What safety precautions should I take when traveling by air?

Staying Safe Travel

A: If you can avoid air travel, that is still the safest option.

In general, CDC notes, “Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.” If you are sick, you should not travel.

We did, however, previously address ways to reduce risk if you must travel by air (see our post from June 19th for more info)

Since it has been a while (and this question came up in our weekly round-up), here are some updates since our last post:

1) When we last posted, most airlines were still blocking seats and mask requirements were variable. Mask and seat blocking policies of all major airlines can be found here. (article updated August 5th). Nearly all airlines have a mask policy, but the specifics vary slightly across different companies. Currently, only Alaska Airlines and JetBlue (was only guaranteed until 7/31), Delta and Southwest (guaranteed through 9/30), and Hawaiian Airlines (no end date specified) are blocking seats for sale to limit the number of passengers onboard. This means there is less ability to social distance on all other airlines. While air is frequently circulated and filtered on airplanes to help prevent spread of germs (always the case), you will still be in close contact with any people seated nearby-so keep your mask on as much as possible and choose a window seat if available.

2) As noted in our prior post: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols at screening checkpoints and changes to the screening process. A summary of protocols previously highlighted as well as a few additional steps now being taken

3) Food service had previously been limited on most airlines, but many are now resuming service (See here for a recent update on offerings.) Remember that take-away food will involve less contact with others than dining in at an airport restaurant (or better yet, pack your own snacks from home!).

4) For the most up-to-date air as well as general travel guidance from CDC (updated August 9th), including considerations before you travel (including COVID-19 activity at your destination and any travel/quarantine restrictions), activities considered higher risk and what steps to take after you travel (generally and specifically, for air travel), see here.

onsiderations for traveling by car or RV are also noted in the updated guidelines and may provide a safer option for travel.

Stay safe, stay sane friends!

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