The Thai Department of Health Services is offering tips for safe travel during New Year holidays, especially for protection against COVID-19, including the easily transmissible Omicron variant.
Head of the department, Dr. Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai, said that travelling together in the same private or public transport vehicle increases the risk of COVID-19 infection because people are together in a confined space for a long period of time.
There is also poor air circulation in vehicles and a likelihood that some of the passengers may not wear face masks all the time or may talk with each other during the journey.
Under such circumstances, he suggested the following tips:
- Wear face masks all the time and avoid talking during the journey
- Avoiding eating together while travelling in the same vehicle
- Do not share glasses, bottles, knives, spoons or forks
- Maintain social distancing
- Wash hands regularly with sanitiser
- Avoid touching common surfaces at rest areas
- On a long journey, stop the vehicle every hour and open the car windows
Before the journey, Dr. Suwanchai said that the travellers should assess their health via the “Thais Save Thais” or other health applications to make sure they are not at risk and have no flu-like symptoms and should take an antigen test.
Car drivers must check that their vehicles are in good working condition and apply sanitiser to all contact points on the vehicle, such as door handles and upholstery, he said, adding that car windows should be left open for better air circulation.
Those who have been in close contact with the infected, or who are suspected of being infected, should cancel their trip, get RT-PCR tests and isolate for at least 14 days.