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What you need in a coronavirus travel kit

Pack these essentials to help prevent the spread of infection.

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If you need to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing along a travel kit can help you take steps to keep your hands clean and surfaces sanitized.

A general rule of thumb? Wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant before touching them, and apply hand sanitizer frequently. Wherever possible, wash your hands with soap and water.

What to pack in your coronavirus travel kit

Your travel kit should contain the following hygiene products recommended by health experts like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Face masks. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, wear a face covering at all times except when eating, drinking or taking medication. We recommend packing at least one cloth mask or several disposable masks for each day of your trip.
  • Hand sanitizer. To kill germs on the go and reduce the risk of spreading bacteria, carry hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. But wash your hands with soap and water whenever possible.
  • Tissues. To reduce the risk of spreading germs, use a tissue to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Quickly dispose of used tissues.
  • Antibacterial sprays and wipes. Experts say COVID-19 is mainly spread by person-to-person contact. But US government studies show it can also live on surfaces. According to the CDC, wiping down surfaces with a household cleaning spray or wipe can help reduce the chance of transmission. Be sure to wipe down any surfaces you touch while traveling, including seats, seat belts, armrests, doorknobs, handles and more.
  • Straws. Bring a reusable straw for drinks. Remember to keep it tucked safely away in a baggy or travel case until you’re ready to use it.
  • Spare underwear. Consider stashing a few pairs of fresh underwear in your travel kit. That way, you’ll have backups on hand if your travel plans get delayed.

Are face masks required for travel?

On January 21, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order requiring face masks in airports, bus and rail stations, as well as while on passenger aircraft, public transportation, passenger railroads and buses operating on scheduled fixed-routes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a follow-up order requiring masks on conveyances and at stations, ports or similar transportation hubs. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will enforce both orders until May 11, 2021.

Traveling during COVID-19
The CDC advises postponing travel to protect yourself and your family from getting or spreading COVID-19. If you plan to travel during the pandemic, monitor the risk assessment levels for your destination when planning your trip, before departure and on arrival. Follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for test results for COVID-19 — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.

Bottom line

If you have to travel right now, toting a travel kit with a few essentials can help provide peace of mind. Overall, washing your hands with soap and water and not touching your face are two of the best things you can do to avoid disease — especially when traveling.

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