Airlines can significantly reduce the risk of coronavirus to passengers by encouraging hand washing, requiring that passengers and crew members wear masks at all times, ensuring constant ventilation and air flow, and regularly cleaning and sanitizing airplanes, according to a report co-authored by several Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health experts.
An October 27, 2020 Washington Post article noted that if all proper precautions are used on an airplane, the risk of transmission could be less than it is in while shopping in a grocery store or eating at a restaurant. The article quoted Edward Nardell, professor in the departments of Environmental Health and Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and Leonard Marcus, founding co-director of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a joint program between Harvard Chan School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
The report was funded by the Aviation Public Health Initiative, an industry-backed group. Marcus said that the industry’s involvement with the study did not influence the team’s findings.
Read the Washington Post article: With proper measures flying can be safer than eating at a restaurant during the pandemic, study says
Read a CNN article: Flying can be safer than grocery shopping, Harvard study asserts
Watch an ABC news report: COVID-19 risk on planes ‘very low’ with proper measures, Harvard review says