U.S. air travel demand is down 90% compared to a year ago.
Understanding how to travel during the coronavirus is going to become crucial as states look to reopen, and people begin to return to work. While airports and airlines are still operating, the overwhelming consensus is that traveling right now, and even in the near future, does not feel particularly safe. And even though airlines and governments are reassuring people they are doing everything they can to sanitize and ensure safety precautions are being upheld in the process, it is going to be a while before the masses feel comfortable booking vacations, let alone visiting friends and family members in different parts of the country.
International travel is a completely different challenge altogether.
How long until international travel opens up?
Lockdowns for most states seem to be opening up between June and August, 2020.
It would be assumed that international travel would then begin to follow thereafter, near the end of 2020 and early 2021. Considering the travel industry contributes roughly 10% to the world’s GDP, and is responsible for 1 in 12 global jobs, you can rest assured that every country is fully aware of the implications restricted travel will have on not only their own economy, but the global economy as a whole.
But in the short term, and as domestic travel begins to feel like an everyday occurrence again, still certain precautions will need to be taken to ensure everyone’s safety—and that a second outbreak does not occur.
Here are a few ways to travel safely during the coronavirus.
- Invest in a reusable face mask (and an extra) and keep one with you at all times.
The next time you visit an airport, you should expect to see nearly every single person in the building wearing a face mask.
The reason is because, especially in airports where large groups of people are gathered together, restricting the likelihood of spread of the virus by mouth, breath, saliva droplets, and so on, is going to be the airline industry’s highest priority. Masks will be required in order to board aircrafts. So if you do not already have a reusable, dual-layer, ultrasoft and breathable face mask, now is the time to invest in one.
It’s also far better to have a adjustable, and consumer-safe face mask (ours are made out of eco-friendly, highly breathable bamboo) than a single-use or standard cloth mask. Especially if you’re going to be wearing a mask for several hours at a time in the air, you are going to want to make sure your face mask is high quality—otherwise you are going to feel the urge to take it off, which will put you and everyone else around you at risk of contracting the virus.
- Try not to touch too many things between washing your hands.
Washing your hands as often as possible is one of the best ways to avoid contracting the virus.
Especially when you’re moving throughout the airport, touching your baggage, opening doors, grabbing paper tickets, and so on, you are going to want to try to make sure you make a pit stop in the bathroom before fiddling with your mask, touching your face, and so on.
You’re also going to want to keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer on hand, so that you can regularly keep your hands and wrists clean, as well as your cell phone. Remember, we impulsively grab and check our phones hundreds of times per day—making it one of the easiest ways to contract the virus.
Whenever you can, sanitize yourself and your closest belongings.
- Before traveling to a certain state or area, research how many coronavirus cases are being reported in that area.
Some parts of the U.S. have been lucky to avoid contracting too many cases of the coronavirus.
Other states, such as New York, have been amongst the areas with the highest number of cases in the world.
Before traveling, it’s in your best interest to ensure you are traveling to a somewhat safe area, and are fully aware of the status of the situation upon entering. Remember, in April many states closed their borders, meaning you could not even drive from one state to another. It’s unlikely, however if a second outbreak were to occur while you were visiting a high-risk state, there is a chance you would not be able to leave for a period of time—especially if you were flying.
- Even if you don’t have symptoms, you may still be able to pass along the virus. Be conscious of your surroundings and socially distance yourself as much as possible.
Wearing a face mask, washing your hands, all these things aren’t just for your own benefit, but for the benefit of those around you too.
The coronavirus can spread easily, so taking it upon yourself to continue practicing social distancing as much as possible is key to all of us avoiding contracting the virus. Social distancing, of course, becomes much harder once you’re actually on a plane with people sitting right beside you. But as much as you can, it’s important to adhere to the guidelines put forth within airport facilities, rental car areas, Uber and Lyft pickup areas, and so forth, to ensure everyone’s space is being respected and protected.
And it goes without saying that if you need to cough or sneeze, you should be wearing a mask and/or covering your face and mouth as much as possible.
Travel will soon be an everyday part of society again. But in order for us to get there, we will need to work together.