How to Minimize Exposure While Traveling, Including at Airports, on Planes and Cruises

The most effective way to protect yourself while traveling during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak is to minimize your exposure to it. This is best achieved with basic hygiene practices including cleaning your hands with soap for at least 30 seconds, using hand sanitizers with at least 70 percent ethanol, not touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and disinfecting surfaces with which you are in contact, health authorities advise.

Other key measures for minimizing exposure include maintaining at least a three feet distance between yourself and others and making sure to cough into your elbow, they add.

The coronavirus, which was first detected in the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of China, has seen the death of at least 1,368 people in China. At least 46,550 cases have been reported in China, while 447 cases have been confirmed outside the country, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO). The health body declared the virus a public global health emergency last month, with now just under 47,000 cases confirmed across 25 countries around the world.

“There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus,” the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states.

While the fear of possibly catching the virus at the airport, on a plane, cruise ship or elsewhere on your travels is very legitimate, you need not cancel your trips in order to protect yourself, the WHO confirms.

“You should not change your travel plans if you had planned to travel during this time. You should be aware of what [measures] countries have put in place in terms of restrictions and plan your trips accordingly,” Dr. Carmen Dolea, the head of the International Health Regulations Secretariat at WHO, said in a new video released by the health body on Wednesday.