Most people are paranoid about flying after lockdown, due to concerns about contracting the coronavirus. However, as long as you take the necessary precautions, you are good to go! To help you feel safe and plan your trip, here are 10 things you must know while travelling by flight:
Can you travel:
Most countries have restrictions based on the area you come from. People from high risk locations may be restricted from travelling. If you are displaying symptoms, or have a weak immunity, you should not be travelling. The UK has divided regions into tiers, based on their level of COVID cases, and lower-risk tiers (1 and 2) are allowed to travel.
What are the rules for quarantine:
Upon your arrival and return, you may be asked to quarantine for up to 14 days. Some areas are exempt from these regulations, so you will not have to self-isolate, although it is recommended to do so, in order to protect those around you.
How does your airlines manage its hygiene:
ICF surveyed aviation executives and found that 92% of the respondents wanted to see enhanced aircraft hygiene requirements after the lockdown. Many top rated airlines use extensive sanitizing procedures. They regularly disinfect their cabins, with protocols and processes recommended by organizations such as WHO. The filtration systems remove most bacterias or viruses in the air. Most airlines offer clean and sealed blankets, and serve hot food with disinfected utensils.
What precautions should you take:
Always wear a mask, and carry a sanitizer, which many flights provide. You should also frequently wash your hands, at least for 20 seconds. You can also wear gloves, and avoid touching surfaces. In case you do touch a surface (which is likely if you are at an airport), do not touch your face till your hands are clean and sanitized.
What extra precautions can you take:
While your flight is expected to provide clean blankets and items, you can carry your own to avoid coming into contact with a contaminated item. Aircrafts provide sealed, bottled water, but you can take your own, as an added precaution. Some passengers would also avoid airplane food, although it is hygienic in most airlines. They can carry snacks, according to airline regulations.
What not to do on the plane and airport:
Social distancing is incredibly important, so you should keep a safe distance of 6 feet. When the plane lands, do not get up immediately, so the aisles are not crowded. Do not touch surfaces, or go to the toilet during the flight.
How to get to the airport:
For many travellers, going to the airport is another concern. If someone you live with, or isolated with, can drop you off, the risk is lowest. If you are using a car service such as Uber, you are expected to wear masks, and should wipe down the seat and handles before entering and when leaving. Many airports do not allow car parkings for longer durations, so being dropped off is the best option.
What about the middle seat:
In their attempt to reduce transmission and maintain a distance, many flights try to block out the middle seat. However, in case the demand increases e.g. if they have to accommodate passengers from another flight, these seats may be used. Window seats are generally considered safer: they have the least amount of contact between people.
What to pay:
For more flights, fares may be cheaper than they usually are, even during relatively busy times. Many airlines have made their policies more flexible, so extra charges such as bookings or cancellation fees may be waived.
How to go through airport security:
Pack your food separately in a plastic bag, so airport agents do not need to remove and check it. Most airports try to reduce how much agents touch your belongings. You can use an electronic boarding pass, or scan the paper boarding pass, so the agent does not have to touch it. Agents wear new gloves if they need to pat you down during check-in.