Air travel is one of the fastest and safest forms of travelling, but while flights have reduced rates of crashes and malfunctions, they can not promise safety from virus transmission and disease, except for taking a certain level of precaution and care. The covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill, but as things slowly attempt to return to normal, there are still precautions that need to be taken.
As air travel starts up again airlines are adopting a range of measures to ensure that their passengers and personnel are safe. Do adhere to their protocols and remember that it is not just about you, but about your respect for those around you as well.
Travellers must ensure that they have adequate knowledge about the virus so they can protect themselves accordingly; basic symptoms include fever, dry cough, and difficulty breathing, and the disease is transmitted through contact with infected surfaces or persons who carry the disease. By being able to detect and recognize symptoms in other people, they can take an extra step in ensuring their safety from the coronavirus disease.
Social distancing reduces the risk of catching the virus, as people stand six feet away from each other, maintaining a safe distance that does not allow droplets to be transmitted. Staying away from crowds is recommended.
To ensure that they are safe from infected particles, travellers should avoid touching surfaces that have not been sanitized, wear gloves, use a sanitizer with around 60% alcohol, or wash their hands for at least 20 seconds. They should try not to touch other surfaces unless absolutely necessary. When possible, things such as passports should be scanned instead of held and examined by others. After getting their luggage, travellers should sanitize the handles and surface. Wearing gloves is a great idea, as it allows travellers to avoid direct contact. Travellers should avoid touching their face (eyes, nose, mouth) at all costs, so contamination does not reach sensitive areas.
Wearing a mask is a must, as this avoids the spread of disease through droplets from coughing or sneezing. This keeps travellers safe from the virus, and reduces the risk of transmitting it to others. However, it is essential that these masks are carefully disposed of after use. Travellers should be careful not to touch them, and they should not be reused. In case surgical masks are not available, layers of clean cloth can be carefully sewn into masks.
To be safe, food should be eaten hot. Travellers may bring their own plastic utensils, water bottles, or even, packed home-made food. Do be aware of security protocols eg: steel utensils such as knives and forks are not allowed to be taken on board.
Airports should have protocols such as frequent sanitization, temperature scanning at entry and exit points, and regulations for mask and glove usage.
Travellers should choose airlines that are prudent in handling the crisis, and take strict additional measures such as air filtration systems which remove bacterias and viruses, sealed blankets and covers, disinfected utensils and equipment, and frequent cleaning and sanitization routines.
The safest seats are the somewhat secluded window seats, as they allow a certain level of protection through reduced contact with other passengers.
It is prudent to avoid moving around on the plane. Unless essential, visits to the toilet should be avoided. When the plane lands, travellers should not get up immediately but wait for the queue to exit before they leave, so there is less crowding and physical contact that could potentially be dangerous.
These precautions should be helpful for travellers in staying safe and reducing their risk of getting the virus. Till the situation normalizes, these should be strictly followed so people can be protected, and the curve can be flattened.