With the Covid-19 pandemic came travel bans and restrictions. Many had to cancel any prior made travel plans in favour of staying safe and in quarantine. However, as more and more people are getting the vaccine, travel bans worldwide have also started to loosen.
Read on to find out the precautions you can take if you intend to travel by air during the Covid-19 pandemic.
1. Get vaccinated before the flight
Knowing how Covid-19 can be transmitted in a plane gives us insight into how we can protect ourselves if we need to travel by air during the pandemic. Before we delve into the details, you should first and foremost check the precautionary measures stipulated by your destination. Different countries impose different restrictions on visitors, some stricter than others. It is important to note all the additional requirements you would need to fulfil while planning your trip.
Getting vaccinated before the flight is becoming a standard precaution that countries are requiring before admitting visitors. However, even if it is not a requirement, getting the vaccine is still a good idea before travelling to a foreign country. Treat it as one of your routine travel vaccines.
Doing so is vital, as vaccines can reduce the risk of transmission amongst passengers on the flight. When we travel, our immunity tends to be lower due to being in a foreign environment. Taking the vaccine can reduce the severity of the effects of the Covid-19 infection. With most of the passengers vaccinated, our risk of getting infected would also be lower due to herd immunity.
2. Avoid eating or drinking during the flight
When we consume food and drinks on the plane, our risk of infection gets higher as we would have to do so without using a face mask. Whenever someone removes their mask on the flight for whatever reason, the likelihood of the virus spreading increases.
As much as possible, do refrain from eating or drinking on board. If you have to do so, make it quick. Also, if you spot another passenger near you consuming food, check that your mask is on to prevent infection.
3. Ensure good hygiene when using the lavatory
In a case study done in November 2020, researchers found that 6 asymptomatic passengers could have been infected when using the lavatory. The lavatory is another area that many people would remove their masks. As such, the surfaces of the toilet itself would likely be exposed to the virus.
Hence, it is essential to wash your hands and maintain good hygiene while using the lavatory. Also, using disinfectants could be an excellent extra measure you can take. Other preventive measures would be to avoid touching your face and be mindful to keep the lavatory clean before and after use.
4. Adopt Covid-19 prevention practices
Besides the prevention measures stated above, there are other personal precautions you should take to prevent infection. When you are both on and off the plane, do make sure that you are wearing a mask. Ensure that the mask is fitted correctly to cover both your mouth and nose. If you see someone not wearing a mask on the flight, kindly remind them to do so or ask a flight steward for assistance.
Experts also recommend facing forward while you are seated to improve air ventilation. Keeping your personal overhead vents on throughout the flight is also highly recommended. Doing so can make breathing more comfortable and reduce transmission of the Covid-19 virus between passengers.
If you encounter an emergency situation, you should also be ready in knowing what to do and how to proceed. Keep a level head and listen out for instructions. You should also note the precautions stated by the air stewards to ensure you are prepared in such times. Lastly, remember to note the different medical assistance services available in each country.
As air travel restrictions are slowly easing up, many countries are getting ready to open their borders to visitors once again. If you find yourself planning a trip overseas via air, do keep these tips in mind while travelling, and you should be able to keep yourself and your fellow passengers safe.