There are precautions you can take to minimise your risk of becoming unwell while travelling.

Wash hands regularly

If soap and water are not available to clean your hands, use a hand sanitizer which is at least 60% alcohol. Experts agree that good old-fashioned hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (which is the time it takes to sing ’Happy Birthday’ to yourself twice) is the best defense and caution that constant use of hand sanitizer can irritate your skin.

Practice good hygiene

Avoid touching your own eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, as viruses most frequently enter the body through these routes.

Cover up

Cover your mouth and nose when you cough, sneeze into your elbow and wear a facemask to protect your fellow travelers.

Clean up

Carry antibacterial wipes to clean your seat armrest, tray table, seat-back pocket, air vent, seat touch screen, headrest and window blind. The same advice is sensible for other items frequently used by travelers, including hotel television remote controls and clean your hands after travelling on shuttles, taxis, holding handrails and using elevators.

Breathe easy

Almost all modern aircrafts have HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arrester) filters that will filter 99.999% of dust particles and airborne contaminants such as viruses and bacteria, ensuring the highest possible quality of cabin air. However infection specialists suggest a window seat, away from passenger foot traffic, could offer you a bit more protection.


If your travel policy allows, now is a good time to upgrade to business or first class travel. It will give you a small buffer of extra personal space and potentially less contact with other passengers.
Stay clear of people with a cough or cold
Experts define exposure as being within 6 feet of an infected person for 10 minutes or more. On aircraft, the World Health Organization defines contact with an infected person as being seated within two rows of one another. But also remember that passengers walk around, go to the bathroom and touch many surfaces.

Counteract low humidity

The low humidity in aircraft cabins dries out the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose and mouth, making them less effective in blocking out viruses. For this reason, some frequent flyers swear by nasal sprays to moisturize and clean out the nose. Also, drink more water to compensate for the cabin dryness. However, new generation long haul aircraft such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner feature technology that allows for higher humidity levels.

Have vaccinations up-to-date

While there is no vaccine for COVID-19, having all other essential vaccinations up-to-date will help you stay healthy and prevent your immune system from being compromised.

Travel insurance

Travelers who bought travel insurance before COVID-19 became a ‘known event’ may be covered for medical expenses and cancellations. Most travel insurance companies tend to exclude cover for pandemics and epidemics if you read the fine print. Insurance policies vary greatly, so it’s best to contact the insurance company directly or inquire via your travel manager.

If you’re unwell, don’t travel:-

COVID-19 appears to have an incubation period of at least 14 days, unlike regular flu which is 2 days. An increasing number of international airports are also conducting temperature checks for arriving, departing and transiting passengers, so there’s the chance that you could be denied boarding for having a fever unrelated to COVID-19. So protect yourself, and other travelers, by not flying when you’re sick.

CLICK HERE To Check the latest info and advice from WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION

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