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Coronavirus – How to stay safe while travelling

The Coronavirus is about as easy to catch as the common cold, and transmitted in much the same way. The essential guidance is to wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, and to use a mask in busy places.

Not touching your face is the most important part. It’s really easy to forget and to rub your eye or just rest your hand against your face, especially when travelling.

For that reason, especially when flying, you should carry antibacterial wipes. Remember that any antibacterial handwash gel you carry will be subject to size limits for fluids in carry-on bags.

Advice from World Health Organisation

  • Wash your hands with soap and running water
  • Clean hands with alcohol based hand rub
  • Avoid uncooked animal products
  • Avoid live animal markets
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Advice from the NHS

The NHS also emphasise hand washing, avoiding close contact with people who are unwell, avoiding contact with animals, and not eating uncooked animal products.

Consider that infected people may not show symptoms for some up to 14 days, and be careful about hand washing.

The NHS travel advice is here.

Latest advice from UK government

The government advice page is here.

General advice for travelling on aircraft

Aircraft are dirty. You may think they get cleaned between each flight, but this is nothing more than a cursory wipe and picking up litter. Even at the end of the day they don’t get a deep clean.

Always wipe the tray table with an antiseptic wipe, and don’t forget the latch. Same goes for the armrests, remote control, window blinds, and the seat belt buckle. Realise that any time you touch any of those things your hands are no longer clean.

Watch out for touch screens. It’s easy to forget that the touch screen TV in front of you has recently been touched by other people, who may be unwell.

On every flight you should carry antibacterial wipes so that you can wipe down the tray table, remote control, etc. Those hot towels you may be offered will do some good but they are not as effective as antibacterial wipes.

My preferred choice, which I never fly without, are these wipes which are individually wrapped so that they don’t dry out.

The pocket on the back of the seat is a festering pit of filth. It is NEVER cleaned, ever. Anything you put in the seat pocket is coming into contact with all manner of ancient debris and gunk.

I see people going into the toilet in their socks or bare feet on almost every flight, and it’s so gross! If you use a toilet on an aircraft treat it the same way you would treat a public toilet at the airport. I’m sure you wouldn’t walk into one of those in bare feet! Put your shoes on!

Remember though that protecting yourself against viral infection relies on washing your hands and not touching your face.

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