Many people wonder what it is like to travel during a pandemic in one of the busiest seasons of the year, Christmas. So, to travel or not to? It is what many people are torn between this Christmas amidst the surge in covid19 positive cases globally. The worse part is the increased risk of catching the virus during travel, which is challenging the travel sector during what is known as the busiest seasons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended that postponing unnecessary travel and staying home during this season is one of the safest ways. They also recommend that you wear a mask during your entire journey to reduce the risks of transmission.
For those who must travel, it is best to arm yourself with information on what is expected of you at the airport. According to Omar Khaddouha, airport and airline security specialist, currently based at Beirut International Airport Lebanon as Directorate General of Civil Aviation, you will be required to undergo more safety, security, and health checks now more than ever during your travel. Here are some of the things airport security expects of you as you travel during this Christmas amidst a global pandemic.
Consider covid19 testing
Although travel requirements vary from one airline to another, many require passengers to present negative covid19 tests at the airport during check-in, probably taken not longer than five days before travel. That is something the airport security expects of you during this Christmas travel season as they focus on keeping the transmission risks as low as possible. That is also to avoid being quarantined for 14days after arrival. The International Air Transport Association is recommending passengers to take covid19 tests as alternatives to quarantine rules. So, consider undergoing a covid19 test at least 2-3days before your travel. Have a copy of the test results during check in and after the trip, consider being tested again.
Observe safety measures during your travel
Airport security doesn’t have to remind you to observe safety measures when traveling this Christmas season. As a traveler, observe the following safety measures during this season.
- Maintain a distance of 2meters between you and others at the airport.
- Wear a face mask at all times during your journey.
- Limit your contact with frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, kiosks, and handrails. When you touch them, sanitize your hands immediately or wash them with soap and running water.
- Avoid contact with anyone who appears to be sick, for instance, coughing and frequently sneezing without covering up.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes as much as possible.
- Cover your mouth with your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands more often with soap and running water or frequently sanitize with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
Check travel restrictions before your travel.
To avoid unpleasant surprises and delays at the airport, check travel requirements and restrictions before your travel. Domestic and international trips have different travel rules, covid19 tests, and quarantine rules. Remember that restrictions keep on changing depending on the state of the pandemic so, ensure you have up-to-date information.
Expect your travel to be different this Christmas season because of the covid19 pandemic. No matter the measures put in place by airport security, take it upon yourself to observe all the safety measures to mitigate any risk of transmission of the virus.
Written by: Omar Khaddouha