The new variant Omicron detected in some countries has caused chaos overnight and South Africans need to take caution. Picture: Pexels.
The new variant Omicron detected in some countries has caused chaos overnight and South Africans need to take caution. Picture: Pexels.

5 things South Africans need to do now to travel safely

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Nov 29, 2021

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The new Covid-19 variant Omicron detected in some countries has caused chaos virtually overnight, and South Africans need to take precautions.

While we are still on Level 1, President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned of a fourth wave, which could lead to the reinstatement of tighter restrictions on travel and gatherings.

If you do decide to travel this summer, here are 5 things you should do to ensure your safety:

Get vaccinated

While there are plenty of vaccine sceptics out there, people who want to venture out should do the responsible thing and get the jab. Vaccines at the moment are a personal choice but could be mandatory in the future for travel and other activities.

If you can get vaccinated, do so. For any health-related concerns, have a chat before getting the jab.

"Since the first Covid-19 vaccines became available late last year, we have seen how vaccines have dramatically reduced severe illness, hospitalisation and death in South Africa and across the world.

“Vaccines do work. Vaccines are saving lives," Ramaphosa said in his speech on Sunday night.

Mask up

Almost two years into the pandemic, mask-wearing should be second nature. Unfortunately, many people do not heed the regulations. If you have the privilege of travelling, you should ensure that you wear your mask at all times.

Mask wearing protects yourself and others from contracting the virus. Keep extra masks in your car, bag or anywhere convenient in case you forget yours at home.

Keep a distance

With the local government elections in South Africa, most people continued to socialise like they did pre-Covid. People began hosting mega-events without masks or social distancing. Maintain a 2m distance at all times while avoiding crowds and attractions that disregard Covid-19 regulations.

Sanitise and wash your hands

Always carry a bottle of sanitiser wherever you go to spray when you touch any surfaces. Sanitising and regular washing of hands are ways to help prevent the virus.

Ditch the crowds

Find remote, less populated destinations to holiday rather than places with a large number of travellers.

Opt for self-catering establishments, boutique hotels or accommodation at a national park. Or head to smaller towns scattered around South Africa.

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