14th June 2016
It’s set to attract more than 10,500 athletes, 380,000 visitors and sales of over 7.5 million tickets… With less than 60 days between now and one of the biggest sporting events on the planet, it’s time to start thinking about the health and safety of individuals travelling to see the action – whether that’s you, your employees or your customers.Click the below PDF to read our ‘Ready Steady Go to RIO Event Guide’ and follow our traveller checklist below. Ready Steady Go – RIO Event Guide
Buy a good travel insurance policy that includes repatriation cover. Don’t leave it until the last minute, as your policy should protect you if you have a valid reason for cancelling your trip. Just remember to tell your insurer about any recent visits to the doctor, pre-existing medical conditions or health problems of close relatives.
Find out about necessary vaccinations and precautions against malaria at least six weeks before you leave. Ask your GP or local travel clinic for advice and tell them if you’re planning to travel beyond Rio, as diseases are often region-specific. Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Salvador, São Paulo and Manaus are all hosting sporting events and present varying risks. Manaus, for example, has a high incidence of malaria.
Book accommodation in a busy area that doesn’t necessitate lonely walks back to your hotel room. And pick somewhere that offers safe and secure storage for your valuables – especially your passport, which should be locked up at all but the most unavoidable times.
When you reach Rio, carry your emergency assistance number and insurance details with you, so you can access the right medical care, should you need it. And keep the Rio emergency ambulance number 192 stored in your phone. Hospitals are unlikely to carry out more than the most basic emergency treatment without payment guarantees upfront and an insurance policy will give them this reassurance. You should also keep separate photocopies of your credit cards and passport at your hotel.
Remember take precautions against mosquito bites. You can reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika and malaria, by taking precautions against bites. Wear loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs, use insecticide treatments day and night (daytime bites also spread disease) and keep bedroom windows screened.
Never walk alone at night, and don’t draw attention to yourself. A high population of low income residents makes crime common in Rio. It’s not a good idea to wear extravagant jewellery or expensive clothes, or to carry large sums of cash. You should also keep mobile phones and cameras well-hidden if you want to avoid being targeted by robbers. If you are accosted, it’s safest to give up your belongings without a fight.
If you’re travelling by car, shut the windows, lock the doors and keep bags hidden, to deter robbers – especially when you’re in traffic or stopping at lights. And remember that traffic accidents are common in Brazil, so wear a seatbelt and take extra care crossing roads. If you’re driving yourself, have your keys ready (but hidden) as you approach the car, to reduce the risk of carjacking. If you take a taxi, make sure it’s registered.
Always drink bottled or boiled water to avoid gastroenteritis and water-borne diseases such as hepatitis. And resist the temptation of raw salads, ice cubes in drinks or ice creams, as they carry the same risks. It’s safest to stick to piping hot food.
Be wary of animals. Rabies can be transmitted by bites or scratches from the stray dogs that roam the streets of Brazil – so stay at a safe distance.
Intrinsic is a strategic partnership between Solace Global and CEGA, which provides insurers and organisations a single, ongoing view of travel risk management. It will reduce exposure to risk before and during policyholider or staff deployments overseas and manage medical and security emergencies centrally. Contact us for more travel safety information and services.