Flying Safely during COVID-19
It’s been almost a year since the pandemic started (time flew, but we didn’t) and the dynamics of it seem to be changing from day to day. However, travel doesn’t have to be a risk whatsoever, as long as you’re staying updated on valid information and following the precautions. To help you feel safe too, we’ve made a quick check-list for you to consult before setting off on a trip!
Once you know your destination, it’s important to verify the situation via the country’s official sources, e.g. the official website of the Ministry of Foreign affairs or Health. Before booking a business trip (perhaps using www.dibtravel.com?), make sure to also check if the borders of the country you’re travelling to are actually open and if you need to show a negative PCR test result. Skipping this step is risky because you could be sent home right on the next flight without even stepping foot at your destination.
Contactless & infectionless
In order to board the plane, you need to be present and the airport and your designated gate. However, some of the steps prior to boarding can actually be completed online depending on the airport you’ll be using. If possible, make sure to finish your booking, payment and even check-in online and skip the queue at the airport. Remember to check all the available amenities the airport offers in order to do as much as possible online!
Social distance makes a difference!
One of the precautions you’ve probably heard before, but it couldn’t be more true! Keeping a safe distance from people at the airport significantly reduces the chances of getting infected. When in line, make sure you’re at least 2m behind the person in front of you (or, to illustrate it better, at two-arms’ length).
What happens once you get on the plane? Most airlines now operate with strict COVID-19 measures, one of them being the requirement to leave empty, unsold seats between passengers. When booking a flight, don’t forget to contact the airline of your choice and ask about the measures they are employing, just to make sure you’re getting the most up-to-date information. And whatever your airline’s middle-seat policy may be, when it comes to the risk of getting infected in flight, a window seat is definitely a safer option. Having a wall on one side automatically reduces your number of close-proximity contacts! In fact, 86% of air passengers have reported feeling safe during their entire trip in recent research by IATA (International Air Transport Association). Statistics in this research identified 44 new cases among 1.2 billion travellers, which amounts to 1 case for every 27.3 million travellers. This implies that the plane cabin as well as the environment around it little to no risk!
Mask as a must, even on a plane
Another precaution you must have heard and seen all around. It’s already mandatory in most closed spaces due to the lack of air circulation, including airport grounds. But is it really effective in a small cabin full of people flying for hours? It actually is! Although the space on the plane is far from vast, the air is actually refreshed every 2 to 4 minutes. In addition, the air flows vertically. This means that once the air leaves the cabin, about half goes outside, and the rest is sent through HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters which filter out 99.97% of virus-sized particles. Wearing a mask easily protects you against the remaining 0.03% and against contracting the virus from the passenger next to you.
Hand sanitizers — aboard!
Finally, although most airports strictly prohibit bringing almost all kinds of liquids on board, due to the current situation, many airports in Europe and the US allow one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 100ml per passenger in carry-on bags. It seems like very little, but keep in mind that airports offer various sorts of disinfectants, so 100ml will suffice for one trip.
We hope you’ve found this list helpful! By following these simple steps, you can be sure that you’re travelling safely. These are trying times for the entire travel industry, but keep in mind that travel is as safe as we make it: by taking care of ourselves during a trip, we can easily obliterate any risks of getting infected and continue with safe travels. In other words, it’s important to stay positive — and hopefully not test positive!