At times of an outbreak, one of the first approaches to containing it is minimizing travel. For this reason, cities across China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy are currently imposing travel bans to minimize the spread of Coronavirus.

However, tickets have been booked, time has been taken off work, and many flights are still ‘business as usual’. So should you continue with your travel plans in the near future?

The answer is a complex one, because the situation is continuing to evolve and, most importantly, it completely depends on you as an individual.

If you are currently living in, or have recently visited a ‘Code Red’ country or district, official advice is to at the very least undergo the two-week quarantine before making, or continuing with, any travel plans.

Since Coronavirus symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear, those who are in this position but continue to travel are putting others at risk. It’s important to remember that even if you are fit and healthy, you can’t guarantee those who could be infected by your travel will be in the same position.

But what about the rest of the world?

In some circumstances, the choice may be taken out of your hands as flights continue to be canceled due to a lack of demand.

If you have a flight booked, it’s important to keep updated on any changes which may occur, as thousands of planes around the world continue to be grounded and airlines are adapting their itineraries to fit this fall in air-traffic.

Another easy way to help you make up your mind is by checking up on the CDC’s travel website for up-to-date information on your destination. Due to the rapid escalation of the outbreak, this site is being continuously outdated, so keep it bookmarked as a quick reference.

If your destination is warning-free and you have your Lonely Planet book highlighted to within an inch of its life, we totally understand not wanting to waste your plane ticket.

So, mainly to avoid wasting two-weeks of your trip quarantined, let’s address how to be protected whilst in transit.

Airplanes have a reputation for the spread of illnesses, which doesn’t bode particularly well at this moment in time. Currently, The World Health Organisation is suggesting that Coronavirus could survive on surfaces for longer than initially thought, which means what happens on their airplane really does stay on the airplane.

However, the practices to avoid infection remain the same as the advice given on the ground.

Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching your face is the best way to protect yourself from the virus.

When you’re flying, the likelihood is you won’t be able to jump up and wash your hands every time you brush against the tray table, so bring a small hand sanitizer to do the job without leaving your seat. If you’re on a long-haul flight or know you will use the tray table, use an anti-bacterial wipe to wipe it down before take-off.

According to the CDC, masks provide very little protection, unless you yourself are already infected and are trying to prevent the spread of the virus.

Not only are the Coronavirus droplets small enough to be transmitted through most masks, but people can be fooled into a false sense of security which will leave them lax on the main preventative measures. Again, they urge people to wash their hands and continue to advise that this is the best way to manage the outbreak.

The chances are you’ll be seeing a lot of “Stop all flights, isolate everybody, stop free movement” tweets and comments across the internet.

However, if you use your common sense and are traveling between low-risk countries, the odds are very much in your favor, despite what Tony with 16 Twitter followers is saying.

The reality is, if you’re happy to fly, you just need to stay hygienic and listen to the experts’ advice. Spoiler, ‘panic bulk-buy toilet paper’ was never once mentioned.