The CDC warns that “travel increases the likelihood of obtaining and disseminating COVID-19.”
Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst at the Atmosphere Research Group, said airplanes are a safe option for travelers, but “it’s not a risk-free option.”
According to Harteveldt, the airport is taking steps to protect travelers, including cleaning more often, installing plexiglass shields at check-in counters, and installing hand sanitizer stations throughout the building.
However, unlike airports, which tend to comply with local regulations, the safety precautions differ when flying, he said. Some airlines have temporarily stopped filling the central seats to increase the distance between passengers.Passengers have toOn the plane, and with some food It has been reduced.
However, American Airlines recently announced that it will begin booking flights that will reach capacity on July 1 instead of leaving seats vacant due to social distance.
CDC Director Dr. Robert RedfieldThere was “significant disappointment” in the decision by American Airlines to fill the plane. “I don’t think it’s the right message,” he said, adding that it’s under a “critical review” by the CDC.
Harteveldt urged travelers to familiarize themselves with the airline’s COVID-19 precautions before booking a flight. He recommends a passenger pack:
May not be provided for multiple face covers, especially for long haul flights.
A hand sanitizer for everyone who travels with you. TSA is currently allowing passengers to bring 12 ounces. Hand disinfectant, as opposed to the previous 3 ounces.
Disposable gloves and disinfectant wipes. Even if the airline is cleaning the plane between flights, wiping the seats, tray tables and blinds will remove the bacteria.
Your own food. Most airlines do not sell food on domestic flights and many airport restaurants are closed.
Before arriving at the airport, Harteveldt said travelers need to download the airline app and check in in advance to reduce contact with others. Also, to further prevent the passage of bacteria, bring your mobile phone when TSA scans your boarding pass.
If you can avoid checking your baggage, do so, he said. Also, wipe your baggage before leaving the airport, regardless of whether you have checked your baggage.
“You can’t be too careful,” he said.
The CDC recommends that travelers first scrutinize their destination before boarding an airplane. If COVID-19 is spread everywhere you go (you can see it on the CDC’s COVID tracker map), the agency warns travelers that it can become infected while away from home.
Harteveldt reiterated that advice, stating that travelers should be most concerned about the situation of the case and the hospital beds available where they are heading. Special considerations should be taken when traveling to states such as Texas, Arizona, Florida, and California, where cases are increasing.
The same scrutiny should be done on where you start. The CDC encourages travelers to ask themselves if COVID-19 has spread to the community before departure. “You can spread COVID-19 to others while traveling, even if you have no symptoms,” the company’s website reads.
Dr. Teresa Madalin, a healthcare epidemiologist and assistant professor of infectious diseases at Albert Einstein Hospital in New York, said he would not travel now, “given the amount of COVID activity in the country.”
“I personally wouldn’t fly right away,” she said.