Ultimate Guide to Tourist Activities during Coronavirus
Coronavirus has made sure that we should be prepared for anything at all. Traveling has completely changed and will not be the same unless we get a worldwide vaccine that can be available to the masses. But since the wanderlust in us is never going to die and our want to travel and explore is always alive, we need to find new ways to tackle this paradox. In the previous few blogs, we’ve highlighted how to choose the right transportation, accommodation, and destination but what can we really do during our travel excursion?
Social distancing has made it difficult to just get out of your accommodation and visit the place you’ve just searched for on the internet, you’ll have to make sure that the place is safe to visit and whether is it even open or not. This blog gives you a general idea of what places you can visit or include in your itinerary during a travel excursion with the norm of social distancing still in play.
The most popular tourist attractions in the world have always been magnificent monuments rich in heritage and culture. To explore this grandeur of unreal structures will be somewhat possible during social distancing as well. Most of the monuments have been allowed to open to the public under strict rules to ensure that the virus is kept in check. Only those monuments that are not in the containment zone have been allowed to open with regular sanitization drives and having sanitization points at each corner.
To ensure more safety, no tickets will be sold on physical counters, only e-tickets or digital tickets are available for entering the monuments. This will ensure no contact and also help in limiting the visitors entering at one time by assigning specific time slots. Even the parking and cafes & kiosks will only accept digital payment instead of cash payments to ensure no contact.
Entry and exit points have been marked separately by the monument authorities to ensure social distancing at each point, and a traveler will only be allowed to enter the premises after thermal checking of symptoms and hygiene check using sanitization points. Moreover, lights and video shows that created large crowds will be halted completely till further notice to ensure social distancing.
2. Adventure Activities
Most of the adventure activities had only stopped when our country was in complete lockdown. When you think of most adventure activities, they generally involve a sense of social distancing since only a few people opt for them. These activities were not possible earlier only because no travelers were visiting due to the inability of traveling. Now, adventure activities are safe to choose and will have an even higher demand in the socially distanced world.
Adventure activities are open in all the non-containment zones as with any other essentials. There has been a drop in travelers and thus people opting for these activities but they are completely safe and provide a respite to a person who has stayed home and washed utensils as their most adventurous activity of the day. I would recommend going for river rafting and camping by the river with a serene night trek in Rishikesh for this time but if you are planning to really get that adrenaline rush out, paragliding at Bir Billing is another great option.
3. Gardens/Nature Park
Gardens have been opened a while back for the local public as well as tourists with the limitation of wearing masks at all times. Not adhering to wearing masks attracts a penalty that is applicable in any public area. Social distancing is a little hard to be maintained at these parks as they attract a lot of people every day. It will be advisable to not to visit these parks unless you are taking strict precautions and maintaining your distance from other visitors.
Some nature parks have been opened in the country for the tourists but most of the wildlife sanctuaries have been closed for the safety of the animals as it is still unsure as to how this novel coronavirus affects different species. Also, since a lot of visitors drop by at these parks, it will be difficult to maintain social distancing while offering a great experience.
Other naturally occurring tourist attractions like waterfalls, beaches, and mountains are open for visitors and are safe to visit but some of these attractions do expect a lot of visitors so do maintain your distance and wear a mask at all times.
Whatever kind of traveler you are, you always need to find markets for shopping. It can be shopping for yourself or just souvenirs to take home but visiting a market is the most common practice when visiting a new place. Markets and malls have been opened by the government with just a few restrictions in place.
All shops must have sanitizers in place for hygiene safety and many have adopted to set ropes or barricades and marked spots on the floor to ensure social distancing. Open markets are much safer than closed shops and malls. Malls having confined closed spaces have a few more restrictions. Food courts in malls are closed, the temperature has to be maintained according to the government regulations(24-30 degrees), and a person with no symptoms will only be allowed in the mall premises.
To be honest, malls are not really a necessity to be visited at all. Open markets are a much safer option and can be visited to buy essentials and other things.
Recently opened leisurely activities clubs, pubs, bars, and casinos can now be visited by a traveler in the non-containment zone. The central government has given a go-ahead to the state government to take a sense of the situation in their jurisdiction and come to a conclusion whether to open such places or not.
In cities where such places are being opened, each place has to take strict measures for operation. Some of them are, to only have 50% occupancy of seating capacity to maintain a social distancing of 6 feet between two tables, wearing masks at all times for all the staff members, having thermal checks and sanitizing hands of each visitor, all payments will be digital, and they have to maintain a temperature of 24-30 degrees celsius in the premises.
Seeing how widespread this virus is and how easily it can get transmitted, I would advise you to stay away from such places but if you must visit, the mask is your shield against the virus. It reduces your chance of getting infected to as low as only 5% and ensures you don’t spread it amongst others as well.
6. Amusement Parks
All the theme parks and amusement parks have been barred from opening at all. Seeing how easily this virus can be transmitted and how no social distancing can be maintained in an amusement park, the government has made the right decision to not open any of these and all other theme parks.
A person looking for volunteering and giving back to society can always do so very easily by contacting the right people. There are a number of NGOs working towards providing relief packages to people in the containment zone or those who just can’t afford essentials due to lockdown. Also, the government has launched its own initiative for different types of volunteering.
A volunteer can do a number of things in different cities and depending on the skills they have. Even the government has launched programs for delivering relief packages, helping coronavirus patients and doctors at hospitals, being a frontline worker if you have that skill, etc. These can be applied for and searched for on the Indian government’s official website too.
How to Reach?
Cabs/Taxis: Cabs have resumed operations in many cities but there has been news that intracity travel in some cities is too expensive and many drivers just refuse to accommodate a foreign traveler or a tourist with the fear of the virus. There are still taxis and cabs available at many locations.
Bus: Local buses have resumed operations in a restricted manner with limited passengers and sanitization stations at each point. Buses would not be as safe as cabs or taxis but are way cheaper and more available than taxis.
Autos/Rickshaws: Autos and rickshaws have been the go-to local transportation for that last mile connectivity and to reach a place faster and cheaper. Autos can be the solution to traveling locally in a cheap manner.
Metros: Metros have resumed operation in a very systematic and restricted way for travelers in all the cities. Masks are a compulsion to travel anywhere in a metro, seatings will be allowed on alternate basis 6-feet apart. There will be no token system, only metro cards can be used to take a trip. Temperature to be maintained at 24-30 degrees and thermal & sanitization checks at each entry are mandatory for entering the premises. Metro will be another good option for tourists and locals.
What about Staycations?
Staycations as promoted by a number of travel companies are simply going to a new place and staying at the resort or hotel of that place and spending some time there. At a staycation you can enjoy the amenities and activities of the resort while practicing social distancing and staying away from the crowd by keeping indoors in the hotel or resort property. It is an ideal way to spend your weekend or a vacation to stay completely safe from the outside world.
Staying in a hotel and not going places might be safe but it is not exactly what a modern-day traveler really wants. We want to explore each and every unique aspect of each city we visit. Try and find out the hidden gems, the local food, the people, and the culture if the community living there for years and years. We have an alternative for the same, Caravan traveling.
Caravan lets you travel in peace in a close space that is completely sanitized where you can cook, sleep, use the washroom, and obviously travel and go places. Be it a staycation to just camp at a serene location or explore places in a motorhome. If you love adventure and want to travel in style, Caravan is definitely for you. Check out our Caravan experience here.