Coronavirus

Protect Yourself When Using Transportation

As schools, businesses, and community organizations provide services during the pandemic, consider ways that you can protect yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19 when using transportation. When you consider the following options, think about what is feasible, practical, and acceptable to you and meets your needs. See CDC’s tips for how to stay safe…

As schools, businesses, and community organizations provide services during the pandemic, consider ways that you can protect yourself and slow the spread of COVID-19 when using transportation. When you consider the following options, think about what is feasible, practical, and acceptable to you and meets your needs. See CDC’s tips for how to stay safe while running errands.

People at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and those who live with them, should consider their level of risk before deciding to go out and ensure they are taking steps to protect themselves. Consider avoiding activities where taking protective measures may be difficult, such as activities where social distancing can’t be maintained. Everyone should take steps to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at increased risk of severe illness.

This page includes information on using transportation in your local community to accomplish everyday activities. Find information about traveling outside of your local community (air travel, RV travel, etc.) here.

When using any type of transportation, follow these general principles:

Practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Before you leave, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Once you reach your destination, wash your hands again or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and wash your hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Social distance

  • During travel, try to keep at least 6 feet (2 meters, approximately 2 arms’ length) from people who are not in your household — for example, when you are waiting at a bus station or selecting seats on a train.

Wear a mask

  • Wear a mask in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere you will be around other people.
    • Masks should not be placed on:
      • Babies and children younger than 2 years old
      • Anyone who has trouble breathing
      • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance
  • Masks are meant to protect other people in case you are unknowingly infected and do not have symptoms.

Stay home when appropriate

  • If you are sick, have recently had a close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more) to a person with COVID-19, or are waiting for COVID test results, avoid using transportation options that may put you in close contact with others (e.g., public transit, rideshare, or taxis). Stay home except to seek medical care.
  • If you are sick and public transportation is your only option when seeking medical care, wear a mask over your nose and mouth, practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people as much as possible), and practice hand hygiene, including using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available. For non-emergency medical care, make an appointment ahead of time and, if using public transportation, travel during non-peak hours, if possible.

Bring supplies

  • Before traveling, pack sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (in case you are unable to wash your hands at your destination).
  • Wear your mask in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere you will be around other people, for example, while riding on a train or bus, waiting at a rest stop, or riding in a car with people outside your household.
  • Bring extra masks and a sealable plastic bag. If your mask gets wet or dirty, put a clean mask on and put the wet or dirty mask in the plastic bag until you can wash it.

Protect people at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following

Avoid riding with unmasked drivers or passengers

  • Don’t ride in a vehicle if the driver or other passengers who don’t live with you are not properly wearing face masks.

Avoid touching surfaces

  • Avoid contact with surfaces frequently touched by passengers or drivers, such as the door frame and handles, windows, and other vehicle parts. When you must touch these surfaces, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible afterwards.
  • Don’t accept offers of free water bottles and avoid touching magazines or other items that may be provided to passengers.
  • Use touchless payment when available.

Social distance

  • Limit the number of passengers in the vehicle to only those necessary.
  • Avoid shared rides where multiple passengers are picked up who are not in the same household.
  • Sit as far as possible from the driver, such as in the rear seat diagonally across from the driver. In larger vehicles, such as vans and buses, sit in the back seat so you can remain at least six feet away from the driver.

Improve ventilation

  • Ask the driver to improve the ventilation in the vehicle if possible — for example, by opening the windows or setting the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.

Practice hand hygiene

  • After leaving the vehicle, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following

Clean and disinfect surfaces

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly (for example, the steering wheel, gear shift, door frame/handles, windows, radio/temperature dials, and seatbelt buckles).
  • When using parking meters and pay stations, consider using alcohol wipes to disinfect surfaces or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol after use. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as possible.

Social distance

  • Consider limiting the number of passengers in the vehicle to only those necessary (for example, choose one or two family members who are not at higher risk for severe illness to run the essential errands).

Improve ventilation

  • Improve the ventilation in the vehicle if possible (for example, open the windows or set the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode).

Paratransit services are van and taxi programs for people who are unable to independently use public transportation because of a disability or disabling health condition. The Americans with Disabilities Actexternal icon requires public transit agencies that provide fixed-route service to provide paratransit services to qualified people with disabilities. Paratransit transportation is considered an essential service which can help people with disabilities engage in activities to support their health and safety, such as visiting a healthcare professional and obtaining food, medications, and medical supplies.

Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following

Stay up to date

  • Contact your local paratransit program for the latest information on changes to paratransit services and procedures.

Wear a mask

  • Wear a mask in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere you will be around other people.

Avoid touching surfaces

  • Avoid contact with surfaces frequently touched by passengers or drivers, such as the door frame and handles, windows, and other vehicle parts.  If you must touch these surfaces, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible afterwards.

Social distance

  • When possible, consider traveling during non-peak hours when there are likely to be fewer passengers.
  • When possible, sit in the back of larger vehicles such as vans so you can remain at least six feet away from the driver and other passengers during the trip.
  • As much as possible, limit close contact with the driver. It may not be possible to stay at least 6 feet away from the driver at all times. Ask the driver to wear a mask  and to practice proper hand hygiene immediately before and after providing assistance.

Improve ventilation

  • Ask the driver to improve the ventilation in the vehicle if possible, such as opening the windows or setting the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.

Practice hand hygiene

  • After leaving the vehicle, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Follow the general principles listed above, plus the following

Avoid touching surfaces

  • Limit touching surfaces that are frequently touched by other people, such as pedestrian or cyclist call buttons, as much as possible. If you must touch these surfaces, as soon as you can, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Social distance

  • Stay at least 6 feet from other cyclists or pedestrians you don’t live with. For example:
    • Avoid crowded and/or narrow routes where it might be difficult to maintain 6 feet of distance between yourself and other cyclists or pedestrians.
    • If you see someone moving towards you, stay as far to your right if possible or safely cross the street to avoid passing within 6 feet of another person.
    • When passing others, leave as much space as possible.

Wear a mask

  • Wear a mask in public settings and when around people you don’t live with, especially when social distancing is difficult.
  • Even if you do not expect to have close contact with other people during your trip, carry a mask so you are prepared.
  • For vigorous biking or other activities, you may need to remove your mask if you are having difficulty breathing. If you do, and whenever breathing heavily, it is especially important to maintain social distance.

Practice hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Avoid spitting in public.
  • After completing your trip, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

About the author

cvxgBWcuFA

Leave a Comment