The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic drastically affected the travel industry as more people decided to stick close to home rather than venture out. However, families are beginning to resume their travels with the vaccine rollout and dropping numbers of confirmed cases. The good news is that there are a number of steps that you can take to travel safely if you decide to hit the friendly skies this spring and beyond. Here are five tips to help you to fly safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Get the Vaccination if Possible
If you are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, it is a good idea to get vaccinated before traveling. In most areas of the country, those individuals over the age of 65, health care and other essential workers, and other high-risk people may be eligible to receive the vaccine. Be sure to check with your local and state guidelines for more information about your eligibility status.
It is also important to note that the vaccine takes up to two weeks from the second dosage to reach full efficacy. For this reason, you need to wait two weeks after the last dose if you want to feel confident that the vaccine is getting to work protecting you. The newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one dose.
The most important step to take before heading into the airport is to mask up. Numerous research studies point to the importance of wearing masks to prevent the spread of the virus. The federal government now requires mask usage on all forms of public transportation within the US. This includes all planes, busses, trains, and other forms of public transportation as well as all of the corresponding hubs, including airports.
There is no shortage of mask styles to choose from, making it easy to find the right fit for your personal needs and preferences. The venerable N95 mask has been touted for its extreme effectiveness at filtering at least 95% of all harmful airborne particles. You can buy 3m n95 mask at various outlets so that you are ready to board that plane with extreme peace of mind.
Test Before and After Travel
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that people get tested for COVID-19 both before and after travel. Under no circumstance should you board a plane if you test positive for the virus.
Keep in mind that it may take up to five days after the initial exposure to the virus to test positive. For this reason, you should quarantine after travel for this period of time and then test. If you choose not to test after travel, the CDC recommends isolating yourself at home for 10 days.
Practice Proper Personal Hygiene
In addition to wearing masks, you can also reduce the odds that you contract the virus by practicing proper personal hygiene. Good personal hygiene begins and ends with regular hand washing.
Traditional soap and water are the best defense in stopping the spread of germs. You can also lean on hand sanitizer if you do not have access to running water and soap. Be sure that your hand sanitizer is made with a concentration of at least 60% alcohol. For an extra added layer of protection, consider traveling with antibacterial sanitizing wipes to use on surfaces that you will come into contact with during your flight.
Adhere to Social Distancing Protocols
Clearly, it is nearly impossible to the social distance while on an airplane. However, you can generally socialize distance while in the airport. Most airports have markers in place to help you to appropriately distance while standing in line for security or other purposes.
You should also avoid congregating in the boarding area. If you have time to kill before your flight, seek out an area of the airport with ample space rather than crowding around the gate. Your fellow passengers will appreciate all efforts that you can make to practice the recommended social distancing protocols.
All five of these tips will go a long way in ensuring that you have a safe air travel experience. Implementing these tips will also help you to do your part to protect others should you decide to travel.