Skip to main content

Omicron: flying safely during the coronavirus pandemic

An airborne aeroplane.
Click to enlarge

What steps can you take to protect yourself and others from the omicron variant while you fly?

The highly infectious omicron variant of covid-19 is a cause for concern among travellers, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of catching or transmitting it.

Get tested ahead of your flight

The number one thing you can do to protect others from the omicron variant of covid-19 is to get tested before you fly. Use a reliable testing service that delivers results promptly to ensure you are not turned away at the boarding gate. You will need proof of a negative covid-19 test in most cases, and a travel health certificate.

Canadian Travel Clinics can offer:

  • PCR swab tests with 24-hour results
  • Antigen testing with results in three to four hours (only valid for some destinations)

We have many branches, so there is sure to be a clinic where you can get covid-19 RT PCR testing nearby. Book online right now. A test takes just minutes, and you can rely on us to deliver your covid-19 test results in the right timeframe for your journey.

Travel rules and entry requirements are subject to sudden change. Keep up to date with advisories about your destination and about any countries you will pass through. We recommend that you check while planning your trip, before booking your covid-19 test and again immediately before departure.

Am I in danger from omicron on my flight?

The omicron variant of covid-19 is very infectious, and there is a risk that you might be exposed to it on your flight. But by wearing a mask, cleaning your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face, you can reduce the risk that it will infect you.

If you feel ill, do not fly

If you have any doubts about your health, particularly if you have symptoms of a respiratory illness that are the Government of Canada says are associated with covid-19, such as a cough, fever, sore throat or runny nose, cancel your travel plans. This will protect others from infection and reduce the transmission of covid-19.

What is the best way to avoid exposure to covid-19 at the airport?

Time your arrival at the airport to minimize waiting around, while ensuring you have plenty of time to get through security. Keep a respectful distance from others, and comply with any local guidelines. Be prepared to wear a mask except while eating and drinking. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently, particularly after touching shared surfaces like lift buttons, handrails and door handles.

How can I protect myself from covid-19 during my flight?

Comply with any rules that that the airline and flight crew ask you to follow. This may include wearing a mask (unless exempt) and sanitizing your hands. You may be asked to use contactless payment methods, rather than cash. And you can expect a limited food and drink service on many flights.

During the flight, stay in your seat as much as possible. Clean your hands after touching shared surfaces like door buttons. Keep your hands away from your face, and cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow.

What to do if you feel ill on your flight

Should you become unwell during your flight, let a flight attendant know and they will help you minimize the risk you pose to others.

Where can I get travel health advice about flying safely?

We have an article on flight health that covers topics such as deep vein thrombosis, jet lag and dehydration. Your airline’s website may also have some health tips for you.