Preparing for the holiday season
28 June 2022
Dr Lisa Ackerley, director of medical and scientific engagement, hygiene, at Dettol Pro Solutions explains how travel businesses can prepare for the holiday season of 2022.
IN MARCH this year - two years on from the first UK lockdown - the UK Government removed remaining restrictions on international travel, allowing holidaymakers to enjoy summer holidays abroad without having to isolate on their return, which marks a milestone for both passengers and the travel and tourism sector in the UK as the industry looks to bounce back in earnest.
Although global vaccine mandates could continue to make travel abroad challenging for the unvaccinated - and the nature of changing restrictions requires robust planning - for many, the summer break presents an opportunity to jet off to sunnier climates since the onset of the pandemic. Despite industry experts forecasting it will take at least another two years for global aviation to return to pre-pandemic levels1, travellers are returning to long-haul travel to make up for lost time.
Our attitude to travelling has evolved during the pandemic - it seems like there’s a rise in ‘workations’ as remote teams opt for paradise-based productivity; business trips are being extended so that employees can enjoy a little ‘bleisure’ time; and destinations made famous by streaming services have become backdrops for intrepid Instagrammers.
Additionally, behavioural changes due to the pandemic, such as removal of mandatory mask-wearing in the UK and US may have reflected pandemic fatigue2. So how can businesses ensure their customers are still observing hygiene best practice when travelling - whether long or short haul; at home or abroad?
Dettol Pro Solutions - the business-to-business offering from Reckitt’s Dettol brand - has established partnerships with the likes of British Airways and Hilton, creating successful, science-backed hygiene protocols for travellers of all types through their work together. These are partially built around six core principles:
First of all, we need to focus disinfection on frequently-touched high risk surfaces where bacteria and virus transmission is most likely, in a timely way, to help to break the chain of infection. Approaching cleaning in this way is known as “targeted hygiene”3 .Targeted hygiene is a risk-based approach to hygiene (hands and surfaces), where interventions are put into place at key moments when and where they can be most effective. It can be efficacious in helping to reduce the spread of germs when travelling.
Encourage consumers to wash hands at key moments, for example mealtimes
Handwashing removes or destroys viruses and bacteria on hands and prevents subsequent transmission or infection4,5. Where hand washing facilities are not available, consumers can use hand sanitiser, such as the gels and hand wipes produced by Dettol, to kill viruses and bacteria. These are useful at moments such as when boarding a plane.
Carry disinfectant wipes
Disinfection of key hand-touch surfaces was advocated to reduce the risk of spread of viruses via hands during the pandemic5. Dettol helps interrupting the chain of the spread of many microbes , as it kills 99.9% of bacteria and/or viruses*. Providing these wipes in public venues can reassure customers whilst providing a level of autonomy over hygiene protocols.
*See information on pack. Use disinfectant safely. Always read the label and product information before use
Encourage wearing of face coverings
Though no longer mandatory in the UK in public spaces, face coverings act as a physical barrier to prevent respiratory droplets and aerosol particles being transmitted from an infected person to another during close contact. They could also prevent droplet spread to surfaces and objects which could become contaminated. These measures are thought to reduce respiratory virus transmission in community settings by around 6% to 15%.6
Maintain social distancing
Social distancing reduces the potential for transmission during close contact or physical contact.7 This may be difficult in enclosed spaces such as airports and aeroplanes, where airlines are beginning to increase capacity, but should be a priority where possible.
With travellers returning to the UK are no longer bound by many restrictions, consumer confidence in the travel industry can be rebuilt by prioritising and encouraging hygiene habits in these ways. Targeted hygiene together with behavioural science plays a key role in helping to ensure a swifter and more sensible recovery.
For more information visit: https://www.reckittpro.co.uk/s
1 2022. [online] Available at: <https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/travel-logistics-and-infrastructure/our-insights/back-to-the-future-airline-sector-poised-for-change-post-covid-19> [Accessed 26 April 2022]
2 MacIntyre, C., Nguyen, P., Chughtai, A., Trent, M., Gerber, B., Steinhofel, K. and Seale, H., 2021. Mask use, risk-mitigation behaviours and pandemic fatigue during the COVID-19 pandemic in five cities in Australia, the UK and USA: A cross-sectional survey. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 106, pp.199-207.
3 IFH, 2022 Bloomfield & Ackerley, Breaking the chain of Infection in our Homes and Everyday Lives: a practical approach to encourage Targeted Hygiene behaviour.
4Mathur, P., 2011. Hand hygiene: Back to the basics of infection control. The Indian Journal of Medical Research, 134(5), p.611.
4Aiello AE, Coulborn RM, Perez V, Larson EL. Effect of hand hygiene on infectious disease risk in the community setting: a meta-analysisexternal icon. Am J Public Health.
5Rabie T, Curtis V. Handwashing and risk of respiratory infections: a quantitative systematic review.external icon Trop Med Int Health. 2006;11(3):258-67.
5 WHO, 2020. Handwashing an effective tool to prevent COVID-19, other diseases
6 Brainard, J., Jones, N., Lake, I., Hooper, L. and Hunter, P., 2020. Community use of face masks and similar barriers to prevent respiratory illness such as COVID-19: a rapid scoping review. Eurosurveillance, 25(49).
7Auranen, K., Shubin, M., Karhunen, M., Sivelä, J., Leino, T. and Nurhonen, M., 2021. Social Distancing and SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Potential Early in the Epidemic in Finland. Epidemiology, 32(4), pp.525-532.