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Planning for a trip can be very exciting, whether it be for work, relaxation, or visiting family and friends. Regardless of the reason, there is always a great deal of planning involved, and that has only increased with the Covid-19 pandemic.
But don’t worry, we are here to help you travel safely during these difficult times.
Airport Safety Tips
Airports can be rather large, so passengers can practice social distance while waiting for their flight. But, without the right precautions, the airport can still be considered risky. There are times where crowds are hard to avoid, such as during the pre-flight security check, or when waiting in front of the gate before boarding. Those instances can make physical distancing quite a challenge. Sometimes it can take up to an hour or more to get through them.
Having lunch at in-terminal restaurants or bars can also be risky. People need to take off their masks to eat and drink, and so the potential for exposure to Covid-19 there is higher for everyone. So, after everything that has been mentioned, we can fairly state that the risk factor resides in how much time passengers spend at different areas of the airport, the number of people nearby, and mask usage.
Therefore, here are two tips to make things safer:
Check how many flights are scheduled at your designated terminal around the same time as your flight. If there are many of them, you can assume you’ll be at the airport at peak hours. In that case, we suggest you get to the airport early, that way you can go through the lines before everyone else arrives.
Avoid Crowded Restaurants
If you get hungry while waiting, don’t hesitate to go to the airport’s restaurants. But instead of sitting at a table, order a takeaway and have your meal in a quiet area. Airports are big enough.
Are Airplanes Risky?
In most aircraft, people breathe a mixture of fresh and recirculated air. The air is sucked in by the ceiling ducts, to be released afterward. Half of it is let out of the airplane, and the other half is filtered and sent back into the cabin. The air is filtered with fiberglass meshes, which catch most microscopic particles. As a result, the air gets refreshed every 2-3 minutes, which according to the experts, is higher than the average rate in grocery stores or any other indoor area.
Experts also agreed that this is one of the main reasons why there hasn’t been any major spread of the Covid on airplanes so far, in addition to the safety protocols. This high rate of air circulation allows “old” and “new” air to mix evenly and consequently prevents viral elements from remaining inside the cabin for too long. Therefore, the likelihood of getting Covid during a flight is considerably reduced.
However, the chances of spread aren't eliminated. Given the case of a passenger sneezing during the flight, since the air flows sideways, those particles could sneak out from the sides of their mask, and eventually reach other parts of the plane. Still, not all the particles are the same size nor do most of them necessarily carry infectious matter. But if the rest of the passengers aren’t wearing a mask, that sneeze could be a problem.
With that in mind, we can say that flying is a safe practice that you shouldn’t worry about, as long as you wear a mask at all times. And also keep in mind that passengers are required to have a negative Covid test result with a regulation RT-PCR, or antigen test within a few days prior to traveling.