance in the world economy.
But what exactly is Coronavirus, and how does it affect travel?
What is Coronavirus?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – ‘Coronavirus…is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China’.
While the NHS considers the risk of this disease to be ‘low to moderate’, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued the virus with a ‘Pandemic’ status.
How is it spread?
While the exact nature of COVID-19 has not been uncovered, the spread is thought to be via cough droplets, which is currently the assumption based upon similar viruses.
The virus gives those affected symptoms which are seen to help the spread, which include: dry coughing, fever, and breathlessness.
But what steps should you take to ensure that you do not contract COVID-19?
Choose the best method of transport to avoid it
There is an obvious risk of catching the virus if you choose to take public transport, as with any method, but the risks are heightened due to the volume of people – especially in and around built-up cities.
Therefore we would not, at this stage, tell you to avoid using public transport (as you may need this to get to work), but be vigilant and follow the instructions issued by the NHS surrounding washing your hands, using hand sanitizer and avoiding touching your face.
We would, however, recommend that you try and find alternative methods of travel if possible, or remotely work if you have the capabilities to do so. Avoiding large crowds of people minimises your risk to some extent and means it would be harder to contract the virus.
For more information about preventative steps, click here.
What about driving?
There is an inclination for us to say ‘yes’ considering the isolated nature of driving; however, this has to be met with caution.
Driving can mean you are not exposed to large numbers of people, and therefore been seen as a safer way of travel, but there are some inherent risks of driving during this pandemic.
If you have any passengers in your vehicle, they are automatically in close proximity to you, which increases the likelihood of contracting the virus if they had Coronavirus. Confined spaces like hospitals and cruise ships are particularly risky places to be – the same logic can be applied to the cabin of a car.
In addition to this, the BBC has revealed that ‘experts think that coronavirus can survive on surfaces, possibly for days. So it is best to wash your hands regularly to help reduce the risk of infection and spread of the virus’.
So we would definitely advise using hand-sanitizer or soap either before you get into your car (to stop the spread if car-sharing), or to wash your hands directly after you have come out of your vehicle. This will help ease the spread and decrease your chances of contracting the virus.
This applies even if you have not had passengers in your car.
What is the advice to avoid spreading or catching COVID – 19?
*According to NHS
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work.
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available,
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
This applies especially when you use public transport – try to avoid high traffic areas; this means attempting to avoid putting your hands near or on heavily-used surfaces (i.e. railings or doors) to decrease your chance of exposure.
So, what is the best method of travel?
Anything that minimises your exposure to large crowds of people is advisable in this current climate – there are increased odds of contracting COVID-19 if you are commonly using public transport to travel around.
Therefore, driving yourself around presents a much smaller risk of picking up the virus, but ensure that you choose who gets in the car with you; anybody who displays mild symptoms of the Flu imposes an increased risk. But be careful and follow our previous steps, and you should be okay.
But according to the Telegraph, the best method of travel is walking: ‘It’s not always possible but the best way to get around virus-free is almost certainly to walk or cycle’.
Along with being the healthier option, walking outside, where there is airflow and open space will be much more beneficial for your safety against the virus.
But walking amongst big groups can still have its risks; so whatever method of travel you choose to use, make sure you follow the steps outlined by the NHS to stop the spread of this infectious virus, and stay vigilant.
If you decide to avoid public transport and choose to drive into school or work, but do not yet have car insurance. Then, get a quote from the UK’s most experienced telematics insurance provider.