Many households begin to show symptoms of acute cabin fever. With summer approaching and global air travel, potential travelers are considering alternative vacation plans, including RV rentals, road trips and hotel accommodations. But is it safer to hit the road than hit the sky? Is the hotel okay? Do flight safety measures make a difference? To help solve these questions, we ask Molly Hyde, a certified expert and infection control practitioner who manages the spread of infectious diseases in the health care system. Remember that this answer is not an individual’s health advice – consult your doctor for specific guidance. Some key takeaways:
The most important safety consideration for each trip is to maintain social distance. For this reason, hotels with safety precautions are quite safe, while airplanes – even with social grouping policies and face masks – remain problematic. Sam Kemmis: Many airlines have introduced sanitation, social distance and filtering policies to help reduce exposure for passengers. What do you think about how effective this policy is? Which policy will have the biggest impact? Molly Hyde: All policies imposed by airlines will help reduce the spread of COVID-19, but there will still be a risk of transmission in environments such as airplanes where large numbers of people are packed into small spaces for long periods of time. There is no way to completely eliminate that risk. We know that COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets. Therefore, I feel the most effective method for preventing transmission is the physical distance between the passenger and the universal mask. Ideally, you want to set the distance of the passenger as far as six feet, as we know that the drip can only walk about six feet before falling to the floor. Universal closure will be very important to prevent people who are infected, especially those who do not know it. from spreading disease to other people. It is very important that the airline enforces not only wearing a mask, but wearing it properly by covering the mouth and nose. Improved cleaning is certainly necessary and important (and must really be done) because COVID-19 can live on the surface and can be transmitted as such. But this is a way of transmission that is less likely than direct person to person, especially in tight spaces like airplanes. Semmis: What can a passenger do to reduce risk when flying? Hyde: Passengers must do their best to stay as far apart as possible while flying. That is clearly difficult to do on planes, but passengers must think about their behavior at the airport too. Be aware of the people around you when you are in the terminal waiting to get on a plane or queue in security and do your best to keep a distance of six feet from others. Hand hygiene is also important for maintaining health. You should always travel with a hand sanitizer, use it regularly, and avoid touching your face. Make sure you wear your mask properly and don’t pull it down under your nose or chin. Not only will this completely defeat the mask’s purpose in preventing the spread of germs to others, it will put you at a greater risk of being infected. Pulling your mask down will place the outside of the mask directly under your nose / mouth, so you will only inhale all the germs that are outside your mask. Death: Likewise, many hotels have introduced an expanded cleaning policy, including leaving empty rooms for several days among guests. How relatively safe or dangerous is it to stay in a hotel? Hyde: As long as hotel rooms are thoroughly cleaned among guests, and physical actions / closures are carried out in public areas, there must be a fairly low risk of transmission when staying at a hotel. This risk is further reduced when rooms are left empty for several days among guests. Research has shown that the virus can live on the surface for up to three days, so if the room is empty for more than three days, you can safely assume the COVID virus that might have been there is dead (this does not mean it has to clean the room; the room still needs to be cleaned).
You can increase your personal security by avoiding prolonged close contact with other guests or staff and practicing good hand hygiene. It also doesn’t hurt to bring your own disinfectant wipes and sweep high touch surfaces in your room, such as light switches or remotes, as an extra precaution. Kemmis: Many travelers consider summer trips to national parks and other nature. area. Outdoor activities are considered safer than indoors, but this road trip still includes many stops (for gas, toilets, etc.) What are the risks and other considerations for road travel? Hyde: When traveling, your greatest risk is to interact directly or indirectly with other people at a resort, restaurant, etc. People traveling through various countries must remember that different states have different rules and regulations regarding COVID-19. For example, you might be traveling in no problem to hold a large group meeting or shop in a shop without a mask, while others might not allow these things. You must consider the obstacles you make and do your best to make sure you take the right action to prevent pain. This includes limiting your interactions with others, avoiding large group meetings or eating in restaurants, and practicing good hand hygiene (especially after touching high touch surfaces such as gas stations or doors to department stores). Kememis: Say a traveler needs to get away from Los Angeles to Seattle this summer and consider whether to fly or drive (stay in hotels along the road). Which is safer? Hyde: I would recommend driving over flying until we start seeing a very sharp reduction in cases throughout the US and / or vaccines available, which I don’t believe will happen this summer. COVID-19 is mainly transmitted when a person is in close contact with an infected person for a long period of time. There is almost no way to avoid this on an airplane; You may be sitting within six feet of someone else. As long as the hotel takes the right steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you have a lower risk of infection driving and staying in the hotel than flying. The point is if you experience “quarantine fatigue” and start to wonder if and how you traveled this summer, remember this guide: Being close to others remains the biggest risk. Whether on an airplane or crammed together at a stop, be careful about activities that require you to be close to other people. For this reason, air travel remains relatively risky, while land travel can be less. Of course, all of these options are about risk management; the safest thing you can do is take shelter in place. But if you need to get out of the house, take the right precautions to do it wisely. Articles Ask Experts: Is Travel Safe? originally appeared on NerdWallet.
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