What to Do Before Flying During COVID-19

Plane flying above the clouds

The best way to stay safe and lower your chances of getting COVID-19 is to simply stay home and keep away from people who are sick. And that’s exactly what people around the world have been doing since this all started several months back. Travel has decreased with air travel being down almost 80% in comparison to the same time last year. However, if you absolutely must travel somewhere by plane, it would help to know what to do before you even board your flight in order to stay safe.

It’s important to note that one can contract COVID-19 at any point in their journey to their destination. It could happen before the flight while you’re in the airport, during the flight while on the plane, or after the flight in the bus taking you to your next location. You may not exhibit any symptoms and could feel completely fine, but there is still the real risk of spreading the coronavirus to others. That’s why it would be really beneficial to wear a mask, wash your hands often, and carry around hand sanitizer.

Taking a Look at Yourself

So, you’re probably wondering… is flying safe during coronavirus?

Yes, it can be as long as you comply with the existing protocols and precautions set in place to reduce spread, such as those laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

First things first, do not fly if you are sick or have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19 within the last 14 days. 

Just don’t do it.

If this isn’t the case for you, then the next thing to do is check yourself and those with whom you live to see if someone has an increased risk for severe illness after contracting COVID-19. This applies to any person you plan on visiting during your trip as well. If that risk exists, it may be in your best interest to not travel for now.

Now How About the Airlines

Some airlines have been keeping the middle seat in each row open so that there is a decent amount of space between people. Most have implemented a mandatory mask rule for anyone who boards a flight, with some exceptions for young children. Choose whichever one presents safety options that you prefer as there are variations between the different airlines.

Before you even buy your tickets, check to see if your destination has had a lot of cases or if it has any specific requirements for travelers. This will give you a better picture of whether you are likely to get infected during your trip and whether there are things you should do while there. Most states have public health websites that provide pertinent information you may need to know before traveling. For example, masks are required in certain states while recent travelers must stay home for up to 14 days in other states. 

International flights are a whole different ball game. They can come with extra layers of restrictions and requirements, so take a look at the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information page and other resources to get further details. If you’re looking to see how other countries are faring with the coronavirus, the following travel health notices page shows the varying degrees of COVID-19 risk in different countries.

Once you have done your research and are able to fly, it’s time to pack smart. 

Before Taking Your Trip

Besides the clothes and other items on your list of essentials, you should make sure to include personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers. These will help protect you from inhaling or touching contaminated substances and surfaces. The less exposure to germs, the better. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) changed regulations on the amount of liquid allowed in carry-ons from the usual 3.4-ounce limit to 12 ounces in order to accommodate bringing hand sanitizer. Take a look at our 2oz travel size hand sanitizer and other sanitizers on palmtopalm.com to find the perfect addition for your bag. 

People come into contact with so many things throughout the day, more than one thinks. Unfortunately, this translates to an increased chance of catching or spreading germs. Bring along hand wipes and disinfectant wipes to clean your hands and wipe down public surfaces such as a seat tray, shared armrest, or bathroom stall handle. They help reduce the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. 

Since many restaurants inside of airports have shut down and airlines are reducing inflight food services, it may be helpful to just pack your own snacks. The food items must be carried in a clear, plastic bag to speed up the screening process, as mandated by TSA. Bringing your own food limits exposure to other people and allows you to avoid purchasing food while on the plane. 

Read our next blog to find out more information on what to do during and after flights during COVID-19.