5 Health Tips for Travelling during a pandemic
These days, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be a part of every decision we make. As lockdown measures ease up and are starting to get lifted around the world, the possibility of travelling, both domestically and internationally, are becoming more likely for you.
There’s no avoiding the reality that any forthcoming flight travel will put you in close proximity to a large number of other people and a range of regularly touched surfaces, both in the airport and on the plane. And, given what we know about COVID-19, such as the fact that someone can be unwell without even realizing it, going on a plane these days can be a bit nerve-wracking.
When you’re fully vaccinated, you’re better protected against COVID-19. Nonetheless, you’ll need to take measures on your vacation during the pandemic, such as wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance.
If you haven’t been vaccinated, you’ll need to take extra measures when planning and booking your trip, as well as in the airport, on the plane, and at your destination.
Here are five pandemic travel tips to make travelling during pandemic times a bit safer if you’re flying:
When booking your travel, make safe choices
When travelling, reducing your COVID risk begins with the decisions you make throughout the booking process, such as minimizing layovers and selecting a location that is reasonably close, especially if your travel is for the purpose of leisure. In addition, it would be prudent to avoid destinations that have a high number of Covid cases.
Some flying during pandemic tips includes looking up information on the airline’s website regarding the safety precautions in place at terminals and on flights. Before booking with a specific airline, you’ll want to ask the following questions:
- What are the mask mandates?
- Are social distancing mandates being regulated?
- Are there contact-free options for check in?
- Are the cleaning protocols sufficient?
The majority of airlines have put in place outstanding safety features onboard their planes, such as plexiglass barriers between aisles and keeping center seats empty. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sophisticated technologies used to circulate and filter air in a plane’s cabin prevent most viruses from spreading quickly during a trip.
Wear a Mask Throughout your Travel
Currently, most airlines demand you to wear a mask both in the airport and on the plane. However, there are certain exceptions, such as while you’re eating or drinking, young children, and anyone who is unable to remove a mask without assistance.
Wearing your mask not only protects you from acquiring COVID-19, but it also keeps you from transmitting the virus to others if you’re sick and don’t realize it — especially if you haven’t been vaccinated. While you may not be experiencing any serious symptoms, someone else on your flight may be at a high risk of getting severe COVID-19 problems.
Wearing a mask should be viewed as a social contract between you and everyone else on your flight, regardless of whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. Wearing a mask is not just necessary in the airport and on your flight during a pandemic; it is also the proper thing to do to ensure safe travel during the pandemic.
Carry and Use Hand Sanitizer
Commonly touched surfaces are abundant in airports and on airplanes. Airlines are attempting to reduce the number of items passengers must touch through contactless check-in and other methods, but there will always be door handles, luggage bins, escalator bannisters, and that bag of chips you’re eating that someone else picked up and set down before you.
Hand hygiene is crucial at all times. When your exposure to regularly handled surfaces grows, it becomes even more important. Wash your hands with warm water and soap often. Consider carrying hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and using it after contacting high touch surfaces to help keep your hands virus-free if handwashing facilities are not readily available.
Also, keep your hands away from your face. Yes, we recognize that this is a difficult task, but it is critical. It can be dangerous if virus particles on your hands touch one of your face’s mucous membranes, such as your mouth, nose, or eyelids.
Spread out in the airport terminal
You can’t do much about the fact that you’re in tight quarters on the plane. While you’re at the terminal, though, it should be relatively easy to retain your distance.
Use the time between going through security and boarding your aircraft to decrease the number of hazards you face on your travel day.
Keep six feet of space between yourself and others as much as possible when waiting to board your airline — even if it means sitting at a less congested gate until shortly before your flight. Also, keep in mind that six feet may be a longer distance than you believe.
Reconsider your travel if community spread is high where you live or where you’re headed
No one likes to have to cancel a trip, especially one to see family you haven’t seen in a long time or a vacation you’ve been planning since the pandemic began. Unfortunately, this virus does not take your trip intentions into account.
It’s crucial to research your destination to see if COVID-19 case numbers are high. If that’s the case, it may be wise to reconsider or reschedule your vacation plans.
COVID-19 exposure is more likely in areas where the virus has spread across the population. If the virus is easily disseminated at your destination, you may become ill during your vacation and transfer COVID-19 to your loved ones back home, as well as transmitting it during your return journey. If the virus is easily spread where you reside, you might be sick already and accidentally transfer it to others while travelling. This is especially important in international travel during the pandemic.
If at all possible, stay away from enclosed areas. This implies restricting your time indoors (excluding your hotel room) to only the most important tasks. We also recommend avoiding taking public transit and shuttles to avoid coming into contact with many people. Avoid large groups of people, whether indoors or out. Concerts, huge gatherings, athletic activities, and a trip to the movies may have to be postponed until the situation improves.
As we hopefully near the end of the pandemic, travelling in style these days means putting safety and our health first. Therefore, if you are travelling, there are many things you can do which would minimize the risk of catching and spreading the virus. Whether you’re travelling by airline, rail, automobile, or RV, your travel preparations go beyond packing for your destination now. Before, during, and after your journey, you must research the most recent Covid travel restrictions, Covid travel test requirements, and Covid case number in your destination. Being fully immunized reduces the risk of getting Covid-19 but be sure to follow our guidelines and tips for travelling during the pandemic for safe domestic and international travel.