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How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 While Traveling

how to protect yourself from coronaviruses when traveling

The rise of COVID-19 saw the implementation of strict travel bans. Although the restrictions are slowly easing, the virus is still very much present. So, how to protect yourself from coronaviruses when traveling?

Things to consider while traveling

Before traveling, be prepared for the different scenarios you might face. Make sure you take basic precautions such as wearing a face mask, washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, and keeping your hands away from your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Some other things that you should consider before traveling during the coronavirus pandemic are:

  • Have you been around anyone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19?
  • Are you, or will you be, in close contact with someone in the high-risk category?
  • Does the place you are traveling to have any travel restrictions?
  • Are you fully vaccinated?
  • Do the transport system and boarding facilities you will be using follow COVID-19 regulations?
  • Are COVID-19 cases spreading rapidly at your travel destination?

Consider your risk tolerance

Since the outbreak of the virus, hotspots have sprouted up in several areas. Authorities have advised against non-essential travels. If you need to travel to a high-risk place, consider your risk tolerance. If you are uncomfortable taking risks or have concerns, and it is not an emergency visit, it’s advisable to postpone traveling.

Air travel during COVID

The chances of contracting the virus on a flight are minimum since airlines have updated their facilities to suit the current scenario. For instance:

  • Airlines clean and sanitize their seating area regularly and have reorganized the seating arrangements to suit current conditions and regulations.
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is allowing passengers to carry sanitizers for personal use.

However, for your safety, you should:

  • Wear your mask at all times
  • Put personal items such as keys and handbags into carry-on bags to minimize contact.
  • Take precautions like using sanitizers and wipes to disinfect commonly touched areas like seats, armrests, door handles, etc., before touching them
  • Clean your hands often, especially before eating, after coughing, sneezing, or after going to the bathroom.
  • Unvaccinated people should get tested 1-3 days before the trip and 3 days after it. If you test positive, isolate yourself, stay at home, and follow all public health guidelines. Vaccinated people can get tested 3-5 days after the trip.

Car travel during COVID

Traveling by car is relatively safe if you are using your own vehicle. Remember to sanitize the entire vehicle and keep anti-bacterial wipes handy. If you are traveling with others, make sure they have tested negative for COVID-19. If you are using AC, you can set it to a non-recirculation mode.

Ride-sharing during COVID

If you are using a ride-share service, follow these tips:

  • Minimize the number of people inside the car.
  • Everyone should have their masks on at all times and carry sanitizers.
  • Each area may have a specified number of people allowed inside a vehicle. Know and follow these specified safety protocols.
  • Ventilation is your friend. Ensure when in a car with others to consider open windows as weather permits.

Limit exposure to sick people

Since the virus is airborne, wearing a properly fitted N95 mask will help lower the risk considerably. However, do remember that most air filtration systems are incapable of filtering out the virus, meaning you are vulnerable to the virus in places such as planes, ships, or other modes of mass transportation.


While it may be necessary to travel during the pandemic, you should not forget to consider the risks. Always follow all the safety protocols and take the necessary precautions. It is also better to be safe and get yourself tested before traveling. Visit us at MI Express Urgent Care for COVID-19 Testing for Travel to ensure you are safe.

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