How to travel safe this Easter: Expert advice on dodging Covid-19
Uber is using facial recognition technology to enforce mask compliance
South Africans are being urged to put health first this Easter, by following Covid-19 safety protocols during the holidays to avoid a resurgence.
Initially anticipated to arrive in the beginning of the winter season, May or June, there is now concern that the Easter holidays could spur on the third wave of Covid-19 infections as early as mid or late April.
“Spending time with family and friends socialising is good for the mind and soul. However, with the current Covid-19 situation, we encourage every individual to make responsible choices and decisions to protect themselves, their families and members of the public,” said Dr Charl van Loggerenberg, general manager of emergency medicine at Life Healthcare.
“Our hospital staff and health-care workers have given their absolute all over the past 12 months in caring for those infected with the virus. By making the right safety choices and behaving responsibly this Easter, we can also help alleviate the strain on our hospitals and health-care workers with fewer infected patients.
“Consider your health and the wellbeing of others as a top priority as we enter the holidays.”
If you are travelling, he advises:
- Before using any public transport, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and do the same when stopping for rest breaks and when you arrive at your destination;
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth whether in a car, taxi, bus, aeroplane or in public places;
- Have the windows open while travelling in vehicles;
- Carry a travel size hand sanitiser or alcohol-based hand wipes with you and use regularly after touching surfaces;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Be mindful of covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a rubbish bin and wash your hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser.
When out and about:
When shopping, visiting museums, markets, cinema’s or gathering indoors, Van Loggerenberg says:
- wear a mask over your nose and mouth;
- stay at least one to two metres away from other members of the public;
- avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces;
- avoid touching surfaces in public areas;
- sanitise your hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitiser;
- stay outdoors where there is good ventilation; and
- limit the number of people at social or religious gatherings.
No mask, no ride
If you are catching a lift to a function, Uber SA advises people to always wear a face mask before getting into a vehicle.
The company says it has adopted facial recognition technology to help confirm that drivers are wearing a mask.
It also advises that you be a back-seat rider, as this encourages physical distancing between yourself and the driver.