Getting a covid-19 negative test does not mean that you cannot be infected in a few days, or even hours, right afterwards. From the moment test is carried out, until the result is obtained, there is already a risk of being infected.
To board a humanitarian repatriation flight from Luanda to Lisbon, or Lisbon to Luanda, the Angolan and Portuguese authorities demand COVID-19 test, with a negative result, carried out within 72 hours prior to the trip.
There are several biosafety measures to prevent infection between passengers during flights. However, are these sufficient to prevent contamination? Most positive cases in Angola are asymptomatic and therefore difficult to identify, even with thermometers to track the temperature almost everywhere.
During a commercial flight, when someone coughs or sneezes inside the plane, the particles can spread through several rows and land on chairs, tables and other surfaces.
The best way to avoid contamination is follow strict preventive measures. In this article, we list best practices that you can follow, to protect yourself during a flight and avoid getting infected.
What is mandatory to board a flight from Luanda to Lisbon:
- In-person Check-in starts 5 hours before the flight.
- You can only carry hand luggage that fits under the seat. Trolleys are not allowed.
- The use of masks and gloves is mandatory during the entire trip, from the moment you enter Luanda airport, until you leave Lisbon airport.
- Alcohol gel packs with more than 100ml are forbidden. This is very important because packages with a capacity greater than 100ml are confiscated at the airport security control. If this happens, you will be without alcohol gel throughout your journey.
- At Luanda and Lisbon airport, hygiene points are rarely found. Passengers need to take their own disinfectant to be safe.
What precautions you need to follow during the flight?
- Use the mask constantly. Pay maximum attention to se the mask throughout the trip and take care when removing it during meals.
- Take disinfectant wipes to clean your seat and the space around it. Clean the window, TV, coffee table and armrest. Use the wipes when you go to the toilet. Use it to open the door and touch the tap and seat. A useful tip, if you cannot buy disinfectant wipes, put some alcohol in a normal wipe pack.
- Take a change of gloves. Gloves give us a false sense of security. We should change gloves, after a few hours, or after having had contact with surfaces, goind to the toilet and before or after eating.
- Take several additional masks. Change your mask after 4 hours of use. Do not wear the same mask during your entire trip.
- Meals. Everyone takes off their mask at the same time to eat. At this point, there is a high risk of contamination if there are infected people around you. If possible, wait a while, and eat only after most people have finished and put on their masks back on.
- Those traveling with children must bring food. On the flight, they do not offer milk and food for children.
- Take off your gloves and disinfect your hands to eat. Put on new gloves and mask after eating.
- Take a coat with you. The interior of the airplane has had a much lower temperature than normal.
At Lisbon airport
- The use of a mask is mandatory at Lisbon airport. The use of gloves is not necessary.
- All passengers are tested on arrival to Lisbon. This measure applies to Portuguese and foreign citizens. There is an exception for passengers who have a negative test, if done less than 72 hours prior to the arrival.
- The test is not mandatory for children under 12 years of age.
- The cost of testing at Lisbon airport is around 100 EUR.
- Passengers with Portuguese nationality can refuse to take the test at the airport, and do it later at a pharmacy or hospital. If they choose not to take the test at the airport, they must sign a term of responsibility. However, they can be held responsible if they do not perform the test within the specified time or do not comply with the home quarantine.
For further detailed information on measures at Lisboa airport, you can visit the information on COVID-19, in the Lisbon airport website.
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Travel safely and protect yourself.