Flights: Authority explains how to stay safe when travelling – what to do and what not to

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Flights are viewed by many travellers as risky amid the pandemic. Although travelling by plane is, in fact, low risk, there are still ways you can protect yourself if you’re anxious. The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shares its travel advice online.

Firstly it’s key to keep a distance from other travellers and use a face covering.

“Maintain a social distance of six feet wherever possible while at the checkpoint,” said the TSA.

“Wear a face mask throughout your travel experience.

“You may be asked to adjust your mask for ID verification or if it alarms the security screening equipment.

“If you don’t have a face mask and you require a pat-down, a TSA officer will offer one to you.”

In normal times, when travellers passed through airport security, they were asked to place loose items in the trays provided.

However, these trays can be pretty dirty.

An investigation was carried out by the University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare in 2016 to find where the dirtiest spot was in an airport.

Out of all the items examined, airport trays were found to be the worst culprits.

Half of the trays examined in the study tested positive for flu and cold viruses.

The problem with the trays lies with the fact that passengers place a plethora of dirty items in them a regular basis.

These range from dentures, inhalers and toothbrushes to dirty shoes, children’s dummies and nappy bags.

What’s more, fliers are required to grab hold of the trays with their hands when passing through security.

Although cleaning measures have been dramatically ramped up since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the TSA is now advising fliers put their loose items in their hand luggage.

“Remove belts and all personal items from your pockets such as wallets, keys or phones before you enter the checkpoint queue and place them in your carry-on bag,” states the authority.

However, this does not apply to comestibles. “Remove food items from carry-on bags and place in bin for screening,” the TSA instructs.

Hygiene is also vital at this time in order to limit the spread of the virus.

“Practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly, including directly before and after completing the security screening process. If it is not possible to wash your hands, please use hand sanitizer.”

Lastly, the authority authotiry recommends holidaymakers give themselves enough time when travelling.

“Arrive at the airport early to allow adequate time for checking bags, completing security screening and getting to the departure gate,” stated the TSA.

“COVID-19 has affected staffing and operations across the airport environment, potentially adding time to your pre-flight experience.”

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