Gradually, some national and international flights will begin to resume operations. It will therefore be necessary to monitor the opening of borders in the different countries as well as the adopted measures by country and eventually airlines.
More chances of in-flight transmission?
To reassure you, "data to date suggest only rare cases of possible in-flight transmission of Coronavirus" says Dr. Lin H. Chen, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Cambridge Travel Medicine Center at Mount Auburn. If everyone follows the guidelines of the World Health Organization" (WHO), the risk of transmission on board, and in general, is considerably reduced.
In addition, airports and airlines strive to minimize the risk of transmissions in their usual overcrowded environments, guaranteeing the safety of passengers and following the right hygiene protocols. Intensive cleaning is now the new priority. Aircrafts are disinfected with an electrostatic disinfectant, which covers all surfaces and seat belts. In addition, some airlines provide sanitary wipes and a snacks for all passengers, replacing the catering service. In addition, some companies such as Emirates are conducting pre-flight passenger tests and others have already increased the size of hand sanitizers on board.
Furthermore, wearing a mask is now required for boarding on most flights. Cabin crew try to distribute the seats so that passengers have more space and respect the social distance, but unfortunately this does not guarantee that the middle seat will remain empty. In fact, this is even worse as the number of flights has been reduced dramatically. Therefore, personal hygiene and own responsibility is the solution to travel safely. According to Dr. David Powell, Medical Advisor to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) the following 3 aspects are essential: hand washing/disinfection, mask wearing and social distance.
PRACTICAL TIPS TO FOLLOW IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO GO ON HOLIDAY:
If you are planning a trip of any kind, make sure that you respect the health and safety measures at all times. To ensure your well-being, strictly follow the following steps while travelling to avoid contracting and transmitting the virus.
What can you do to protect yourself when you fly?
Before the flight
- Find out about the situation in the country of destination or any: specific measures taken to avoid contagion. In Spain, wearing of a mask is compulsory.
- Ask your airline about specific flight rules and measures to adopt.
- Follow notices regarding seat distribution or queuing procedure.
- Pay attention to requests for boarding through different gates or zones
- Wear a mask and wash your hands regularly.
- Keep social distance and avoid physical contact.
- Please bring your concerns or/and potential symptoms to the cabin crew to avoid further problems and risks.
During the flight
Show consideration for the cabin crew and other passengers:
- Avoid congregating near exits / entrances while waiting.
- Wear a mask during the entire flight (only remove it to eat and drink).
- Change your mask every 4 hours to guarantee its effectiveness.
- Pay attention to the surfaces you touch, try to avoid any physical contact
- If you are forced to have contact, wash your hands immediately.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Try to keep social distance, be aware of people with disabilities as well as pregnant women.
- Try to disinfect and limit contact with seats, side tables and armrests as much as possible.
Once you arrive at your destination, we recommend that you:
- Help the cabin crew by picking up your garbage and taking all your belongings.
- Strictly follow the local signs and appropriate rules.
- Continue to wash/disinfect your hands regularly.
- Wear a mask, which is highly recommended, especially if you are staying at the airport. Check the latest measures and rules of the country of destination because in some countries wearing a mask is mandatory!
- Avoid crowded events and gatherings, especially in closed spaces.
Follow these steps and make sure that you follow all safety instructions when you travel. If you do not feel well, contact the appropriate medical services immediately, keep your distances from others, wear your masks and wash your hands regularly. Remember that even if you don't have any symptoms, you may be in danger and be a potential carrier and therefore a threat to those around you. So be careful and stay safe!