In June’s edition of our personal lines perspectives, we look at travelling safely following the recent relaxation of restrictions, what to look for when selecting new sunglasses, and some steps for staying safe while cycling.
Travelling Safely to Green List Countries
On 17th May, England and Scotland reduced travel restrictions pertaining to several countries or territories. These places are on what is now called the ‘green list’, and people arriving from them are no longer required to quarantine.
The coloured list system includes classifications of ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’, which identify the level of risk associated with people arriving from those places. In general, countries and territories on the green list may now be convenient destinations for people hoping to plan a holiday abroad. For a full list of the countries and territories currently on the green list—which will be updated every three weeks—click here.
While restrictions may have been reduced for green list destinations, there are still certain precautions that travelers must take. When planning a holiday abroad, consider the following steps:
- Monitor vaccination requirements—At this time, it appears that many major airlines—such as Ryanair and British Airways—are not planning to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for travelers. However, certain destinations may have their own vaccine-related requirements.
- Plan for testing—Even when travelling from countries on the green list, people will continue to be required to take a COVID-19 test both before boarding their flight for the UK and within two days of arriving.
- Check your insurance—According to industry experts, approximately 70 to 80 per cent of travel insurance policies include some form of cover for holidays that must be cancelled due to a positive COVID-19 test. Check your policy to make sure that this type of recourse is included.
All prospective travelers need to understand that the green list only applies to travelers arriving in or returning to England and Scotland. As such, some destinations on the green list may still have stringent restrictions—such as quarantine—upon your arrival. Be sure to research all requirements and plan your trip accordingly.
Selecting Safe Sunglasses
It is important to protect your eyes from sun damage when outdoors in the hot summer sun. After all, any amount of time in the sun can expose you to a variety of eye complications, such as cataracts and cancer. What’s more, sunlight reflecting off surfaces such as water, can further elevate your exposures and increase your risk of developing eye problems, including vision loss and light sensitivity.
That’s where sunglasses can help. According to the NHS, wearing the right sunglasses is a great defense against ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause short- and long-term eye damage.
When selecting proper sunglasses, it is important to:
- Choose sunglasses that are labelled with a ‘CE’ mark or comply with BS EN ISO 12312-1:20313. Such sunglasses will be able to block at least 99 per cent of harmful UVA and UVB rays, which are the two types of UV rays most commonly known to cause eye complications.
- Consider large, wrap-around sunglasses. These glasses will be able to cover the entirety of your eye sockets and offer greater overall protection.
- Keep in mind that darker or coloured lenses don’t necessarily equate to increased protection.
- Don’t use the cost of sunglasses to determine their protection capabilities. An expensive pair of sunglasses may not guarantee safer lenses.
- Know that polarised lenses won’t protect your eyes and surrounding skin against UV rays. Polarisation reduces glare off of water and pavement, but doesn’t protect against the sun.
In summary, don’t put your eyes at risk this summer. Be sure to protect yourself from eye problems with a good pair of sunglasses.
Steps for Staying Safe While Cycling
As the weather becomes more pleasant, cycling will become a more common and attractive mode of transportation. Cycling may also gain further popularity in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in reduced use of public transport.
While cycling can be an enjoyable, healthy and efficient mode of transport, it’s important for cyclists to stay safe on the road. While cycling, make sure you are thinking about these precautions:
- Consider positioning
Avoid travelling too close to the kerb, as this can result in you not having ample space to manoeuvre. Cycling further away from the gutter makes you more visible to drivers and helps you avoid drain covers, potholes and debris that may have accumulated along the side of the road.
- Stay aware of surroundings
Being aware of your surroundings may sound like a simple tip, but it’s of the utmost importance while riding a bicycle. Keep your eyes on the road ahead of you for potential obstacles, junctions, roundabouts and traffic.
- Observe those around you
Both motorists and pedestrians are capable of surprising you with unexpected manoeuvres. In addition to being aware of your physical surroundings, make mental notes of potentially problematic situations, such as children kicking a football or the blind spots of lorries.
Using cycling signals to indicate your planned route is essential. Beyond that, there are additional ways to communicate and maximise safety for both yourself and others on the road. Eye contact can be especially helpful in ensuring that a motorist has seen you and understands your intentions.
- Wear a helmet
Bicycle helmets are instrumental in preventing serious head injuries to cyclists. It’s vital that cyclists wear a helmet and ensure that it is fitted and secured properly.