With coronavirus restrictions easing, is it safe to fly now?

Airline experts weigh in on flight safety during coronavirus pandemic

Travelers will have to assess whether or not they are willing to take a risk when considering if it's safe to fly.

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Summer months are underway, a time when the majority of employees save up their vacation days and as more businesses like hotels, restaurants and retailers reopen after coronavirus shutdowns. But some people may still be concerned about getting on a flight with social distancing orders still in place. Transit experts say that it’s more of personal risk when considering if it’s safe to fly.

More airlines are adding flights as coronavirus safety measures become new normal. 

“If you’re going back out to restaurants again and that sort of thing there's no particular reason why flying is more dangerous to you,” Seth Kaplan, an airline expert and transportation analysis told FOX Business.

“The air on airplanes is actually rather clean and it's designed to prevent the spread of disease. The reason you get sick on an airplane is because you’re sitting right next to someone who's sick or because you touched a surface that someone who’s sick did. It’s the people around you. Whether you’re on an airplane or somewhere else," Kaplan explained.

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Airlines are mandating that travelers and flight attendants wear face masks and have ramped up cleaning protocols onboard aircraft in addition to increasing social distancing measures by keeping middle seats empty.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines say that people may be less likely to contract a virus on a flight because of how the air is circulated and filtered on airplanes, but they may be more likely to get sick from being in close contact with others on airport security lines or from coming in contact with frequently touched surfaces.

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“Social distancing is difficult on crowded flights, and you may have to sit near others (within 6 feet), sometimes for hours. This may increase your risk for exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19,” the CDC guidelines say. 

And because traveling anywhere can generally increase one's chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, the CDC says: “staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.”

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