Travel is not what it used to be. Since the start of the Malaysian government’s Movement Control Order, all Malaysians are barred from travelling abroad and prevent foreign visitors to the country during the period from March 18 – 31, 2020. However, overseas Malaysians are permitted to return home though they are required to undergo mandatory health checks and self-quarantine of 14 days.
If you are one of those Malaysians who have no choice but to travel home during this period of uncertainty as countries around the world close their borders to prevent the spread of Covid-19, here are essential travel tips and best practices to minimise your risk of exposure.
Check-In Early For Your Flight
It goes without saying that due to airports today are facing massive disruptions as they need to screen all passengers to see if they display any symptoms of the disease. This will result in longer screenings at security checkpoints and may affect your ability to reach your boarding gate on time.
Hence, it pays to err on the side of caution and just show up to the airport ahead of time to give yourself plenty of time to make your way through the long ques through security and customs.
Diligently Clean Your Carry-On Luggage
Speaking of security checkpoints, travellers should pay extra care and attention to your carry-on luggage especially as you pass through the many security checks at the airport. This is because the scanners that you place your bags in, even the trays that you use to stow your personal belongings as you empty your pockets, have been used by hundreds if not thousands of people.
It is said that Covid-19 is able to survive on surfaces for days, so if someone has caught the disease were to cough or sneeze on the surface there is a high chance that it can hitch a ride on your carry-on as you use all these common items.
A good idea is to place all your personal items from your pocket into your carry-on bag itself, this way it minimises the chances of your watch, smartphone or other gadgets from making contact with germ-infested surfaces. Also, you should regularly sanitise and wash your hands after taking collecting your carry-on luggage.
Have Your Sanitiser Products With You At All Times
While we are on the topic of sanitising your hands, it may be convenient to squirt some sanitiser liquid at the many frequent stops around the airport but it is always better to carry your own bottle of sanitising liquid or alcohol swabs in your bag. Not only will it allow you to clean your hands with ease but you can use alcohol swabs to clean your personal items be it your bag and electronic devices too.
Keeping your hands clean is more important than even wearing a face mask. The reality is that masks don’t prevent you from contracting Covid-10, but rather they are more needed by medical professionals. Besides, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the way that air is circulated and filtered within a plane means that viruses and germs do not spread easily. But, you should definitely wipe down your tray table and other surfaces on your seat.
Choose Your Seat Wisely
At the present moment, people are encouraged to practice social distancing though that isn’t possible when you are on a plane together with several hundred people. That being said, it is best to choose a window seat should that option present itself as you are less likely to come in contact with surfaces touched by others like say those in the aisle seat would.
Also, it would pay to relax a little when boarding the flight as it is probably best to stay away from large crowds bunching up as they line up to board the aircraft. So long as you are at your gate, you can take your time to board after everyone else has boarded the aircraft.