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Travel advice for travelers during the COVID-19 outbreak

The current coronavirus outbreak, COVID-19, has infected over 45,000 people and is wreaking havoc across China and many other countries including Singapore. The outbreak now affects 28 countries and territories and could increase in the very near future. Official figures from the WHO confirm over 1,100 people have died as a result of contracting the virus.

Health officials in Singapore reported the island city-state’s first case on 23 January 2020. At the moment of writing, there are 58 confirmed cases on the island, with no deaths yet reported. If you are traveling alone, with the family, or on a business trip, it is recommended to seek the best travel advice before heading abroad.

In this article by Pacific Prime Singapore, we will provide you with some travel advice to follow before you disembark from Singapore.

Individual health insurance blog

Travel advise for expats and residents living in Singapore

At Pacific Prime Singapore, we have compiled some meaningful advice for our readers to take on board.

Check out reputable sources

  • There are a number of sources to help keep you informed on the latest updates. We would recommend checking out the Ministry of Health for continued updates on the COVID-19 outbreak. The site provides information, stats, and updates within Singapore. Additionally, travelers can seek further updates from the World Health Organization (WHO). On the website, you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current COVID-19 outbreak. The WHO works closely with global experts, partners, and governments to exponentially increase the scientific knowledge on this new virus.

Get a health check-up

  • If you have pre-existing conditions, then you are deemed more susceptible to infection. Thus, before travel plans are made, it is advisable to arrange an appointment with your local doctor for a health check-up. Your health should be stable and any worrying symptoms should be observed and treated.

Contact your travel agent or airline for updates

  • If you had booked tickets in advance through a travel agent or airline, it is best to get in touch with them again before your departure. Request for the latest advice on any local travel restrictions from Singapore or local authority guidance for preventative measures.

Remain calm and follow instructions

  • If all the above have been followed and you feel your travel plans can go ahead, you should be aware that there may be enhanced screening or thermal monitoring at entry and exit ports. When traveling, it is important to remain calm and vigilant. Always follow instructions from staff and understand that procedures are in place for everyone.

General advice for preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus

If you are already on your travels, then the following points will help in protecting you from contracting the COVID-19 virus.

Wear a face mask

  • Invest in a suitable face mask to wear. These will help prevent water droplets from an infected person being inhaled. Additionally, they act as a physical barrier to prevent us from touching our mouth and nose.

Wash your hands thoroughly

  • Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and lukewarm water for at least 20 seconds. Always remember to have the water run straight off your hands, including the back and front, wrists, and in between webbings. Dry hands fully using disposable hand towels.

Use hand sanitizer

  • If you are unable to wash your hands within a suitable facility, then applying an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will suffice. This is advisable during your travels when in public and using certain transports like buses, planes, and trains.

Keep your hands away from your face

  • Whether or not your hands are clean, you should avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Surfaces are often full of germs and harmful microorganisms that can easily be transferred if you mistakenly touch those areas mentioned.

Stay away from ill people

  • By all means, you should avoid close contact with people who are sick and unwell. Not only could you contract whatever they are suffering from, but you could make them iller. This is why, if you feel unwell, the best advice is to stay home to monitor any symptoms and not attend work or visit people in public.

Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing

  • Have tissue available to use if you sneeze or cough, and dispose of in a bin. Don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and lukewarm water after.

Wash your clothes thoroughly

  • When returning home or to your place of residence, the advice is to remove your clothing and wash them thoroughly using the most appropriate detergent and setting.

Check if your travel insurance covers you against COVID-19

  • Check the impact the COVID-19 outbreak will have on your travel insurance coverage, including but not limited to emergency medical evacuation, medical costs, or any new restrictions on travel. The gold-standard travel insurance policy will offer the option to “cancel for any reason” or “cancel anytime”. Our advice here is to fully understand the terms and conditions of your policy and know what does and does not apply. This is why it is best to seek the support of an insurance brokerage firm such as Pacific Prime Singapore, who will compare the policies available and explain fully, the details that matter to you.

Get in touch for a free consultation

Visit the Pacific Prime Singapore website for more information about travel insurance plans and more, including global medical insurance for expats and residents in Singapore.

For more information, we encourage you to view Pacific Prime’s guide, outlining the key facts and prevention methods against the novel coronavirus.

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