Covid 19; a new reality threatening a vital source of connectivity well into its aftermath. Just last week, Covid19 claimed the life of my high school friend, same age. The shock that Covid19 was real is reason I need to write about certain things.

In this period, you may wish to jump onto a bus for several reasons ranging from business to leisure among others and its by virtue of appreciation for the NEW NORMAL that you can no longer ride on a bus and go miles today the same way you did in the recent past, the good old times as you may wish to refer.

Recently, there is been quite a number of prayers answered by the several governments in regards to movement by bus. However, this didn’t come alone. There are many fetched restrictions and guidelines to help curb the spread of the deadly Corona virus. And in these guidelines is where we draw and trace what we should have in our bag packs or on us moments before we set a step or two towards a bus park.

Here are some of the items that you may need while traveling by bus during this Covid period;

Well, you may be expecting me to mention the random things that you pretty know very well and yes just to be sure, I’ll mention everything starting with

PROTECTIVE GEAR

Sanitizer and Face mask or Face Shield for coronavirus. Carry with you or rather don face mask and face shield, and gloves if possible.

The Centers for Disease Control Prevention at the beginning of the global pandemic issued out regulations in regards to the use and importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). While mandatory for healthcare personnel and infected individuals, they go a long way to restrict transmission when used in populated areas and on public transport such as buses.

Also, as per the WHO advisory, wearing masks on public transport is highly recommended because you never know if the person sitting right next to you is COVID positive or negative therefore to be on the safe side, wear it even if mask alone is not an effective way of keeping the virus at bay.

And for major bus stations, travelers are expected to wear masks and in case you do not want to, you may be out in a position where you are most likely to miss out on your travels.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

You may need relatively less documents for intrastate bus travel but for interstate travel as the borders commence opening, the documents you need on the various entry and exit points like Busia, Malaba, Mutukula, Gatuna and Nimule among others include; Passport, Visa, Alternative travel documents for East Africans, Other requirements for East Africans (Certificate of Identity / Inter-state Pass).

Most countries saw stringent visa regulations owing to the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, as the issuance of new visas and passports begin, check with your own country as well as the destination what the updated visa rules are. Are tourists allowed to enter? Can students return back to their universities? Is only essential travel permitted? And more related information.

A NEGATIVE RT-PCR TEST REPORT

The real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) test is mandatory in interstate travels. For example, passengers who arrive in Uganda must carry the negative report issued no earlier than 96 hours if they want to opt-out of the mandatory institutional 14 days’ quarantine.

Therefore, check with your destination country and take the test at a certified lab in due time before traveling.

TRAVEL ETIQUETTE

Apart from the above requirements, here are a few COVID 19 travel etiquettes you must adhere to:

To ensure social distancing, maintain a gap of 6 feet at the bus station.

Ensure hand hygiene by regularly sanitizing them and avoiding contact on surfaces as much as possible. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Do not touch your face or eyes with your hands before washing them properly.

If you are sneezing or coughing, use a tissue and dispose it of properly.

Don’t unnecessarily spend your day at the terminal.

Cooperate with all health and bus officials and abide by their word of advice.

In conclusion; it is recommended that you do not visit multiple places at a time even when in consideration of all the health guidelines and regulations so as to minimize the transits and exposure.

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