Traveling Safely During the Pandemic

October 06, 2020

Traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic can be challenging. But taking proper precautions can help keep you and your family safe. 

“As people begin to travel in the fall, it’s important everyone takes COVID-19 safety guidelines seriously,” says Dr. Nishant Anand, chief medical officer for BayCare Health System. “With smart precautions and diligence, venturing outside your home, your city or state can be done safely.” 

Regardless of your vacationing plans, here are some tips to help you stay safe during your travels:

Air Travel

  • Avoid touching as few surfaces as possible. Don’t lean on the check-in counter and be sure to wash your hands after the security checkpoint. 
  • Use sanitizing wipes to wipe surfaces of any furniture you sit in while waiting to board your plane.
  • Upon entry in the plane, wipe down every surface you could possibly touch with a sanitizing wipe and let it dry.
  • Wear a mask at all times and avoid touching your face. 
  • Don’t eat any food with your hands. Sanitize your hands after eating and drinking. 
  • Upon arriving at the destination terminal, wash your hands well before continuing on your way.
  • If traveling with a pet, call the airline to get their latest requirements for pet travel.

Car Trips and Hotel Stays 

  • Wear a mask whenever around anyone that is not in your party.
  • Pack hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes and keep them at hand. 
  • Anytime you stop, be sure to wash or sanitize hands before returning to the car.
  • Bring food with you or pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant service or stores.
  • Call ahead to hotels and ask about their increased sanitation measures, including room turnover times. If they don’t take your question seriously, go somewhere else.
  • Wipe down hard surfaces when you get to your hotel room with sanitizing wipes or cleaner. 
  • Have everyone in the party shower daily. Put dirty clothes in a plastic bag until you can launder.
  • Avoid hotel common areas unless you take precautions to wipe down furniture. 

Visiting Family or Friends

  • When visiting your family or friends who do not reside in your household, try to stay apart. Keep as much distance as you can, even if it isn’t the recommended six feet.
  • Don’t eat or drink after another person.

Dr. Anand says it will require us to continue to work together in a way we have not done before to get us through this pandemic. As fatigued as everyone is, it’s important for everyone individually to help slow the spread of the virus.

“Wear a mask, practice social distancing and frequently wash your hands,” said Dr. Anand. “The more frequently we practice these three basic routines the less likely the virus or other contagions can infect you or others.”

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