7 Mar 2020
Diseases, natural disasters, political unrest: anything can happen when you travel. If one thinks about it, one does not move from home. Fortunately, this is not the case, even if, sometimes, giving up a trip, even if organized long ago, is the best solution.
SiViaggia interviewed Paola Guerra , founder and director of the International School of Ethics & Safety, asking her for some advice on how to behave in the event that a trip can be put at risk by unexpected events. In a previous interview we had anticipated a project aimed at travel agencies with specific leaflets for travelers. Here’s what he recommends.
How and where to find information on protecting your health while traveling?
“Traveling health is very important, when we work with companies we prepare them for this theme which is often overlooked: the organizational unit and the numbers to call in case of need (sometimes it is enough to have even the help of a doctor who speak your language to deal with a health emergency), the ongoing consultation of the Farnesina ‘Viaggiare Sicuri’ first aid kits, reporting periodic of your position to be able to intervene promptly, the correct eating behaviors.
In these days with regard to Coronavirus also the site of the Ministry of Health and that of the World Health Organization . We prepare leaflets and communication campaigns for the employees of the companies with which we collaborate; in fact, companies have the responsibility and duty to inform their employees about the risks and safety when traveling abroad “.
What factors should pandemic travelers consider?
“In the first place, undoubtedly, those who travel in high-risk situations, such as in the case of health epidemics, must rely on secure, reliable sources of information. The World Health Organization, the Farnesina, the embassies of your country are reliable sources. Unfortunately, not all government bodies in different countries demonstrate transparency and timeliness in information. You should not rely on social media and last minute information, word of mouth which is often strongly influenced by panic and fear.
Professionals who need to move for work can turn to their companies for timely information and risk indications. The safety of its employees is under the responsibility of the employer always, during a trip and also in his spare time. It is a responsibility but also a legal obligation. It is the company that must implement the safety measures necessary for the specific situation and for that area of risk. The risk assessment must include the risks related to health, accidents, the environment (earthquakes or calamities), terrorism, delinquency, just to mention the most important.
It is not uncommon in our job to be called by companies to assess the risks and come together, to the conclusion that it is better not to undertake that trip or that transfer, moving it for some time waiting to move in a safer perimeter ” .
What precautions should travelers take to avoid getting sick?
“Of course, there are all the tricks we are most used to: washing your hands very often , wearing masks if you are in the hot zone of the epidemic, not eating fresh food and using packaged water . And then common sense: using technological tools for a period of time, more conference calls and fewer trips … ” .
How do you recommend managing health emergencies in case of a pleasure trip?
“For our holidays it is important not to choose destinations at risk , it is a responsible approach that secures us first of all, our loved ones at home and our country and the rescue and intervention facilities.
If, on the other hand, you are abroad when a serious emergency health situation arises, the advice is to contact the Italian Embassy for timely information, activate a contact bridge (telephone, whatsapp, mail …) with your country. (family or friends) to give their position and to have direct information without filters, not to frequent crowded environments and not even hospitals unless strictly necessary, to use packaged food and drinks, to inquire about the fastest and safest ways to return. Never forget to buy a local SIM card , have cash available and save useful and emergency numbers in the phone book “.