How Can You Protect Yourself During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak When You Travel?
Thinking of travelling during the current COVID-19 outbreak?
Following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the spike of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, the Prime Minister of Malaysia has announced a Movement Control Order (MCO) on 16 March 2020 as a measure to curb the outbreak. At this juncture,this Order will take effect from 18 March 2020 to 12 May 2020 and is effective nationwide.
During this period, the Order indicates that:
(i) Malaysian citizens are prohibited from travelling out of Malaysia;
(ii) Malaysian citizens returning from overseas travel must undergo a health check and
be self-quarantined for 14 days; and
(iii) All tourists and foreign visitors are prohibited from entering Malaysia.
Domestic travel is also discouraged during this period.
Here is the link below to find out the guidelines provided by Malaysia Airports during the MCO: http://www.klia.com.my/passenger-guide/faq-covid-19-mco
Having said that, here are some tips for you to stay safe if you are required to travel during this outbreak:
Check your flight status
The worsening coronavirus outbreak has led to numerous flight cancellations. If you are travelling during the outbreak, you are advised to check your flight status before travelling to the airport.
Arrive early at the airport
Due to the outbreak, there may be many additional precautions in place to reduce risk of infection at the airport and onboard your flight. As such, the departure processes may take longer than usual in order to accommodate health checks and other essential measures. Getting to the airport earlier is recommended so that you have enough time to go through all the necessary new procedures put in place for your safety.
Practice Social Distancing
The more people you come in contact with, the more likely you may be exposed to an infection. To reduce risk of contamination, do keep at least a 1-metre distance away from any individual who is coughing and sneezing. The MCO prohibits gatherings or crowds in any location, but the practice of social distancing should be kept to for as long as COVID-19 is still a risk.
Your best defence against COVID-19 is good hygiene. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends washing hands frequently with soap and water or using sanitisers. Also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth after contact with any surface, and cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing (and then wash your hands). Generally, it’s best to avoid travelling if you are unwell. Other tips can be found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public
Beyond the current MCO, you are advised to monitor news of travel restrictions in case of developments in the destination you are travelling to, which you can find out more about here: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/international-travel-document-news/1580226297.htm
Am I entitled to a refund?
If your flight to any affected area is cancelled by the airline, or if you are prohibited from traveling because of regulations such as the Restricted Movement Order, you are entitled to request for a refund. In any other case, the value of your refund will be based on the terms and conditions stated in your air ticket.
To find out more about cancellations and refunds at Flight Disruption- COVID-19 FAQs