Most experts say they use a high quality medical mask, like an N95 or KF94, when flying. If you don’t have one, double masking is recommended. For a vaccinated person, the risk of briefly removing a mask to eat or drink during a flight is low, but it is best to keep it as long as possible. The CDC says it’s best for unvaccinated people, including children, to avoid flying.
Dr Bromage said he had recently traveled by plane and briefly removed his mask for a drink, but kept it on for most of the flight. He said he would be more comfortable removing his mask to eat if he knew the people next to him were vaccinated. He said he would be more worried if the person next to him didn’t seem to care about Covid precautions or wore the mask under his nose. “If you have a random person next to you, especially a chatty person, I would keep the mask on,” he said.
How safe are buses, subways and trains for people who have been vaccinated?
Most buses, trains, and subways still require everyone to wear a mask, which reduces risk. While vaccinated people are well protected, the risk of viral exposure increases the longer the journey and the more crowded the train car or bus. For many people, using public transport is essential to get to work or school, and wearing a medical mask or a properly fitted double mask is recommended. When public transport is optional, the decision to ride or not should take into account local vaccination rates and whether the number of cases increases.
Can I hug and visit older relatives? What about unvaccinated children?
Although it is generally considered safe for people who have been vaccinated to kiss and spend time together without a mask, parents of unvaccinated children have more risks to consider, especially when visiting. older parents. In communities where the number of cases is low and vaccination rates high, it is generally considered safe for unvaccinated children in the same household to spend time with their vaccinated grandparents. But as the Delta variant spreads and children return to school, the risks of close contact also increase for older or immunocompromised people who are more vulnerable to complications from Covid-19, even if they are vaccinated.
When families are planning a visit to a high-risk relative, it is a good idea to minimize other exposures, avoid restaurant meals, or work out at the gym in the week leading up to the visit. While the risk of a vaccinated person spreading Covid-19 remains low, vaccinated grandparents should also reduce their personal exposure when spending time with unvaccinated children.
“I haven’t masked myself indoors with my parents in their 80s at this point because I’m always very careful how I wear masks in public places,” said Dr. Huffman, the aerosol scientist. “But if I had more interactions that increased my overall risk of exposure, I would strongly consider hiding indoors with vulnerable people.”
Rapid home tests are an added precaution when visiting grandparents or an immunocompromised family member. Take a test a few days before the visit and on the day of the visit. You can read more about home testing here.