Usually, we don’t have to think twice about flying to see our loved ones this time of year. It’s practically expected. In a normal year, about 47 million people will crowd the airports during the holiday season.
However, to put it mildly, this is not a normal year. The Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed almost every facet of our lives.
So you’re probably asking, is it safe to fly right now? Should we skip the trips this year? And if you do venture out, what precautions should you take to keep you and your family healthy?
Keep reading to find out how to fly safe this holiday season.
Take Precautions Before You Fly
Unfortunately, spontaneous plans are off the table this year. If you want to fly, you must begin to prepare weeks in advance.
Before buying your tickets, check if your destination is under any travel restrictions. Some regions require incoming visitors to take a test upon arrival or to quarantine for a certain period of time. Don’t wait until you touch down and are taken by surprise.
Before you fly, you and your travel companions should plan to quarantine for 14 days. During this time, anyone who feels sick or who has a sick member of their household should plan to cancel their flight and stay home.
It’s also a good idea to get a viral test (not a rapid test) 2-4 days before takeoff. Test results take about 2-3 days, so you’ll know close to your departure time that you are negative. (Needless to say, if you test positive, don’t fly for the safety of yourself and others.)
How to Fly Safe
When it’s the day of, don’t let your guard down. Just because you’ve prepared doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet.
There are many easy flying safety tips that can help you fly safe. First, you should wear a mask at all times. Masks have been proven to be highly effective at stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If you want to double up, wear a mask and a face shield together.
You should also bring extra materials to help sanitize your surroundings. Hand sanitizer, wipes, and sprays will be crucial. Before you settle into your flight, wipe down your tray table, armrests, and anything else in the surrounding area. In the same vein, make sure you are washing your hands often.
While you should still wear a mask for the whole flight, it’s worth noting that airplanes actually have good air circulation. Inside the cabin, there’s about a 50/50 mix of recycled air and outside air. It makes your chances of catching the virus on the plane itself go down.
Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe
How safe is it to fly right now? It’s not devoid of risk. But by taking proper precautions, you can increase your chance of staying healthy.
So, make sure to do your research in advance. Read up on COVID-19 safety precautions, stock up on sanitizer, and look up testing sites in your area. With a little foresight, you’ll be able to fly safe and see your family this holiday season.