With some pandemic restrictions starting to lift in Ontario, many people are looking to do some travelling this summer. Although there is no travel without some kind of risk, if you need to travel for essential reasons, or are looking to minimize your risk, here some experts share their recommendations for travelling by trains, planes and buses.
Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands
From the beginning, experts have agreed that the most effective way of preventing the spread of COVIF-19 is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. No matter how you decide to travel, frequent hand washing should still be part of your journey. If you don’t have access to soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used.
Another way to minimize your risk of spreading COVID-19 to others is to get tested before you travel. This can give you peace of mind that you won’t be spreading the virus to fellow travellers or people once you arrive at your destination.
Travel by Planes
If you are planning to travel by plane, take precautions. Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask and if you have any symptoms or do not feel well, stay home. According to Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, air travel is very risky because “Close, shared airspace for a non-trivial amount of time is the riskiest thing one can do.”
Experts advise that the highest risk areas are in public areas of the airport where you could come in contact with large groups of people. In contrast, the risk on a plane if you remain seated is only a medium risk. Keep social distancing while boarding the plane, waiting for the washroom and in all areas of the airport.
Ask your airline about their safety precautions and cleaning procedures. Plan on being screened before you get on the plane and try to keep at least 2m apart from other passengers. Statistically, sitting in the window seat is the safest spot as you can avoid contact with more passengers. Remain seated as much as possible to avoid additional interaction with others.
Travel by Train
Train travel is slightly less risky than airplane travel, but only if you can maintain social distancing. The shorter the train trip the better as it reduces the time spent in a confined area with other people. Again it is important to regularly wash your hands with soap, wear a mask and maintain physical distance from others. If someone around you is not wearing a mask you could offer them a spare, and if they refuse, find another place to sit.
You should also ask the train company about their cleaning procedures and how they plan on maintaining adequate ventilation on the train. You can opt to look for storage places “near me”, if you ever want to lessen your luggage and only want to bring necessities during your travel. Also, bring disinfectant wipes with you and wipe down areas that you may be touching frequently, such as armrests, trays or handles. Keep in mind that you may transfer the virus to your hands when you clean, so it is important to wash your hands afterwards.
Travel by Bus
A Parkinson charter bus in Mississauga is an ideal way to bring a group of people to a destination such as a family cottage or cabin. You have your own cleaned and sanitized vehicle with an onboard washroom, and a driver with a mask and safety protocols. With a chartered bus, you can bring your food and refreshments and arrive at your destination relaxed and refreshed.
The safest way to travel is to travel with a small group of people, ideally all within your household or social bubble. This way you can be sure that no outside individuals are introducing the virus to your group. Limiting stops along the way and bringing your own food and drinks is also a way to reduce your risk.