Tips for Essential Travel During a Pandemic

cailin oneil with a face mask travel during a global pandemic in sri lanka

My last and first trip of 2020, traveling in Sri Lanka

I haven’t flown on a plane since the beginning of February 2020. Since then I have been home, travelling around my little Atlantic Canadian bubble. I am currently putting a lot of efforts towards my new site, NovaScotiaExplorer.com, while I can’t explore the world. But I will travel again and create lots of new worldly content. It might just be a little while.

At the moment I have no plans of getting on an airplane anytime soon. For some people, however, this might not be possible. You might be forced to travel for work, or you need to fly home, or see loved ones. For numerous unavoidable reasons, you might need to fly again soon. To travel safe, however there are a few tips that you should know before you travel during a pandemic.  

catsa airport temperature screeningimage credit CATSA

For Canadian travellers, most importantly, you should know that the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has instituted a number of measures to ensure your security screening experience is as safe and secure as possible. 

  • Wear a Mask

Masks are now almost mandatory in all of Canada. Mandatory or not, I have been wearing one since March as I’d rather not risk it. No matter where you are from, every person flying within Canada MUST bring and wear their own face covering. These masks need to cover the nose and mouth, be made of at least two layers of tightly woven fabric (such as cotton or linen), and be properly secured to the head. (See the Public Health Agency of Canada’s guidelines, including instructions on how to make your own mask.)

Please do not travel if you are feeling unwell. Note that if you exhibit symptoms of illness such as a cough or difficulty breathing, you will be required to leave the checkpoint. 

catsa always wear a mask

  • Wash your hands

As you travel you will find that at all major airports, additional hand sanitizing stations have been placed by the checkpoints used by the public. Whenever it is not possible to wash your hands, be sure to use either the hand sanitizer provided or your own. Travellers are also allowed to have one bottle of hand sanitizer up to 355 mL in your their carry-on bag. This is in addition to the 100 mL bottles that fall under the usual liquids restrictions

  • Be prepared to have your temperature checked

At all of Canada’s 15 busiest airports passengers will have their temperature checked when they arrive at the screening checkpoint. No one will be allowed to proceed through screening if their temperature, after two separate tests, is at or above 38⁰C. 

catsa maintain social distance

  • Always socially distance when possible

While waiting in line at the security screening checkpoint all passengers must keep a distance of two metres between themselves and other passengers. Have your boarding pass and other documents out and available. Passengers will be asked to hold them themselves while they are scanned. 

  • Be kind to one another

As if air travel wasn’t stressful enough, travelling during a global pandemic adds a whole other amount of stress that none of us have ever dealt with before. Be kind to all airport staff you interact with. Give yourself enough time to arrive at the airport, check your bags and get through screening so you aren’t in a rush. Be mindful of where you sit in the boarding area, and be being sure to give everyone their own space. Lastly and most importantly, keep your mask on at all times.

how to social distance in Halifax Nova Scotia on the waterfront with lobster traps Tips for Essential Travel During a Pandemic

  • Know the Covid-19 protocols for your destination

Before you travel,  know the Covid-19 protocols and rules for where you are flying too. Do your research before your flight and be especially sure to obey all mask, quarantine and self- isolation rules. It would be unfortunate to risk the lives of others or get a fine for a rule you didn’t know about ahead of time.

Air travel is an essential service, ensuring people and goods get to where they need to go, and CATSA has taken every step possible to ensure this happens safely. You can go to their website for more information, or you can download their app for Android or iOS. 

cailn wearing a mask with an acai bowl in Halifax

Travel during a pandemic safely my friends!

This post was brought to you by myself and CATSA.

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