Chances to get Covid on a flight ‘one in one million’ says expert

Chris Evans discuses international travel after restrictions are lifted

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Holidaymakers will be delighted to learn flying is a Covid-safe activity. A new study by Delta found the risk of exposure to Covid while travelling is less than 0.1 percent.

The low risk is dependent on all passengers having tested negative 72 hours in advance of their flights.

The real world, peer-reviewed study was published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

It showed a single “Covid molecular test performed within 72 hours of departure could decrease the rate of people actively infected onboard a commercial aircraft to a level that is significantly below active community infection rates,” reported Breaking Travel News.

Henry Ting, Delta chief health officer, said: “We are going to live with COVID-19 variants for some time.

READ MORE: Cyprus holidays: What are the latest travel rules for Brits?

“This real-world data – not simulation models – is what governments around the world can use as a blueprint for requiring vaccinations and testing instead of quarantines to re-open borders for international travel.”

He continued: “When you couple the extremely low infection rate on board a COVID-19-tested flight with the layers of protection on board including mandatory masking and hospital-grade air filtration, the risk of transmission is less than one in one million between the United States and the United Kingdom, for example.

“These numbers will improve further as vaccination rates increase and new cases decrease worldwide.”

This is fantastic news for the travel industry, with the UK looking to scrap the traffic light system.

On BBC yesterday, travel expert Simon Calder reminded Britons that the UK currently has five categories.

He said: “[At the moment we have] red amber and green, but that’s forgetting super green.

“That’s what you get if you’re Ireland with no testing, no quarantining coming into the UK.

“And the green watchlist, which is the list that places like Croatia and Madeira are on, which signifies they may fall in the amber category at any moment.”

The scrapping of the traffic light system would see the UK have “simply red and all the rest”.

Simon went on to explain: “What people want to see is a much shorter red list of countries with really high infection rates or concerns about Delta or variants of concern, and actually open things up for everybody else.

“At the moment we’re in this bizarre position where the UK has the highest infection rate of any major European nations and it also has the highest barriers to entry for people coming in.”

While the news that the Government was about to scrap the traffic light system was welcome by the travel industry, scientists warned not to get complacent.

Leading immunologist and founding scientist of Cignpost ExpressTest, Professor Denis Kinane, said: “We believe that on one hand, this could be a positive step forward for anyone travelling abroad or visiting the UK.

“On the other hand, it is also critical that we remain vigilant in preventing new variants from coming into the UK.”


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