10 Ways To Travel Safely During The Covid-19 Outbreak

By Elena Cortesi on March 13 2020 in Travel

Workers disinfect Tehran subway wagons against coronavirus. Image credit: Fars News Agency/Wikimedia.org
Workers disinfect Tehran subway wagons against coronavirus. Image credit: Fars News Agency/Wikimedia.org
  • Washing your hands often decreases the risk of spreading the Coronavirus
  • The protocol when going through airport security in most airports is to remove your shoes for inspection
  • COVID-19 cannot seep through your hands into your bloodstream and infect you

Travel is extremely prevalent in North America during February and March as many schools and universities have their spring breaks.  People are driving, flying, taking the train to all parts of the world.  This is a much anticipated annual event enjoyed by families and students alike.  With the reality of the pandemic of COVID-19 that we are constantly hearing about, living through and talking about, it makes one evaluate the option to travel at all.  If you do decide to travel, you must be vigilant and remember that everyone's health and safety is the mandate so following some simple yet important tips and rules will give everyone peace of mind.

10. Check Local Government Websites Before Leaving for Your Trip

The COVID-19 situation globally changes day by day, hour by hour so you must be diligent about keeping abreast of what is happening and how it will affect your travel plans.  Make sure you check official government websites, airline posts, and train station schedules before packing and leaving for your trip. 

9. Seniors and Small Children Should Consider Postponing Travel

For the elderly and for small children who have weaker immune systems, the recommendation of governing health organizations like the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is to postpone travel if at all possible to ensure health and safety.

8. If You're Sick, Stay Home!

The Coronavirus is spread from person to person in the same manner as a common cold or flu.  If you are feverish, have a cough, runny nose or any flu-like symptoms, do not travel.  Contact your local health branch and advise them of your symptoms so you can be tested for COVID-19.  If you test negative, you are not in the clear.  Being sick means having a weaker immune system which makes you susceptible to the virus and other illnesses.  Be responsible. 

7. Wash Your Hands and then Wash Them Again

The Coronavirus cannot seep through your skin from your hands into your bloodstream.  However, it does get into your nose and lungs through your nostrils and mouth.  Wash and disinfect your hands often and do not touch your face.  Wearing a mask that is not medical grade will not protect you from the virus but it will help you from touching your face so it is an added precaution.

6. Sneeze and Cough into a Tissue

If you are on a plane or a train or in a vehicle with other people and feel the need to sneeze or cough, cover your mouth with a tissue.  Dispose of the tissue immediately and wash your hands or at the very least use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands.

5. Wipe Down Table Trays, Seat Belts and Armrests

Before settling into your flight or train voyage, bring some antibacterial wipes with you and clean off all surfaces.  Although airlines and trains have been given the mandate of stepping up disinfecting all planes and trains between flights, it does not hurt to be prudent and do that little extra yourself.

4. Avoid On Board Bathrooms if At All Possible

If your flight or train ride is short, try your best to avoid using the bathrooms onboard.  The Coronavirus, like other bacteria, can survive on hard surfaces for several days so avoidance is best.  If it cannot be avoided, again, be prudent, wash your hands before and after using the bathroom and use a paper towel or tissue to open and close the bathroom door and dispose of it immediately afterward.

3. Request a Window Seat

If traveling on a flight, request a window seat to minimize your contact with other passengers on board.  The fewer interactions with others during travel, the safer you will be.

2. Wear Socks With Your Shoes When Headed to the Airport

The protocol when going through security at the airport is to remove your shoes for inspection.  Being barefoot is not something you want to be when this happens.  A fresh pair of socks in your carryon bag is ideal to bring with you so you can dispose of the ones you are wearing before replacing them with the clean ones.  Again, wash your hands!

1. Do I really Want or Need to Travel?

It's time to do an assessment.  During these very trying and uncertain times, you must ask yourself if traveling is worth the risk at the moment.  You should think about your current health status, if you are at additional risk with pre-existing medical conditions, if you will be amongst crowds of people during your time away and if perhaps postponing your trip is a better, more comfortable choice.  

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