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Travel During a Viral Outbreak

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Sources are referenced but it is not a replacement for official guidance and advice from your local public health unit. Please refer to Resources for more.

Travelling abroad is not advised during global outbreaks of infectious diseases by many public health agencies. For those returning home or embarking on emergency air travel, this is a resource of suggestions to keep your travels safe and healthy.

Summary

The strategies employed can be summarized into 3 key guiding principles:

  1. Prevent surface transmission and prolonged exposure in close quarters to crowds
  2. Prevent contact with infection routes: eyes, nose, mouth
  3. Air travel is more than just sitting in the plane. This part is generally considered safe because of the air circulation and filtration systems on-board the plane. However, from departure to arrival, passengers encounter many checkpoints, surfaces, and individuals that may be carriers of infectious disease. It is important to be familiar with each of the steps of air travel, what’s required, and to anticipate delays at each step.

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