As of 4th July, the government began to lift restrictions on travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Slowly but surely, businesses are re-opening, public transport is more accessible, and travelling into work is an option. The Government has also adjusted current social distancing guidelines to 1-metre for hospitality settings.
Although the lifting of these restrictions is a relief for many people, travelling while we are still living in the midst of a pandemic can be a stressful experience for everyone. This especially includes people with disabilities who may not be able to keep their distance from others at all times.
Here, we’ve covered a few important things to keep in mind for travelling with a disability during and after COVID-19.
Avoid non-essential travel
Although the rules are being relaxed every few weeks, the Government is still encouraging people to work from home wherever possible, shop locally and less often, and avoid public transport if at all possible.
If you can avoid travelling (especially on public transport), do. If you are vulnerable or you live with someone who is considered vulnerable, you should still be careful about travel.
Try to travel during non-peak hours
If you know that navigating public transport hubs, shops etc is going to be difficult for you, it may be a good idea to try to avoid busier peak hours and routes that are likely to have an increase in passengers.
Of course, this isn’t always going to be an option if you need to be somewhere at a certain time. However, it’s a good idea to try to stick to this as much as possible to avoid coming into contact with too many people.
Face coverings are now compulsory on public transport and indoor transport hubs. As of 25th July, they are also mandatory for shops and supermarkets, shopping centres, and strongly encouraged for any other enclosed public spaces.
This law does not apply to hospitality settings, entertainment venues, or exercise venues. Likewise, people with extenuating circumstances or health, age, or equality reasons.
For more information check the government page for full advice.
The government are still advising everyone to adhere to social distancing guidelines wherever possible. This means staying 2-metres apart wherever possible (except for other people in your household), or 1-metre where this cannot be avoided, such as restaurants and pubs etc.
Most importantly, don’t push yourself to go out into situations you don’t feel comfortable in. If you are at high risk of an illness from COVID-19, keep your travel to a minimum. Avoid situations where you could come into contact with a lot of people.
As always, if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, get tested as soon as possible and socially isolate until your results come through.