Travel tips to minimize the risk of catching coronavirus while flying

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One of the biggest concerns that have risen since the beginning of the pandemic is the risk involved with travel. Travel restrictions have been in place since March 2020 to control the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. With these restrictions being lifted or reduced, travel lovers can once again journey to their beloved locations. It is very important for these travellers to take a number of precautions to ensure their own safety, and that of the people around them. Here are some travel tips that can help you minimize the risk of catching coronavirus while flying:


  1. Be careful where you go

When planning your trip, you should check coronavirus statistics in the host location. If the number of cases is high or rising, it is wise not to visit. If you live in an area where cases seem to be increasing, it is advisable to wait before acting on your plans. 

  1. Get tested

Many locations require a negative test report to confirm that you are free from the virus, and therefore, not a risk to locals or fellow travellers. If you test negative but are still experiencing symptoms, it is advisable not to travel till your illness goes away. 


  1. Wear Masks

Wearing a  mask can greatly reduce the risk of catching the virus. You can wear surgical masks, N-95 masks, or even cloth masks which are now available in many colors and designs!


  1. Keep your hands clean

Contaminated surfaces are airports and public spaces can be a main source of spreading the virus. Avoid touching surfaces, wear gloves, wash your hands for up to 20 seconds, or sanitize frequently. It is a good idea to keep a pocket sized hand sanitizer with you at all times, and using wet wipes to clean a surface you touch is advisable. 


  1. Quarantine upon arrival

When you arrive, you should quarantine for up to 14 days to ensure that you have not contracted the virus during your travel. 

  1. Know about airport protocols

You should get scanned to check temperature at entry and exit points to reduce the risk of virus transmission. The queue at immigration can be longer than usual as checking is slower, as the agents take extra care. They wear new gloves after they pat down a person during check-in. Many airports will require a test report or health certificate to indicate their health. If you do not want agents to touch your belongings, you can pack items such as food in a separate see-through plastic bag. Another great idea is to use an electronic boarding pass, but if that is not allowed, many airports have readers that can scan paper boarding passes. Limited contact between agents and passengers can help reduce risk of virus spread.


  1. Know where to sit

In waiting areas and lounges, certain seats will be marked to show that passengers should not sit there. This allows a safe distance to be maintained while people wait in sitting areas. On the plane, you should sit near the windows so you have limited contact with other passengers and people walking in the aisle. Most planes leave the middle seat free to maintain a safe distance between passengers. It is wise not to walk around during the flight to minimize risk. 


  1. Check in-flight hygiene protocols

Many top rated airlines use extensive sanitizing procedures. Seats and cabins are regularly sanitized and disinfected, following protocols and processes recommended by the WHO. Many airlines have installed filtration systems which remove bacterias or viruses from the air. You can get clean and sealed blankets, although taking your own blanket and carrying your pillow allows you to stay safe. Airplanes serve hot food with disinfected utensils, and provide only sealed bottled water, which is clean and safe to consume. 


  1. Maintain a safe distance

Limited physical contact is essential in ensuring safety from covid and minimizing the risk of catching the virus. To avoid the disease, you should avoid standing in crowded areas, and ensure that people are following social distancing protocols in airports and waiting lines. You should stay at least 2 metres, or 6 feet, away from other people to ensure that contaminated particles do not reach you. 


We hope that following these tips, and conforming to SOPs of your own country and the host region, can allow you to have a safe trip!

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