Safe Travels: How to practice social distancing while you travel
passenger featured using hand sanitizer station near escalator in CLT Terminal Lobby

March 31, 2020 - We know some of you are still traveling. Nurses and doctors are volunteering in hard-hit communities. College students and others who were away when the pandemic started may still be trying to get home to loved ones. And some business travel can’t be delayed. We are working hard to keep you safe while you are at the Airport and we are asking you to do the same for yourself, fellow travelers, and our employees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created a webpage with guidance for travelers and the latest information related to the virus. While the information about protecting yourself from COVID-19 is not specific to those traveling through airports, it can easily be applied.

Of course, the best way to stay healthy is to avoid exposure to COVID-19. Here are some of the CDC’s tips for staying virus-free and our advice (in italics) for how to put those tips to work in an airport environment.

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Take every opportunity to clean your hands. Once you finish your security screening, wash your hands. Before and after you eat or drink, clean your hands. If you pass by a hand sanitizing station, go ahead and get a squirt. Once you leave the Airport and get back to your car or home, wash again.

Important Note: You can bring a 12-ounce container of liquid hand sanitizer through security in your carry-on bag! Yep, TSA announced the exception will be made “til further notice.”

Avoid close contact

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people.

Whether you are waiting to go through security, board your flight or grab a cup of coffee, you should try to keep six feet between yourself and the nearest person whenever you can. It likely won’t be as hard as it sounds because the crowds are smaller, and everyone should have the same goal. Stand back further than you normally would when speaking with security screeners, gate agents, etc. and only hand them your documents if they ask. If buying concessions, leave plenty of space between yourself and the customer ahead of you and then try to pay with a card, if possible, so that you and the employee don’t have to handle cash.

Clean and Disinfect

  • Clean and Disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

We’ve got this one! The Airport is following CDC guidance. Our staff has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting and is conducting routine deep-cleaning at security checkpoints and other high-touch areas including handrails, people movers, restrooms, seating, and armrests. Seriously, our cleaning staff is on it! We also have increased the number of hand sanitizing stations in the terminal and are using electrostatic spray surface cleaning where appropriate. However, if you have the supplies, it doesn’t hurt to wipe down an area before you sit or use a napkin or paper towel to open a door or grab a railing.

 Protect Others

  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wear a face mask if you are sick.

Airport employees have been instructed to stay home if they are sick – and we hope that you will do the same. We must work together to stop the spread of this virus. It’s literally a matter of life and death.