Worried about Covid risk on a flight?

21 Jan 2021 - BY: RAMON ZENEL

Here's what you can do to protect yourself - and how airlines can step up.

Airline travel health advice has so far mostly focused on how to stay hydrated and avoid deep vein thrombosis. What passengers really want, however, is a heightened focus on infection prevention and disease control, free masks, complimentary hand sanitiser, and more space between passengers on the plane.

That’s according to our new study, published in the journal Infection, Disease and Health, which drew on survey responses from 205 frequent flyers across the world.

Airline ticket bookings are likely to soar as borders open between New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

The aviation industry, which has been decimated by Covid-19, must work hard to restore customers’ faith in their commitment to infection control measures.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering taking a plane trip soon — and what the airlines can do to reduce risk.

Adopting a set of well established infections prevention and control measures will help to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19 during a flight

Plane trips and Covid risk: What you need to know

Adopting a set of well-established infection prevention and control measures will help minimise the risk of contracting Covid during a flight.

We would fly, if we had to — but we would follow all the same measures we would if we were catching a train or other form of public transport.

Those measures include, but are not limited to:

• Staying home if unwell. Even if you have the mildest respiratory symptoms, such as a slightly sore throat or hint of a fever, you should not go to the airport and you should not catch a plane. Self-isolate and get tested without delay

• Washing your hands regularly or using alcohol-based hand rub systematically

• Observing physical distancing

• Staying seated and avoiding touching your face

• Where physical distancing isn’t possible, wearing a face mask.

These are the same long-held set of recommendations you should be following anyway, whether you are catching the train to work or shopping in a supermarket.

Using these well-established infection control measures routinely and systematically will render the risk of contracting Covid during a plane trip low.

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