The end of the year usually means traveling to a festive gathering to visit friends and loved ones. Planes, trains and automobiles are frequent modes of transportation but no matter the type of travel, you are at an increased risk of getting and spreading COVID-19.
Cases of COVID-19 may rise as the temperatures fall across much of the country which means if you decide to travel, be aware of the risks and safety precautions you should follow.
If you’re traveling by air, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes. However, social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and sitting within 6 feet of others, sometimes for hours, may increase your risk of getting COVID-19.
Personal car travel is an attractive option available to many families because it gives the most control on limiting interactions with people outside your household. But don’t let your guard down! All of these public places are still locations where you can be exposed to the virus.
If you travel this holiday season, what are things you can do to protect yourself and your family?
- Get vaccinated, and encourage everyone you’ll travel with who is eligible to get vaccinated too.
Know before you go by checking the case count before you leave. If there’s a spike in the area you are traveling to, you should be aware to make the best decision for you and your family.
Wear a mask, and have a backup readily available. When you travel, you need to be sure that you have a clean mask at your disposal if you cannot wash your mask after use. The CDC recommends that masks be washed after each use. Don’t forget to pack soap if you plan on hand washing your mask!
Avoid crowds. Some public places such as airports, bus stations, train stations and highway rest stops can be hard to social distance. Do your best to maintain an appropriate social distance from those who do not reside in your household.
Wash your hands frequently. Washing your hands remains an effective way to avoid illness.
Avoid touching frequently touched surfaces. If they cannot be avoided, wash your hands immediately after or use a bit of hand sanitizer.
Carry sanitizing wipes. Airline flight crews are disinfecting planes between flights, but they also provide sanitizing wipes if you want to ensure your space is extra clean. Don’t be afraid to wipe down your space on the plane, train or bus.
Don’t travel if you’re sick or have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Also, don’t travel with someone who is sick. Even if it isn’t COVID-19, that illness could spread to someone else with an underlying health condition.