Due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, it becomes less safe and more difficult to take a plane as usual. The risks come with different sections of your plane journey, from getting to the airport, waiting at the airport, to sitting on the plane and getting off the plane.
Though all the air companies have been trying their best to take measures and precautions to disinfect facilities and keep passengers safe, it is still advised to avoid unnecessary flight journeys. But if you have to, here follow the 9 tips to have a safer and smoother flight trip during the coronavirus pandemic:
1. Self-Monitor before Departure
Before taking a plane, check that if you have any symptoms of coronavirus as follows: cough, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, loss of taste or smell, and sore throat. If necessary, make a viral test to see if you are positive for COVID-19.
2. Plan Traffic on the Road, Early Arrival in the Airport
As nearly all the airports have epidemic prevention and inspection measures, it takes a longer time for passengers to check-in and board the flight so that an early arrival in the airport is very necessary. Plan your transport means and routes in advance and private vehicles are more recommended. However, if you have to take a metro or bus, then search the routes and schedules ahead of time in case of delaying.
3. Check Immigration, Exit-Entry Regulations
If you are an international traveler flying in or out of China, then pay close attention to the immigration and exit-entry laws of China or your destination country. Most countries have temporarily closed some of the borders and some ports are not allowed to go through. In some other countries, the declaration of entry in advance is needed. For example, China Customs requires an online entry declaration 24 hours before. Also, some countries may demand quarantine after arrival, such as Britain and Canada.
4. Luggage: Some Epidemic Prevention Products are NOT Allowed on Plane
Most common epidemic prevention products are allowed to take to the place, including surgical masks, goggles, and general protective clothing. However, the mercurial thermometer can only be taken in checked luggage.
As for sanitizer, some with a high alcohol vol over 70% is not allowed to take neither in carry-on luggage nor in checked luggage; some with an alcohol vol below 70% can only be packed individually which cannot be over 500ml each one and then put in checked luggage; some containing isopropyl alcohol cannot be taken to the plane, either.
5. Select a Seat in the Front and by the Window Online
It is advised to select a seat online before departing as it can reduce the social contact time when selecting at the counter. Try to select a seat in the first rows and near the window. Because the toilet is always set in the back part, and sitting in the back or near the aisle will undoubtedly raise the difficulty of social distancing.
6. Turn on the Air Conditioner
Make sure to turn on your air conditioner on the plane and shift the wind direction downward as it can be much helpful to the air motion and get rid of the virus. In fact, the air conditioning system on the plane can complete air exchange in 2-3 minutes and filter 99.97% of virus.
7. Try Not to Eat on Board
For a safer trip, try not to eat, drink or visit the toilet on the plane if you take a short distance flight, and avoid moving on board. If you are too thirsty, remember to ask flight attendants for a bottled water as it has a narrow mouth and with good leakproofness to prevent virus.
8. Avoid Being the Last Ones to Deplane
After the plane land off, don’t crowd to deplane but also try not to be off the plane at last. Because it may increase contacts with others during the waiting period.
9. After Flying: Keep an Eye on the Follow-up News about Confirmed Cases
It is still not over when you arrive at your destination. Accept all the security checks at the airport and remember to pay attention to the epidemic prevention and control report and related news about the new confirmed cases. Make sure there is not any new confirmed patient on your flight.