Since the coronavirus disease was first identified, it has affected globally. It is said to be evolved from the city of Wuhan in China. Cases of coronavirus are increasing all over the world. And, as the government has started lifting some restrictions on lockdown and businesses are allowed to reopen which has made people wonder if it is safe to fly and travel during coronavirus.
Every day, we all are making decisions about how to be safe and minimize the risk. It is recommended to avoid traveling during the pandemic as the coronavirus is tended to spread when you come in contact with the ones who are likely to be infected with the disease either directly or indirectly.
Is it safe to fly?
We still don’t know much about this outbreak from Wuhan, but what we know is that it is similar to other respiratory viruses. To answer whether it is safe to fly let us first have a look at the ways how respiratory illnesses can spread in an airplane or while flying:
- If the droplets of the virus have managed to land on the airplane seats, sideways, armrest, airport’s restrooms, trolleys, trays, and racks. The lasting of the droplets can vary from surface to surface. What concerns the most is contact with those contaminated surfaces.
- If we are unable to maintain at least 6-feet distance from those who might have been infected by the virus
- Some researchers also have said that respiratory virus can also be transmitted through the tiny dry particles which become suspended in air, known as aerosols.
- The row in which infected passenger is sitting, the disease is most likely to be transmitted to other passengers in that row
- If you touch those surfaces which are contaminated and then you touch your mouth and nose, it is possible that you may end up risking your life
Think and evaluate before flying
Depending on the fact that this new coronavirus is cannot be eliminated, there are certain things one must evaluate before flying during this pandemic.
- Make travel plans only if you are in good health and do not travel with someone who is sick
- Determine if the trip is worth risking life and fly only if it is safe to fly
- Those who you’re going to visit should be healthy and do not have any symptoms of the disease
- Check for the situation where you’re going
- Check for the state and local travel guides, in whichever state or place you are planning to travel
- Think if it is possible to travel by car, this will help in reducing the risk of getting infected
Precautions for COVID 19 if traveling by car during coronavirus
As compared to public transport, traveling by car is less risky in this outbreak. It helps in reducing the risk of getting or spreading the virus. Few things to be kept in mind:
- The study has shown that coronavirus can live on some surfaces for more than 3 days therefore it is highly suggestible to disinfect those areas which are being touched most commonly.
- It is recommended to improve the air circulation either by windows or air conditioner
- Clean your car thoroughly
Now, if you don’t have any choice and you have decided to fly
It is said to be claimed that there is less risk of traveling via airplanes. Many airlines are practicing to keep a total of 50% to 60% occupancy during each flight’s journey. Also, airlines are blocking off the middle seat and letting the passengers move to empty rows. Even, the in-flight food and beverage services are also been slashed to reduce the contact. You need to check and make sure that the fight In which you are planning to travel is taking all the measures which are required to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
One thing which is recommended is to book the window seat as it is proved that those who have occupied window seats are at the lowest risk of getting infected.
Foresee your requirements
- Carry enough of your medicine so that you won’t have any trouble during your trip
- Don’t forget to prepare and take non-perishable food with you
- Add enough quantity of alcohol-based hand sanitizer in your travel checklist
- You will also need a mask to cover your face
- Any other essentials which may not be mentioned in this list
- Be ready to quarantine yourself at least for 14-days
Measures and precautions for COVID 19 to be taken while traveling during coronavirus
Now the question arises here is how to be safe while flying and reach well, following steps can be taken for lowering the risk of infection:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- If you have accidentally touched any contaminated surface make sure to wipe your hands with hand wipes or wash them with soap or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Do not come in the contact with those passengers who are coughing or sneezing
- Also wipe the surfaces like the armrest, tray, seat, other most commonly touched places with antibacterial wipes and also sanitize your personal belongings like handle and zip of your bag, your mobile phone, passport, etc.
- Book window seat as it has proven to reduce the risk of infection
- Carry few zipped plastic bags for personal use
- Wear a mask, use N95 if you have purchased it already or else you can use any other mask as it also helps in protection
- Do not sneeze or cough without covering your mouth to protect your fellow travelers
- Drink more water to avoid the dryness in the cabin
- Always stay up-to-date with the state and local travel advice
Airports are performing thermal screening of passengers
According to the guidelines given by health regulatory, all state and local territories must make sure that all the passengers pass through the thermal screening before boarding and what if during the test your temperature is found out to be high. Under this situation, if medical professionals will think that you are unfit for travel considering that you have a fever you will not be permitted to board a flight. Then you will be referred to a local hospital and they will do further analysis. On the basis of further analysis and symptoms of illness, you will be either tested for Covid-19 or advised to be quarantined.