A lot of the potential risk of infection on trains and buses depends on how crowded they are, and so how far away you can keep from other people. This applies both on the vehicles and at stops and stations and will vary in different parts of the country and on different routes.
Banking on a “likely outcome” may be OK if you are playing craps. But when just a single extended exposure to the virus can get you infected, a “likely outcome” that you’ll be able to stay apart from others may not be enough.
How would you feel if someone told you that it is a likely outcome that an anvil won’t fall on your head? With social distancing currently being the only option to prevent infection, social distancing should be something that should be assured, because the first three letters of “assured” is what could potentially be on the line for you.
Imagine walking into an airplane expecting to have the middle seat free, only to find that you’re squeezed next to someone else. That could lead to another type of craps.
- Ventilation also plays an important role as fresh air can help droplets containing the virus dissipate faster, so being able to open a window can be an advantage.
- Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales small droplets packed with the virus into the air.
- These droplets can enter the body through the eyes, nose, and mouth, either directly or after touching a contaminated object.
- The government’s consistent message has been to stay 2m (more than 6ft) apart from people outside your household.
Previous research has suggested a link between commuting on the London Underground and the likelihood of catching respiratory illnesses.trav
Dr Lara Gosce, at the Institute of Global Health, says her research (published in 2018) showed people who used the Underground regularly were more likely to suffer flu-like symptoms.
“Particularly, it shows that boroughs served by fewer lines – where inhabitants are forced to change line one or more times when travelling on the Underground – have higher rates of influenza-like diseases, compared to well-served boroughs where passengers reach their destination by one direct trip,” she said.
can I travel with corona?
If you must fly, there are ways to minimize your risk besides buying your own plane. As I have written before for Forbes, the circulating air does go through filters, which can reduce the risk of infection. So, holding your breath throughout the flight is not necessary or a good idea in general.
The bigger concern though would be potentially contaminated objects like trays, seat belts, bathroom sinks, and those suspiciously sticky airline magazines when they are not properly disinfected.
According to one expert, no preventive measures can really ensure proper social distancing while flying.
“There’s no space on a plane where you have six feet around you between you and another person,” said Anthony Santella, an associate professor of public health at Hofstra University.
“There’s no way to escape adnd maintain physical distancing on a plane.”
Even on a flight that is a third or half full, where everyone is wearing masks, there are still risks, he said.
Touching these and then touching your enormous face without first washing your hands could get you infected.
If you’re travelling on a relatively empty train or bus, though, your risks would be different. How long you spend on transport will also play a role – spending more time in contact, and coming into contact with more people will increase your risk.
So, “limiting the number of close contacts with potentially infected individuals and objects is important,” according to Dr Gosce.
“In terms of travel, avoid peak hours if possible,” she says, suggesting, where viable, passengers should choose routes involving only one means of transport.
Why are airplane flights still packed?
The coronavirus has grounded 90 percent of the nation’s passenger jets, so airlines are trying to sell as many tickets as they can on the few flights they have left, experts said.
“Airlines are burning cash at a prodigious rate, and they will do that under the existing business plans until somewhere this summer,” said Robert Mann of R.W. Mann & Company, a leading airline industry analysis firm based in Port Washington.
When will air travel return to normal?
any airlines have reported that in-flight coronavirus restrictions will remain in place at least through this month. But those deadlines may be extended depending on the status of the virus — and pending on assessments by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the meantime, JP Beitler of PlaneFinder.com said his business booking private flights has skyrocketed with customers looking to avoid packed planes.
“There really is no demand right now, as a practical matter. There’s no economic demand, which is to say there’s no demand at a price point where airlines can make money.”
Still, the viral videos likely come from people on the cheapest flights, Mann said.
The government says people should “consider all other forms of transport before using public transport”. If they can’t walk, cycle or drive to their destination, they are advised to:
- Travel at off-peak times
- Take a less busy route and reduce the number of changes
- Wait for other passengers to get off before boarding
- Keep 2m away from people “where possible”
- Wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after completing their journey.
Transport networks around the country are enhancing their safety measures to protect staff and passengers.
Therefore, it may be a good idea to avoid all unnecessary air travel until one of two things happen:
A vaccine (or some type of treatment) that can adequately protect you against the virus is developed and becomes available. Oh, and you actually have to be vaccinated for it to work too.
While the number of travelers has doubled since the lowest point last month, it’s still down 92% from 2019. U.S. airlines are losing up to $7 billion a month, Airlines for America said.
There is no federal standard for air travel. Each airlines policies are a little different. Meanwhile, all airliners are waiving change fees, but as people choose to fly, planes will get more crowded. Even with all the middle seats blocked, a 737 could still hold more than 100 passengers.
The virus stops actively circulating. This certainly won’t happen overnight. The virus won’t just quickly go away or disappear like a hairpiece being removed.
Arriva Buses is only accepting contactless payment and will no longer give change for cash payments.
Transport for London is installing hand sanitisers at all tube, rail and bus stations and has introduced a rigorous cleaning schedule.
It says it will only be able to carry 13-15% of its normal number of passengers on the Underground and buses.