Following all the measures that have been implemented to curb the spread of coronavirus, including the ban on air travel, it may not take long before people begin to fly again. However, air travel now might be different from what we had in pre-coronavirus times. This is because now there are rules ranging from social distancing, wearing of face masks at airports, limited food, to zero queues for aircraft-toilet; precautions that are necessary to check the spread of COVID-19.
So, is flying really risky? Are there ways to ensure safe flying? We’ll show you as you keep reading.
How to reach the airport
Getting to the airport requires some safety. Why? Traveling by public means of transportation exposes you to people and surfaces touched by others; an increased chance of contracting coronavirus. From cars, buses, to trains, every transportation mode has peculiar risks. But if you’re worried about catching coronavirus, the best transport is a car. Ensure you wear your mask, keep windows open, and wash your hands before getting a cab.
How to remain safe at the airport
New measures have been implemented in airports, including social distancing and compulsory face covering for staff and passengers.
Safety at the airport is important because there’s a larger crowd there from all over the world. Maintaining your distance, use of hand sanitizer, wearing a mask, and regular hand washing are key. You can even get a COVID-19 PCR test for travel at your doctor’s. Other ways are checking and printing your boarding pass beforehand if possible and opting for hand luggage.
This goes against the advice of the Department for Transport (DfT) that says all baggage be checked in as it’ll reduce time spent at the airport aisle and lower the rate of transmission as boarding and disembarking will be faster. However, traveling light ensures a few persons get to handle your baggage.
It has been advised that passengers do more of carry-on bags than checked-in bags to reduce expenses and limit the number of persons that usually gather at the baggage carousel.
Be that as it may, airlines have announced that they won’t lower, their sometimes expensive rates for checking in a bag. Trays at security are prone to carrying more respiratory viruses than public toilets, as many hands touch them daily. So, when you’re done with security and taken off your belongings from the trays provided, make sure you wash your hands and sanitize them as quickly as you can, and in the interim, don’t touch your face.
How to stay safe on the plane
It’s recommended that you reduce cabin movement by seating down as much as possible, use contactless payment where tenable, adhere to instructions from the crew, inform the cabin should you be unwell, and bear in mind that food and drink supply is lesser.
Many airlines require you put on your face mask if you’re not eating or drinking. They even make hand sanitizers available. Some flights insist passengers put on face mask and face shields together.
Using the toilet before boarding can reduce the need to go during flight and reduce movement around the cabin; less chance of being exposed to coronavirus. Certain airlines have set up new rules to lower toilet queues, however not using the toilet at all is safer.
Research reveals that people who do a lot of cabin-movement are prone to catching a bug. A study on the behavior, movement, and transmission of droplet-mediated respiratory diseases during a flight show that passengers in window seats have less encounter with other people than those in other seats. This implies that window-seat passengers are at a lower risk of contracting viruses.
What does this mean for you? Choosing a window seat can reduce your risk of contracting a virus. However, less movement around the plane is crucial as it equals fewer chances of meeting a virus carrier.
Is it risky traveling by air compared to other transport modes because of the air circulation?
Catching something on a plane is very low. This is different from what many travelers think: they feel that the same air carrying every passenger’s cough, sneeze, or sniffle moves around the plane. But do you know that most modern aircraft are designed with advanced filtration systems that lower the spread of airborne disease?
So, airplanes are relatively safer when it comes to catching coronavirus due to super ventilation and air filtration. Remember that respiratory infections spread mainly through direct contact and/or airborne droplet. This limits more risk to passengers sharing the same row, or seating in front or behind a sick person.
Another study on air transport and communicable diseases shows that people don’t fall sick easily on a plane. Why? The modern air filters on planes have the same performance as those used to clean the air in hospital operating rooms and industrial clean rooms. Practically, a modern cabin air system provides about 50% fresh air, and 50% filtered recirculated air. So, traveling by air has the same risk as traveling by bus, train, or any confined space.
What safety measures have been put in place by airlines?
Following recommendations by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), airports are establishing safe procedures for flight passengers.
It’s more important to be careful in the airport where you have much crowd with the possibility of contact. For additional protection, get COVID PCR test for travel near me.
- Passengers should provide health and contact information before arrival
- Passengers should check-in remotely
- Boarding passes should be printed at home
- There should be temperature testing at entry points
- Limited access to terminals
- Use of automated bag at the airport
- Installing protective screens at vital points in the airport
- Installing hand sanitizer stations throughout the airport
- Setting up signs reminding passengers to maintain social distance and regular hand washing
- Regular and improved deep cleaning of aircraft cabin
- Wearing of mask onboard
There are other suggestions like asking a flight attendant before using the toilet to avoid queues.
Other countries are performing temperature checks and random swab testing for coronavirus on all traveling flight passengers. However, the UK government is yet to introduce these precautions and are still holding onto her imposed a 2-week quarantine on all passengers coming in from many countries of the world.
To ensure your safety, do reach out to us at Private Blood Tests London on 020 71830244 for your PCR test today.