The Mayo Clinic network in the United States shares the following information of particular relevance as we are approaching a long holiday.

Despite the restrictions imposed by the national COE, surely there will be many Ecuadorians who plan to make a trip on the long holiday bridge for Easter, which begins this Friday, April 2 and ends on Sunday, April 4.

The prestigious Mayo Clinic, serving Scottsdale / Phoenix (Arizona), Jacksonville (Florida) and Rochester (Minnesota), provides the following tips to minimize any potential for contagion. The focus points to reality in USA, but it is easily applicable for Ecuador and other countries.

On the plane

Because of the way air circulates and filters in airplanes, most viruses are not easily spread on flights. But crowded flights can make physical distancing difficult. Additionally, air travel involves spending time in line for security checks and in terminals at airports, which can put you within easy reach of other people.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have published guidelines to help airlines prevent the transmission of the coronavirus. As a result, most airlines in the United States require crew and passengers to carry cloth masks. To see what certain airports and airlines are doing to protect passengers, check out their websites.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has intensified the cleaning and disinfection of equipment and surfaces at checkpoints. If you have not traveled by plane since the beginning of the pandemic, you will notice that TSA agents now wear face masks and gloves, and practice physical distancing, in addition to changing gloves after each manual inspection they do. There are also protective plastic screens on the podium where documents are checked, luggage is checked in and where it is left.

Also note that the TSA has made several changes to the registration process:

· Passengers must wear masks at all times, but TSA employees may ask them to briefly remove them for identification.

· Rather than giving boarding passes to TSA agents, travelers should put the cards (paper or electronic) directly into the scanner and then hold them up for review.

· Each traveler may have a container with hand sanitizer of up to 12 ounces (approx. 350 milliliters) in their carry-on luggage. These containers must be removed from luggage during registration.

· Food must be transported in a plastic bag and placed on a tray for registration. Taking food out of carry-on luggage decreases the likelihood that officers will need to open it to search it.

· Personal items such as keys, wallets and telephones should be put in hand luggage and not on the tray. This reduces the need to touch these objects during registration.

Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds immediately before and after going through the check-up and registration.

By car

· Plan to stop as little as possible, but stop driving if you feel sleepy.

· Make sure you carry cloth masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes with you in an easily accessible place so you can use them on the go if necessary.

· Prepare food and water to go. Consider including some non-perishable foods that may be useful in case of limited access to restaurants and supermarkets.

· If you need to fill the tank with gasoline, be careful to clean with disinfectant any objects that you will touch, such as the pen to sign the voucher for payment by credit or debit card. After filling the tank, use hand sanitizer. When you arrive at your destination, use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

· If you decide to eat on the road, opt for restaurants that offer car window service or bring food to the vehicle.

Source: mayoclinic.org