How to stay Covid safe on a plane
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Flying again but don't know what to expect on a flight? Here are some tips.
Most people are apprehensive about flying, and there are concerns about being in confined spaces with strangers.
The first time I took a flight during the pandemic, nervousness enveloped my body. My clammy hands gently manoeuvred my suitcase to the airline counter, my mask firmly fixed on my face.
But, travel experts say you shouldn’t worry if you take precautions.
Sue Garrett, the general manager of marketing and product at the Flight Centre Travel Group, said the risk of contracting Covid-19 while on a plane is low.
"The high efficiency particulate air (Hepa) filters on an aircraft reduces the risk. People generally have a much higher risk of coming into contact with the virus in an office setting or supermarket than they do when travelling on an aeroplane.
"According to a study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the risk of catching the virus on a regular flight is around 1 in 4 300, and just 1 in 7 700 if the middle seat is not occupied," she said.
If travelling in long haul flights, wash your hands regularly. Carry your own hand wash and take regular wash breaks on the flight.
Masks are mandatory to wear, so you can only take them off when you are eating.
The mask needs to cover your nose and mouth. Carry a few extra masks, in case yours drops or touches a surface.
Also, bring alcohol-based, antibacterial wipes to wipe down your seat and other surfaces.
While the airlines would have done this, taking extra precautions is vital.
Last, if you can afford, upgrade to business or first class. It allows for greater social distancing.