Staying safe in mass gatherings abroad
June 13, 2018
When the weather turns warm, travelers around the world converge for music festivals, sporting events, religious observances, and other occasions. While traveling abroad, you may want to take in an open-air concert, cheer on the local soccer team, or participate in whatever big events are happening locally.
Wherever crowds gather, there’s excitement. But large numbers of people gathered together also can pose risks. These risks can be minor, like catching a local virus, to major, such as post-match stampedes or even terrorist attacks. Knowing the potential risks you may face at your destination can help you travel safely and enjoy your trip.
For best health, get vaccinated
Schedule a doctor appointment 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to get any vaccinations recommended for your destination. Also, make sure your routine immunizations are up to date, including an annual flu shot.
For physical safety, avoid the crush
When you arrive at any large event, identify all exits, including emergency exits. Injuries are more likely where people are packed closely together and may be pushed in a crush, so avoid those spots at the venue.
Be watchful at the event
Always be attentive to your surroundings, including both sights and sounds. Scan the crowd for police or security forces so you can make your way to them, if need be. Alcohol can increase the risk of violence, so be extra careful at gatherings where it's served.
How SafeTrip Travel Protection can help
Get a pre-trip destination report before travel
Contact the 24-hour Emergency Response Center for a pre-trip report on your destination. The report draws on the UHC Global intelligence database of more than 280 cities and covers both health concerns and security risks.
Locate the nearest hospital
The Emergency Response Center will also provide you with a list of local hospitals and emergency phone numbers as part of your destination report.
Get medical help or travel assistance
In case of illness or injury, call the number on your SafeTrip Travel Protection ID card and get help locating appropriate treatment and quality care or in making emergency travel arrangements, if needed.