The New Health and Safety Measures for Air Travel
This time last year, the idea of traveling seemed crazy or like a huge risk. Getting on a plane meant practically looking like an astronaut. You needed your double mask, goggles, disinfectant wipes, and a whole lot of antibacterial gel. And, if you were seated next to a stranger, the anxiety of the situation only intensified.
Now, things are beginning to change as more and more people get vaccinated. Travel is a real possibility again, and while being on a plane might feel different now, people are generally eager to fly and do some post-Covid19 tourism. This said, even if you’re vaccinated, it can still feel uncomfortable to be with a bunch of strangers in a confined space.
And, everyone probably feels this way: the other passengers and even the crew, which, like us, had to stop traveling and is now back to work. As borders begin to reopen and tourism restrictions become more flexible, we need to start thinking about how we can be good post-pandemic tourists.
Check-in online to avoid lines and contact with others. Arrive on time so that you don’t end up in the stressful situation of being in long lines in close proximity with strangers. Remember to read up on the travel requirements at your destination and whether you’ll need to show your vaccination card or proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
Continue to use your mask correctly, even if you are already vaccinated. Don’t lower it off your nose or remove it fully while eating or drinking. Lower it only to put food or drink in your mouth, then pull it right back up. Don’t lower your mask if someone on the crew can’t hear you; we need to be super considerate of their wellbeing. Repeat what you wanted to say until the person understands you instead of taking off your mask.
If you are going to use disinfectant wipes to clean your seat or tray table on your next post-Covid-19 flight, it’s important to throw the wipes directly into the garbage bags that the crew circulates around cabin or a motion sickness bag. This also applies to dirty tissues. Don’t ever hand them directly to the flight attendants.
De-boarding is always chaotic, with everyone desperate to get off the plane as soon as they can. But, it’s important to stay seated until it’s your turn in order to help maintain a safe distance between yourself and others. Try to remain in your seat until the first two rows have gotten off the plane.
The golden rule is to be courteous. People are traveling again for many different reasons. Yes, some are on leisure trips, but others are traveling for work, weddings, or even funerals. For many, this is the first time they’ve flown in over a year, and they may be nervous about it. You don’t know if your seatmate is fully vaccinated or how comfortable they feel. We are all trying to get back to normal, and it’s all about being empathetic and showing a lot of mutual respect.