The past few months have been quite hectic around the world. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of disturbance, both on the ground and in the air. International travel is banned in most countries, many airports are shut down, and people are quite afraid to get out of their local radius. This doesn’t mean that the influx of travelers in airports is completely dried up, though; it is just not as high as it previously was. Below, we’ll be providing an overview that should help you find out whether you should avoid traveling or not.
Safety Precautions on an Airplane
At first glance, one would assume that airplanes are a center for spreading the disease because they are essentially air-conditioned flying metal tubes. But according to many health experts and the World Health Organization (WHO), the probability of catching the disease is far lower than catching it on a bus or the subway, especially if the passengers and airlines are all compliant with the latest safety standards. Airlines use electrostatic disinfectants that stick to surfaces for a long while, in addition to providing passengers with other disinfectants that they can use.
The air quality of airplanes is better than most people realize, especially when you consider the fact that ACs can get problematic. Airplanes use HEPA filters that purify the air from any contagions, in addition to having an infinite supply of clean and fresh air from the outside. It’s only natural for airlines to provide the maximum protection from the coronavirus because of the number of people that use their services every day. Some airlines may even integrate social distancing guidelines by leaving a few seats empty on the plane, but not all of them follow those plans.
Do you Need to Travel?
Even if you have a small chance of catching the coronavirus, you can become a moving contagion to strangers and those close to you. There is also the risk of traveling to a country and finding yourself stranded if they suddenly close their borders and airlines. However, some exceptions may deem it necessary for you to travel to a different location. If so, you’ll want to make sure you follow all the standard safety protocols. If you’re able to afford it, opt for popular jets that are equipped with the latest health and safety protocols. Naturally, these jets are much safer because the number of people aboard them is smaller; 18 people are considered the maximum on private jets. Plus, you won’t need to stand in the usual airline queues or deal with as many people as you would if you take a commercial airplane.
Requirements Requested by Airlines and Countries
Amongst the safety precautions on the airplane is the requirement to wear face masks, especially during international flights. If you’re going to another country, there is a chance that you’ll be asked for proof of a negative COVID-19 test, depending on the country. A lot of countries require travelers from out of the country to submit to a mandatory quarantine for 14 days after their arrival. The method can vary; some may request staying at certain quarantine centers while some may require you to wear a bracelet that tracks you for the next two weeks to ensure that you’re following the regulations. Some essential travelers may be exempted from the required quarantine as long as they comply with the needed requirements.
Personal Steps to Avoid Contamination
While the temperature tests that are done at airports may help protect passengers, these protections and precautions may not always be enough. Routine hand washing for more than 20 seconds and frequently using disinfectants like sanitizers and wipes should help you if you’re unable to wash your hands regularly on a flight. You should also avoid bad personal habits like touching your face with your hands, which can be a bit hard at first. If you feel like you’re going to sneeze or cough, avoid facing others and unnecessarily touching things like counters and booths unless you’ve disinfected your hand recently. While the strength of the transmission of the coronavirus in the air is still subject to research, it’s incredibly safer to always have a face mask when you’re outside.
The number of COVID-19 cases has been rising severely, especially in countries that tried to ignore the problem or lacked the resolve to enforce a lockdown. Fortunately, the curve is gradually becoming flattened and the infection rate is slowing down in many countries, which has opened the door for airline companies to partially resume their jobs. If you’re planning to travel, make sure you stick to the guidelines provided by official organizations and airlines.