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How to stay safe when flying during COVID-19

We could all use COVID-19 travel tips. It can feel almost impossible to follow social distancing guidelines while flying, but you can still limit your exposure to other people. Next time you head to the airport, make sure you keep these tips from public health and infectious disease experts in mind.

Know your destination’s rules and regulations

Read up on your arrival airport and city’s travel mandates on masks, and whether they have any special requirements, such as showing proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

Keep your mask on

Research shows that wearing a face covering reduces the risk of transmitting the virus. Wear yours proudly from terminal to terminal. Your seat may feel like a private space, but it’s really not—you’re sharing the air with the travelers around you; and in crowded terminals, the risk of exposure goes up. You should remove a face covering only to drink or eat, and preferably when those near you are wearing their masks.

Bring extra masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes

You won’t want to be stuck without them if they’re sold out at your destination. Pack a “fly-safe” kit which should include a face mask, sanitising wipes and sanitiser spray to use inflight.

Limit your bathroom visits

If you can avoid the bathroom, that’s probably for the best. It’s one of the higher-risk places for COVID-19 on a plane because not only are you in an enclosed space, but you’re in an enclosed space that sees a lot of foot traffic. You should always wear a face covering in the lavatory and turn away from the toilet when flushing. Flushing a toilet spews virus-laden aerosol droplet as high as three feet in the air, where it can linger for up to a minute.

Opt for contactless

Passengers are encouraged to use mobile, or WhatsApp boarding passes for their flights, and scan their boarding passes without touching the scanner. ID documents will be shown, but not handed, to airport personnel. Passengers are now required to pack all items into their travel hand luggage, except for laptops that can be placed in the security tray.

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