Staying Safe During Study Abroad
Before you embark on your study abroad program let’s make sure you feel safe and informed ahead of your trip. In a time where things feel out of our control, we wanted to to give you some of our top tips on how you can make sure you are doing all you can to protect yourself and those around you!
Here are our top health and safety tips for you to follow during your study abroad program:
Wear a Mask
The simplest and easiest way to protect yourself during your travels is to wear a mask at all times. Here is Spain it is mandatory to wear a mask in all public spaces, indoor and outdoor. So, to make sure you follow the rules and protect yourself, have plenty of masks to spare in your luggage.
Another sure way to reduce your exposure to the virus is to maintain a distance of 1.5 – 2 meters between yourself and others. At EUROACE we respect this rule when meeting with students as well as setting up our classrooms to adhere to distancing guidelines. Remember also that when greeting people you don’t need to shake hands or hug, an elbow touch or wave is totally acceptable!
The region of Valencia has enforced new regulations as of yesterday (January 21st). It is important that you follow regional regulations as they are in place to create lower risk and can also be punishable by monetary fine!
Here are the latest Covid-19 regulations in Valencia:
- Closure of Bars and Restaurants- Until the end of January bars and restaurants will be closed in an effort to limit social contact and group meetings (which are usually without a mask while eating or drinking). Only the bars and restaurants offering take away and delivery services remain operational.
- Earlier Retail Closing Hours- To avoid crowds, non-essential establishments like high street shops and shopping malls must now close by 6:00pm. Essential establishments like supermarkets and pharmacies are not affected by this rule and will stick to their normal opening and closing times.
- Closure of Sports Facilities– Sports centers like gyms, dance schools, football clubs and swimming pools are closed until the end of January. Meaning all sports competitions have been suspended until January 31st, apart from professional competitions. Outdoor exercise is still permitted but it is recommended to only partake in activity with co-habitants.
- Curfew– Valencia’s nighttime curfew remains at 10:00pm across the region with a proposal being made by the local government to advance this to 8:00pm. This will be confirmed in the coming days.
- Mobility Restrictions- The Valencian Community’s borders are still closed. People cannot leave or enter the region without a valid reason. Residents, workers and students can move between regions if they have a document that proves the reason for their trip.
When possible try to avoid large crowds. Going to shopping centers or busy streets during the busiest times of the day is not wise. If you need to go, think about going around midday (3pm-5pm) and there will certainly be less people.
Again, be smart about when you go to the supermarket. If you are able to go during the middle of the day (3pm-5pm) this will be a quieter time and you can get your shopping done with less chance of bumping into people. Also, remember that when lining up at the checkout, you must maintain adequate social distance.
Hand Sanitizer Routine
Get into the routine of carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times. Keeping your hands clean is really important to reduce the risk of catching the virus. In stores and supermarkets, it is mandatory to apply hand sanitizer before entering.
Now that gyms are closed, this is the only option for most. If you can exercise outdoors and maintain distance from others, this is a much safer and preferred way to exercise. If you want to exercise with someone, it is recommended to do so only with co-habitants.
Keep yourself informed and be aware of local Covid-19 regulations. If you’re unsure, ask your study abroad team to fill you in and keep you posted on local news. Before traveling abroad, talk to your Embassy about recent travel updates and restrictions because there may be updates you’re not aware of that can affect your trip!
Right Health Insurance
Lastly, in all of your efforts to avoid Covid-19 you may still catch the virus, therefore you will definitely want to have the right health insurance! Make sure you are covered by your travel policy and make sure this includes testing and any other services that may be required.
Stay tuned to our blog and social networks for the latest news on the pandemic and updates on travel and safety restrictions.