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The COVID-19 pandemic has largely put an end to travel, but there are still people needing to travel for essential work service. Traveling feels scary right now. But there are ways to make the journey as safe as possible for yourself and others. So if you have to board a plane right now amid the COVID-19 pandemic, here are tips you need to know for travel.
1. Avoid Public Transportation
The important thing you have to do when traveling during COVID-19 pandemic is to avoid as many people as possible, so steer clear of any public transportation if you can. You can have someone you’ve been quarantining with drive you to the airport. If you’re taking public transportation of any kind, wear a mask and be mindful to touch as few surfaces as possible.
2. Wear a Face Mask
Even if you aren’t showing symptoms, there’s a chance you may have contracted the coronavirus. To protect yourself and others, wear a cloth face covering to cover your nose and mouth when out in public. Once it’s on, don’t touch it without washing your hands first.
3. Check-In Online, Download a Mobile Boarding Pass, and Use a Carry-On Suitcase
Again, you want to avoid as many physical touchpoints with other people during your travels as possible. Fortunately, you can check into your flight online and download the boarding pass to your phone, allowing for fewer interactions and forgoing the need to hand over a ticket.
To skip interacting with a desk agent and prevent your bag from touching multiple people, opt for a carry-on bag instead of checked luggage. While at the airport and when boarding, keep at least six feet of distance from other travelers.
4. Wash Your Hands Frequently and Bring Hand Sanitizer
At each stage of your journey—arriving at the airport, getting through security, and after getting off the plane—wash your hands with soap and water at least 20 seconds. If you can’t find soap and water, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Major airports have hand-sanitizing stations set up for travelers. Additionally, bring sanitizing wipes for any surfaces you must touch, like armrests on the plane.
5. Pack Food and a Reusable Water Bottle
Most airlines have stopped or limited food and beverage service on flights to avoid unnecessary interactions. And although there are still some restaurants providing take-out, it’s better to pack your purse or backpack with food and snacks from home. Similarly, bring an empty reusable water bottle that you can refill at one of the refill stations.
6. Stay Seated
Due to the thorough cleaning airlines have employed for planes and the air filters found on most planes, viruses do not spread easily on planes. However, you could still come into contact with the coronavirus, particularly if you’re seated within six feet of someone who is infected.
Many airlines have said they will allow travelers to sit in a socially distant manner on the plane if that’s doable, and some airlines are even blocking their middle seats for now. To increase your safety, opt for a window seat and stay seated throughout the flight, thus limiting your exposure to people and surfaces.