The world experienced drastic changes during the Coronavirus pandemic. The mandatory lockdowns in several countries had a huge impact on the travel industry. The sudden drop in tourism made economies struggle. Now that the “new normal” is carefully being implemented, countries are reopening to accommodate travelers. But not without strict protocols.
If you are planning to travel to a different country, you have to secure essential documents to be granted entry. A COVID-19 medical certificate is one of them. You have to get tested to make sure that you are not infected and that you won’t spread the virus wherever it is you plan to go.
What’s New in Airline Travel
The process of traveling by plane has always been different from land and sea travel. There were more rules and requirements. If you think it was strict then, it is way stricter now. But, with the threat of COVID-19 still haunting countries from across the globe, the need to comply is more crucial than ever.
The following are just some of the new protocols being implemented:
- Sanitizing the entire plane and seats before and after a flight.
- Giving the pilots and crew the highest safety because they are the front liners.
- All passengers should receive a COVID protection kit before getting on the plane.
- Some airlines suspended in-flight meals but some still serve foods and drinks, but in sealed packages and bottles.
- Air ventilation inside the plane should be done more frequently.
- Passengers should get tested for COVID-19 and get a negative result before being allowed on the plane. Some airlines accept a 15-minute Rapid COVID-19 Test for domestic travel. Other airlines mandate a PCR COVID-19 Test be taken 24-48 hours before the international or domestic flight. The PCR test takes a few days to be completed. These requirements vary by country of destination as well.
If you are planning to travel, be it for business or pleasure, it is important that you understand everything that needs to be done and secured. No steps can be skipped as the safety of an entire country is at stake here.
What Can an Airline Company Do?
Airline companies have to comply with the rules mandated by the government to make sure that their businesses are kept open. The pilot and crew should be given clear instructions on implementing health protocols to keep them and their passengers safe and protected.
If possible, airlines should offer a free Coronavirus test for lower-income people. This initiative can help increase the demand for air travel among folks. Providing free COVID-19 testing throughout the country will help reduce the spread of the infection.
COVID-19 Testing Methods
Traveling to your dream vacation place is just one test away. The most common methods for COVID-19 testing are:
This is a widely used testing method that most countries are providing. PCR or Polymerase Chain Reaction requires time more than any other methods available. It takes around 72 hours to generate a positive or negative result.
Although test results take longer to come out, this is a trustworthy procedure. It is more sensitive, thus, producing more accurate results. Some countries require that travelers undergo PCR testing before entering their borders.
As the name suggests, this is a faster testing method than PCR. You can get tested now and receive the results in just 15 minutes. Many airlines offer this kind of service for people who need to travel immediately. Passengers can take the results right before buying a ticket or boarding the plane.
However, it is important to note that this test isn’t as sensitive and accurate as the PCR test. There may be possibilities of acquiring false positives or negatives. But it is still reliable and acceptable in most cases.
Navigating the Testing
Making Coronavirus tests available in airports may be beneficial for the future of an airline company. If free Coronavirus tests are provided, it will help give more people the opportunity to travel. As a result, the airline will grow.
In the “new normal”, countries should be stricter and more thorough in letting travelers in. Travelers, in turn, need to be compliant, patient, and responsible. This way, air travel can be guaranteed safe and virus-free.