How to Travel Safely in Scotland During Covid Scare
Is it safe to travel to Scotland now? While there is an alert for a new strain of Covid-19 emerging in the UK, Scotland remains to be one of the countries with the lowest recorded cases next to North Ireland. Comprehensive safety guidelines have been set for accommodations, restaurants, and transport services such as private Inverness taxis to stop the virus transmission. And with the hope of the Covid protection level 4 to be lifted soon, here are some general guidelines to follow for traveling locals and foreigners during Scotland’s Covid recovery phase.
Allowed Travels During Covid
Traveling cannot be fully banned despite the lurking epidemic. However, there are many restrictions that prohibit the operation of businesses in the tourist sectors. International travels from outside the country are also acceptable, but people arriving are required by the Scottish government on undergo a 10-day quarantine.
On the other hand, essential travels for health and medical care, childcare, education, and legal matters among a few others are generally permitted. Transport services are still available for essential travels, but it is the responsibility of the passenger and the driver to comply with the safety guidelines for public and private transport set to stop the epidemic from worsening.
So how can you travel safely in Scotland? With the probability to encounter friendly people who may be carriers of the virus, how can you protect your health? How can you have a safer road trip? Can you be free of Covid after using a public restroom?
Let’s find out together what you can do to travel safer within Scotland during the Covid pandemic.
Check Covid Protection Levels
Scotland is currently operation on 5 Covid protection levels. For instance, Inverness is now on a “Stay at Home” order, which is under the Level 4 Covid protection level. This means that the city is a high-risk area and people from other cities in the country with lower protection levels are discouraged to enter unless for essential purposes.
Inverness is one of the most visited cities in the country because of its inviting tourist spots and activity centers. Although tourism activities are prohibited in level 4 areas, sports and outdoor health activities are still generally allowed. The Highland council still lets residents go out and stretch to boost their physical and mental health during the pandemic. Hence, sports centers, cycling and walking routes, and golf clubs are open to accommodate locals.
Hotels and restaurants, on the other hand, are only open for essentials-related purposes. If the booking is work-related such as dine-in meeting at a restaurant or a traveling health practitioner checking in at a hotel, then it is allowed. Takeaway/deliveries orders are permitted for bars and restaurants. Tourists from other cities and countries will have to wait for the protection level to go down to 0-2 to be able to visit the Highlands again.
Grocery stores are open to provide the basic needs of locals. One can, however, opt to use errand services so they won’t have to go out. Inverness Taxis is among the operators in the city that offer grocery/medical errands. Pre-booking is advised, allow 2 hours for the items to reach your door.
To be safer, paying online using credit cards and other online payment channels is encouraged since money can also transmit virus. We want to keep our drivers and customers as safe as humanly possible.
The Highlands has one of the biggest business centers too. For the economy not to fail during this crisis, certain businesses are allowed to open. The workforce is then permitted to move within the city. The education sector is also open so students can still be seen outside.
Safe transport services like pre-booked Inverness taxis are recommended to make sure that traveling people for any of the abovementioned purposes are protected from the epidemic. Inverness Taxis, the city’s longest-running taxi service operator established the Safekab, which is equipped with Covid-compliant features like sanitizers and separators, to serve people who continuously need to go out of their homes. It also improved the responsiveness of its Inverness taxis booking app so people can get a safer transport means.
Use of Own Cars and Pre-Booked Transport Services
As we mentioned above, using your own cars or pre-booked transport services such as Inverness taxis can make traveling during the pandemic safer. Nobody else outside your household can use your personal vehicle, hence transmission is greatly prevented. Pre-booking taxis, on the other hand, won’t expose you to other people, which is the case in buses and trains as well as car-sharing services. Hence, private cars and Inverness taxi services are your safest options for transportation.
Traveling to other countries in the UK or overseas countries is greatly discouraged at the moment. However, when flights will be available again, Scotts need to seek out low-risk countries. Generally, wherever you choose to go, stick to areas with less crowded.
