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How Safe Are You From Covid When You Fly?

How air flows in planes is not the only part of the safety equation, according to infectious-disease experts: The potential for exposure may be just as high, if not higher, when people are in the terminal, sitting in airport restaurants and bars or going through the security line.
As more people fly — nearly 1. 5 million people passed through U. S. airports on Friday — congestion and crowding in parts of the airport can make physical distancing a greater challenge.
Airports vary in size and passenger volume, configurations and on-location businesses, Harvard researchers found. That could increase the chances of exposure depending on where people linger and for how long.
Going to in-terminal restaurants, for example, can be risky because masks are routinely removed and kept off to eat.
The Harvard researchers found that many airports were not designed to mitigate the airborne spread of respiratory pathogens. Although some airports have installed new or additional filtration systems, distancing, vigilance and other safety practices are still crucial.
“The challenge isn’t just on a plane, ” said Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist specializing in infection prevention. “Consider the airport and the whole journey. ”
How air flows in
planes
is not the
only
part of the safety equation, according to infectious-disease experts: The potential for exposure may be
just
as high, if not higher, when people are in the terminal, sitting in airport restaurants and bars or going through the security line.

As more people
fly
nearly
1. 5 million people passed through U. S. airports on Friday — congestion and crowding in parts of the airport can
make
physical distancing a greater challenge.

Airports vary in size and passenger volume, configurations and on-location businesses, Harvard researchers found. That could increase the chances of exposure depending on where people linger and for how long.

Going to in-terminal restaurants,
for example
, can be risky
because
masks are
routinely
removed and
kept
off to eat.

The Harvard researchers found that
many
airports were not designed to mitigate the airborne spread of respiratory pathogens. Although
some
airports have installed new or additional filtration systems, distancing, vigilance and other safety practices are
still
crucial.

“The challenge isn’t
just
on a
plane
,
said Saskia
Popescu
, an epidemiologist specializing in infection prevention. “Consider the airport and the whole journey. ”

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