The outbreak of the coronavirus is a major concern for all travelers, as the virus continues to spread and infect people all over the world. Of course, the CDC urges everyone to avoid nonessential travel until the coronavirus has been contained and eradicated. As a result, most of us aren’t traveling right now. But for those who are, it’s essential to be extra careful so as to not transmit the virus while traveling. While airports and airplanes are doing their part by limiting the number of people on flights and avoiding as much interaction between travelers and flight attendants as possible, the nature of being in an airplane, a tight, stale-aired space, means that passengers and staff alike are more at risk of being susceptible to airborne particles.
Staying Safe At the Airport and On the Plane
Traveling during a pandemic can be challenging. With proper planning, though, you can still have a safe, fun time. Before you board a flight, check the CDC and the WHO website to find out what the current situation is and what the recommended precautions are.
To start, it’s key to stay informed. Governments, airlines, and other travel companies may provide travel advisories and warnings as they receive new information, so you’ll want to check back often. This especially applies if you travel to a place where there is a high risk of infection, or if the virus is already widespread in the area. The CDC regularly updates travel warnings on high-risk locations. If you are planning to travel, you will need to be aware of the risks associated with the pandemic and take steps to minimize your risk of infection.
Many high-risk countries require that you take a test within 72 hours of arrival. Visitors must also quarantine for a period of up to 14 days. Depending on the location’s regulations, you might have to stay in a hotel for this period of time at your own expense. Of course, during this time, you will be prohibited from having any contact with others outside of your travel group. Though this might seem like an extreme measure, it’s what is necessary to stop the spread of the virus.
There are a few things you can do to protect yourself while traveling to your destination, which apply in most public spaces:
- Wash your hands often.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stay away from sick people.
- When using public spaces at airports or on the plane, do not touch surfaces with your hands. Instead, use a tissue or your sleeve.
- Use the sanitization kits typically provided by the airline, equipped with hand sanitizer, gloves, and tissues.
The CDC recommends that masks be worn for the duration of the flight. Since the virus spreads through droplets that can be expelled from coughs, sneezes, or even just talking, it is still possible to contract the virus by simply being near someone who has it. Wear these masks carefully, and together we can prevent the spread of the virus.
Adopting New Technology
With the coronavirus here to stay, the travel industry is trying to find ways to keep the public safe during their travels. Fortunately, emerging technologies make traveling during the pandemic safer. With the COVID PreCheck app, users can generate a QR-code for proof of their clear health status while traveling.
Users can report their symptoms on a self-assessment test and physicians can even access the app to report on the user’s health status, including their vaccination status. Travelers can use the COVID PreCheck app as a digital health passport to show their vaccination status.
If you are traveling within the U.S. and experiencing symptoms, you can use the app to find resources near you, such as telemedicine providers. The app can direct you to a nearby physician who can help you with tests and manage your symptoms.
We all anxiously await the vaccination rollout to be complete. In the meantime, travelers can rest assured that they are keeping themselves and others safe by using the COVID PreCheck app. To find out more about how COVID PreCheck works, visit the web application.