Also, there are certain activities that are considered row-risk such as camping and hiking. In these activities you won’t have to make too much contact with strangers so the spread of Covid is less likely. This is one of the reasons the Highlands attracted many visitors in 2020.
Getting on an Airplane
Airlines reduced their number or seating to comply with general Covid-safety guidelines. Airplanes also use a special HVAC technology to filter air it circulates. Strict disinfecting measures have also been implemented. Passengers aren’t allowed inside the plane unless they wear their masks and face shields.
Airports, however, are potential sources of Covid transmission. Passengers are then required to carry sanitizers and disinfecting wipes with them. Strict social distancing when queing up for counters, boarding, and deplaning is also observed. Higher caution should be observed too when using airport and airplane restrooms.
Visiting National Parks
We’ll have to say goodbye to castle tours for the meantime while Covid protection level 4 is still in effect. The castles in and near the city get a lot of viewing tourists, hence they are now considered high-risk areas.
Instead of going to see castles and national parks, consider visiting golfing clubs or cycling routes to do some stretching and exercise for a better well-being. Walking along Loch Ness 360 can also be beneficial for fresh-air breathing. Staying at home for too long can also take a toll on your health that is why the government allowed for outdoor sports and exercise.
Be sure to bring your food and water to avoid having to go through crowds in stores. There are breathable masks that can be bought so that you can still protect your health from Covid while doing some outdoor physical activities.
General COVID-19 Travel Safety Tips
It’s challenging to beat something we cannot see but it isn’t impossible to stay safe from infection when traveling. All you need to do is to know the safety measures that should be observed to stay protected from Covid. As we mentioned earlier, travels are still happening day by day in Inverness most especially that people still need to make a living.
So to be safe during this pandemic, remember to:
- Wear a face mask and face shield every time you go out. Studies show that masks can help prevent Covid-19 transmission. As you know, this virus can be spread through sneezing and coughing. It is even better if you go around with gloves since it was reported that the virus can survive on surfaces too.
- Always observe social distancing. In places where you need to be with other people, be sure to maintain a distance of six feet from them unless they are your immediate companions or household member.
- Review the Inverness local regulation on Covid-safety. For foreigners coming to the country for essential purposes like employment or attending funerals, it is mandatory to go through quarantine. For those who test positive when they arrive in the country, it is not advised to go back to your place of origin immediately and infect other travelers on your way back. It is then advised to go through proper treatment and isolation until you test negative.
- While there are hotels, restaurants, and parks that are open, do not assume that it is already safe to stroll around freely. Reiterating again, only essential travels are allowed as long as protection level 4 is in effect. We’ll never know when the city will be virus-free so always check on the local government advisory before planning any trips.
- Carry around disinfecting products like alcohol, sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, and wet tissues. If possible carry you own hand soap too. It can’t be avoided to touch surfaces as we travel outside. So always make sure to sanitize your hands and lessen the risk of infection.
- If you think you have the Covid-19 symptoms, then have yourself tested and go on isolation. Contact your local health practitioners to know how to be transported to the hospital if you need medical attention for your symptoms. Do not just go out and hail a cab as you’ll put the driver at risk too.
- If you need to travel for essential purposes, use your own car or pre-book Inverness taxis or the Safekab to avoid infection.
Covid-19 Traveling Key Takeaway
While we wait for the Highlands and the rest of the world to recover from the morbid effects of Covid-19, it is best for people to stay at home. But in cases where traveling is a must, one should always comply with local Covid-safety guidelines, which we summarized above.
This 2021, take advantage of safe transport services such as Inverness Taxis’ Safekab when you need to be outside for essential purposes. It lessens the possibility of transmission by following safety protocols and separating you from a crowded public transport vehicle. Spray door handles before touching them to be sure. And opt to pay through online channels to avoid making contact with your driver.
With these tips, traveling people can be safe from Covid.