Our lives have been upended since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus. Many of us have had to cancel vacation plans we may have had for months. Vacation may be one thing. But, what if we have a job that requires us to travel far across the country or to another country altogether? Sometimes, we don’t have a choice.
If you must travel, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend following certain steps to ensure your own safety as well the safety of those around you:
- When possible, maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.
- Wear a mask that covers both your nose and your mouth to prevent droplets from escaping.
- Limit your contact with surfaces that are frequently touched i.e. handrails, elevator buttons, and kiosks. If you have to touch these surfaces, either wash your hands immediately or use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Wash your hands often. This is especially important after using the restroom and before eating. If you cough or sneeze, wash your hands immediately, so that any bacteria that may have landed on your hands is killed.
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use a safe hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Depending on where you are traveling, you may encounter a situation where you are required to wear a face covering or quarantine yourself for 14 days. In order to avoid these unpleasantries, check for restrictions at your destination before you make your final decision. Your most reliable source for this kind of information is a state or local health department website. Changes occur frequently, so be sure to stay up-to-date.
Due to the fact that it’s considerably more difficult to practice social distancing while on an airplane, the CDC and FAA have issued precautionary measures for potential passengers. Most major airlines in the U.S. are requiring both crews and passengers to wear face coverings. These measures may differ depending on the airport or airline. Check their websites for details.
To help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented more vigorous cleaning procedures at security checkpoints.
TSA employees have made various changes to the process of screening passengers before they board flights. For example, passengers have been asked to wear masks during screening, but may be asked to adjust them for proper identification. Each individual is allowed to travel with one container of hand sanitizer up to 12 ounces in their carry-on luggage. Keep in mind that these containers will need to be screened. Food items should be in a plastic bag and put in a bin for proper screening. Keeping food separate from other items may reduce the time it takes to be screened by security. Instead of placing them in bins, items such as keys, wallets and phones should be stored in carry-on bags to minimize handling of these items.
If you and your friends are planning to hit the road for a roadtrip, here are few things you might consider before starting leaving:
- Plan out your trip, so you’re able to make the least amount of stops possible.
- Pack face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes and store them in a place that’s easy to get to.
- Should restaurants be limiting patrons, be sure to pack your own non-perishable food items, that is until you get to your intended destination.
- Gas stations are some of the dirtiest places you can go to. Countless people fill up their cars every day. In doing so, they touch a lot of different surfaces and you shouldn’t count on the fact that they washed their hands. It’s better to be safe than sick. Wipe down handles and buttons with disinfectant wipes before and after you use them. After filling up your car, use hand sanitizer until you have a chance to wash your hands with hot water and soap.
- If possible, use drive-thru when stopping for meals.
If you’re traveling by bus, do your best to maintain proper social distancing, wear a mask, and use hand sanitizer (until you have an opportunity to wash your hands) until you reach your final destination.
If you’re staying at a hotel, be sure to follow all health and safety guidelines being implemented.
As always, if you’re feeling sick, stay home.