Before the global pandemic, the only travel documents you would need for an international flight are your passport, visa, and plane ticket. Now, some countries require additional travel requirements to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus before gaining entry into the country.
In the Philippines, all arriving passengers must undergo a 14-day quarantine as soon as they have arrived in the country. For the first 10 days, passengers need to stay in a quarantine facility—commonly an accredited hotel in Manila holding a Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) certificate. On the other hand, the last four days can be spent at home in the passenger’s local government units (LGU) destination. This is mandatory for all passengers, regardless of their vaccination status.
Ideally, you do your hotel quarantine in the same city or LGU as you would do your home quarantine. This is not just for your convenience, but it can also help make contact tracing easier. If, for example, you will stay in Pasay City, it’s best to search for an accredited quarantine hotel in Pasay City than in another city.
While some people might consider spending 10 days in a hotel room as a staycation, others might dread this idea. If you are like the latter, here are some tips to make your hotel quarantine comfortable and stress-free.
Research Your Food Options
In most hotel quarantine arrangements, three meals will be provided for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Generally, this is sufficient to support your daily needs, but it’s also good to see your other food options to supplement what you will be given. This can be especially helpful when you are craving some midnight snacks and the hotel kitchen is already closed.
Before arriving at the hotel, research how you can order food and other supplies the hotel might not be able to provide like your prescription medicines and vitamins. Download apps for food deliveries and check with the hotel if this is something they allow during your stay.
Regular exercise is a good way to stay physically and mentally healthy. When you engage in physical activities, your body releases endorphins which can trigger positive feelings and reduce stress. So even with the limited space of the hotel room, make it a point to do simple exercises such as burpees, jumping jacks, pushups, and sit-ups. You can also pack some gear like a jump rope, resistance bands, or a yoga mat to support your workout. If you run out of exercise ideas, you can check videos online for new routines or inspirations.
Keep Your Mind Busy
While in quarantine, you need to keep your mind active to divert your attention from any feeling of isolation. One of the most popular ways to do this is by reading a book. If you are not much of a bookworm, listening to podcasts or an audiobook are great options too.
In addition, you can take this opportunity to do less urgent tasks that you commonly set aside. Some of the things you can do are tidying up your computer files or organizing photos. These little projects can help keep you preoccupied while you are waiting for the end of your quarantine period.
Have a Routine
Having a routine during your hotel quarantine won’t just help curb boredom, but it can also help let the days pass by smoothly. It can be as simple as waking up at the same time every morning, which can also ensure you have a healthy sleep cycle. If you are working remotely, it’s best to dedicate the hours when you will do your tasks, when you will log off, and when you will have some relaxation time.
On the other hand, if working remotely is not an option for you, you can substitute the time by doing something productive. Doing a hotel quarantine might be the perfect time to learn a new language or enroll in an online course. This is a great way to create something fruitful after being quarantined.
Do Recreational Activities
While it’s important to make the most of your time at the hotel by being productive, it’s also important to relax and have fun. At the end of your work hours, enjoy your downtime by listening to some music or watching some movies. You can also try mindfulness activities like journaling and meditation to relieve stress. If you are doing your hotel quarantine with your kids, you can do some creative activities like painting and drawing.
Stay in Touch with Loved Ones
Staying in a hotel room for 10 days alone can make you feel isolated. To avoid feeling lonely, make sure to keep in touch with your loved ones. Whether it’s sending emails, chatting online, or video calling, make an effort to contact your friends and family. In line with this, it’s best to check if there are any limitations to the number of gadgets that can access the hotel’s Wi-Fi. Additionally, remember to pack your phone charger and make sure your mobile subscription plan can support your connectivity requirements.
Doing mandatory hotel quarantine is not exactly a staycation, but it doesn’t mean you can’t make it a fruitful experience. There are plenty of things you can do the pass the time and keep yourself entertained. When you start to feel uneasy while in quarantine, take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is how you can do your part in minimizing the spread of the virus.