Is it Safe to Take a Summer Vacation, Even Fly?

Walk on the Beach
Print icon

Distancing, both physical and social, is the buzzword of the year and one Hartford HealthCare (HHC) experts want you to remember as the state reopens and you begin venturing out of your home this summer.

The warmer months, when kids are traditionally of school, are a time when many people plan vacations. While the idea of traveling might be frightening after spending so much time close to home, it does not need to be chalked up as another COVID-19 loss. In fact, when it comes to traveling, Dr. Faiqa Cheema, an HHC infectious disease specialist, said you should be fine as long as you practice distancing and other recommendations.

“Traveling itself can increase your risk (of COVID-19),” she said, referring to the fact that the virus was brought into the United States by a traveler from China, the pandemic epicenter. With that in mind, destinations should be chosen carefully. “But, being on a plane itself does not increase your risk.

“We know that because the airlines follow high-quality standards for purification of the air and the filters they use are like those we use in the hospital for patients who have COVID-19 and are placed in isolation.”

There are other times when traveling, however, that you should exercise more caution and be aware of potential contamination sources, such as:

  • Taking a taxi to or from the airport.
  • Using an airport shuttle bus.
  • Eating out without washing your hands.
  • Standing in long lines or in crowds at luggage retrieval carousels.

While on vacation, or here at home, swimming also does not need to be avoided as the area heats up, Dr. Cheema said. At public pools or the beach, make sure to wear protective masks and stay 6 feet from others in the water or on the shore.

“If you do that, it’s reasonable to enjoy those kind of outdoor activities,” she said, adding that it’s better to be outside in fresh air rather than cooped up indoors with crowds or close quarters.

As society reopens, Dr. Cheema said it’s important to understand that 30 percent to 50 percent of new COVID-19 cases will be caused by people who are asymptomatic, or not displaying virus symptoms. So keeping 6 feet from anyone not living in your home, and not just those who are coughing or feverish, is vital to avoiding infection.

Need to see your doctor? New Patient? For more information about Hartford HealthCare virtual health visits, click here.

Click here to schedule a virtual visit with a Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent care doctor. Find out more about COVID-19 antibody tests here.

Sign up for our “Coping with COVID” podcast series here.

Stay with Hartford HealthCare for everything you need to know about the coronavirus threat. Click here for information updated daily.

Questions? Call our 24-hour hotline (860.972.8100 or, toll-free, 833.621.0600). 

Get text alerts by texting 31996 with COVID19 in the message field.

What's New

COVID and Pets

CDC’s COVID-19 Update Spares Pets, Downgrades Threat of Infected Surfaces

COVID-19 spreads more person-to-person than surface-to-person or animal-to-person, according to the latest update guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The person-to-person spread surprises no one, but the CDC has downgraded the risk of  touching a contaminated surface, then infecting yourself by touching your nose, eyes or mouth....

Windham paramedic program honors 25 years

Since its inception 25 years ago, the paramedic program at Windham Hospital has saved countless lives, built partnerships with 16 fire departments and served the 400-square-mile community around the hospital. In 1995, the town of Windham recognized the need for paramedic or advanced life support services in the Windham and...

Public Restroom

Is it Safe to Use a Public Bathroom During COVID-19?

As the country reopens, state by state, is there public trust in public restrooms? Put it this way: At last check, New York’s subway system had one bathroom per 53,000 riders. In Connecticut, public restrooms remain closed at most state parks. Elsewhere, will people change their hygiene habits when in...

COVID-19 Blood

Where to Get a COVID-19 Antibody Test, And Why

During the COVID-19 surge in Connecticut, diagnostic tests  performed with a nasal swab were critical in determining who had been infected with the coronavirus. Now, as the state’s economy reopens, a blood test is helping health professionals detect an immune response in people who were infected and also identify people were...


New: COVID-Related Behavioral Health Hotline

In any catastrophe, the medical needs must be tended first, followed by a wave of behavioral health issues that can last for months and years. The COVID-19 infection rate peaked in Connecticut at the end of April and now the Hartford HealthCare Behavioral Health Network (BHN) is preparing for increased demand...

Skin Cancer

If a Spot Looks Like This, it Could be Skin Cancer

The sun feels amazing on your face after a wet, dismal spring, but just a few moments of unprotected exposure can bring even more dismal consequences. During Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Girish Mohan, director of cosmetic and laser dermatology with Hartford HealthCare Dermatology, wants to remind people that protecting...


What to Watch, Medically, as the State Reopens

There are three measurements to watch as society begins to reopen after the COVID-19 lockdown and people start gathering again in churches, restaurants and parks, according to Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief clinical officer with Hartford HealthCare. The metrics, he said, are: The number of active cases. The number of people...