With the vaccine supply ramping up, virtually all Canadians will have access to at least one vaccine dose by June. Dr. Theresa Tam said that extra layer of protection will allow some of the more stringent social distancing measures to be relaxed — but Canadians must continue to avoid indoor gatherings altogether until more people are fully vaccinated.
Canadians who have been vaccinated with one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can socialize with close family and friends outdoors over the summer months, Canada’s chief public health officer said, which makes some travel possible again. So for those suffering from cabin fever and itching to take a road trip, consider these expert tips for staying safe and lowering your risk of COVID-19 infection both on and off the road.
Before you go
When considering travel during the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want you to ask these questions:
- Is COVID-19 spreading in your community or the area you’re visiting? If so, you may have a higher chance of becoming infected or infecting others.
- If you or a loved one has an underlying condition that might increase the risk for complications from the disease.
And, of course, know all experts agree that “staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.”
What to Take With You
After planning, get your supplies in order. This includes products for keeping hands and surfaces clean and sanitized. Experts recommend packing hand sanitizer, disinfecting wet wipes, disposable gloves, sealable disposable plastic bags and tissues.
And you’ll want to wear a mask in all indoor public places, or outdoor spaces where you can’t maintain a 6-foot distance from others, so bring plenty of extras. Also bring a nice stash of water and snacks, allowing you to limit the number of times you need to stop for refreshments.
Pay for gas with cards, not cash. This eliminates the face-to-face interaction necessary for a cash transaction, and cards — unlike cash — can always be cleaned with a disinfectant wipe after use.
Be especially vigilant with sanitizing. Be careful not to touch fixtures like the faucet or door handle after washing your hands, which defeats the purpose of handwashing (instead, use a piece of tissue or paper towel to shield your hands after washing). And, of course, wear a mask.
Stopping For Meals
Experts agree that when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19, the lowest-risk way to dine out is through “drive-through, delivery, take-out, and curb-side pick up.” Seated dining is more risky, even with tables spaced 6 feet apart.
Staying in Hotels/Motels
Most reputable chains are touting new protocols that include stringent cleaning procedures for everything from elevator buttons to exercise equipment, making hand sanitizer with at least 60 per cent alcohol available, and, when guests are staying for multiple days, not cleaning their room daily unless requested (to limit contact). And more hotels are implementing contactless check-in and check-out, keyless entry (where you can use your smartphone to unlock your room), and moving lobby seating to keep guests apart.
Despite such cleanliness promises, it is still strongly recommended that you use your own sanitizing supplies on “high-touch” surfaces in your room. This includes wiping down exterior and interior doorknobs and handles; the TV remote and bathroom fixtures; and any surfaces on which you’ll rest your belongings, like tabletops or the area around the bathroom sink.
Do not contribute to the ongoing spread of COVID 19 unless the health experts in your area agree that conditions are conducive to travel and that you, your family and all other travels can do so safely.
If you are planning on taking a road trip, click the button below and schedule an inspection to make certain your vehicle can safely make the trip without any breakdowns or uneccesary stops.