Traveling after pandemic sounds a little bit scary, I know, but, fortunately, nowadays we start seeing a pale light at the other end of tunnel: there is already visible a relaxation of the restrictive measures, adopted by many countries during the last two months, making possible to re-consider traveling after pandemic.
2020 looks to be, already, known as “COVID 19 crisis year”; it was a really difficult one, with many people affected directly or indirectly. Here, you can get an updated situation about the evolution of pandemic around the world; it is frustrating and painful, but the only solution that we have is learning how to live with the virus, keeping our safety at the highest possible level.
First of all, I will try making a simple situation update:
- There is a general opinion that this year, most of travelers will prefer their home countries; situation will be uncertain during 2020, with a real possibility of seeing another peak of pandemic during the Autumn.
- Many international flights are still affected by travel restrictions. For many countries, we don’t have yet a specific deadline for lifting the restrictions.
- Because of imposed lock-down, most likely, there will be serious changes of our program (which include, also, holidays).
- Budgeting holidays is another sensitive matter: many people received financial damages. One of the first expenses that will be cancelled or reduced will be traveling expenses.
So, what can we do for keeping ourselves (but also our travel partners) safe while traveling? Taking into account the situation, let’s be focused on traveling after pandemic locally/in-country (because of my profile, I will pay even a deeper attention to outdoor activities). I will try making a selection of fair recommended measures and advises:
- I will start with some recommendations from World Health Organization (WHO), that are simple, well organized and regularly updated.
- If you don’t feel well, stay at home!
- Before leaving your home, please be sure that you won’t forget adding to your individual stuff: protective mask and gloves, hand sanitizer.
- Be prepared for self-catering. If not, it is good asking, in advance, the mountain huts along your trail (if any) if they provide meals (the best case scenario will be food-to-go).
- Get enough drinking water with you. If not, check carefully the existence of reliable fresh drinking water sources along the route.
- For the beginning, it would be great choosing some mountain trails that are close to your home town (don’t cross half of country for a 2-3 hours hike). Try finding less popular and busy trails (especially during weekends or holidays).
- For traveling from home to the starting point of your hike/trek it is good avoiding public transport. However, if you do it (or when you travel, in the same vehicle, with your trip partners), please be sure sure that you wear a protective mask.
- Be aware that the protective mask should be replaced when it’s damp (do not re-use single-use mask). It is very important to know how to put on, use and take off the mask.
- Wearing/Using of mask is highly recommended (sometimes, mandatory) whenever you enter in a public indoor place.
- Many specialists in epidemiology do not recommend using regularly protective gloves. Instead, it is much better washing regularly your hands, and using your hand sanitizer after.
- Be sure that you comply with the rules enforced by Authorities regarding: freedom of movement, requested documents (if any), maximum number of persons in group, specific limitations/restrictions for the area where you are hiking, sports allowed to be practiced.
- During the hike, it is recommend to maintain a minimum distance of 1,5 – 2 meters between team members. Also, a “social distance” should be maintained during stops/breaks.
- When you meet other hikers/groups along the trail, step off the trail, if necessary, to keep the distance.
- At the beginning, it is good taking into consideration one-day tours, with a lower level of risk and difficulty. Don’t forget that during lock-down period, we didn’t have too many options for keeping our fitness abilities at the right level. Also, most (if not all) of the mountain huts will be closed, as long as it’s very difficult putting in place the requested distancing measures.
- IN CASE OF ACCIDENTS, YOU MUST BE AWARE THAT RESCUE PROCEDURES AND OPERATIONS MIGHT BE DELAYED!
- Take into consideration hiking together with your family members (sharing the house with you) or friends that you were in contact with.
- If you decide, by any chance, having a multi-days tour, be sure that you prepare your camping equipment before going up in the mountains. Also, it is extremely important how an where we put on our tents.
- It is even more important than usual, packing out your own trash.
- Wild animals also had a change of their behavior. It was a good opportunity for them gaining back some of their territory, as long as there were less (or none) people around. There will be more chances meeting them at lower altitudes or popular places for hiking.
Updates about hiking and trekking in Romania:
- A state of emergency that includes severe limitation of movement will remain in place till May 14, 2020.
- Starting with May 15, it is expected a “relaxation” by replacing the state of emergency with a state of alert. More details to come soon.
- In accordance with the recent news offered by authorities:
- Movement within home town will be allowed without carrying a self-signed declaration.
- Movement outside of home town will be allowed ONLY for professional and medical purposes.
- INDIVIDUAL SPORTS WILL BE ALLOWED! HIKING, ROCK CLIMBING, RUNNING, CYCLING, FISHING, HUNTING AND OTHERS ARE INCLUDED.
- There will be maintained restrictions for group activities/meetings with more than 3 persons.
- Wearing protective masks when we are in indoor public places will stay MANDATORY.
Some valuable info and recommendations are provided (in Romanian) by Societatea Ghizilor si Liderilor Montani (SGLM).
If you look after some ideas for traveling after pandemic, you might consider: