Travel safety during the pandemic is a top of mind subject that I will address over the next few blogs. HelmsBriscoe has assembled a one sheet with data and information that supports safety in travel for professional meetings and events. Please feel free to share this valuable document with your staff and attendees.
It was recently announced that from now through January 2022, the TSA has extended the mask mandate on all forms of public transportation throughout the United States. This includes airports, onboard commercial aircraft, over-the-road buses, commuter bus and rail systems. Airline travelers are also encouraged to check with their airline before their trip, as there may be additional restrictions to consider.
There is a lot of controversy around the wearing of masks, but they have proven to be a top safeguard against spreading the virus. A mask will act as a barrier to prevent any respiratory droplets from reaching others; masks “limit the forward spread of droplets by more than 90% when breathing, coughing or sneezing.”
The most effective masks are medical-grade N95, but since these are in limited supply, they should be saved for health care professionals only. The next best bet are single-use masks, or those made from two layers of cotton and one layer of synthetic material. Bandanas and gaiters DO NOT provide protection against COVID-19. A simple way to test mask efficacy is to light a lighter and hold it in front of the face. If the lighter can be blown out through the mask, the mask is not effective.
Proper fit over the nose and mouth will ensure efficacy. The mask should cover the face from the bridge of the nose to under the chin. There should not be any gaps, and the mask should sit flat against the cheeks. If it’s too loose, tie a knot in each ear loop or loop the straps around the ears twice.
A perhaps overlooked item, and yet very important – comfort! When wearing a mask for an extended amount of time, the last thing anyone needs is discomfort. The need to constantly adjust the mask also means constant touching of the face area.
Mask wearing combined with frequent and thorough hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers, and avoidance of touching the face all work together to significantly reduce the chance of the virus spreading.
Finally, masks have been shown to boost the confidence of those traveling! A price cannot be put on that feeling of safety, so very important to us, our team members and our attendees.
Mask-up Meeting Planners and see you next blog!