Tips For Flying With Your ESA During COVID19 Pandemic
With the widespread of the COVID-19 virus, there have been a lot of changes in the way people live. The governing bodies have been laying restrictions on various gatherings or events. People were asked to follow social distancing in order to break the chain of the virus and prevent it from spreading to healthy people. Besides this, the national and international borders were closed so that the disease could not be spread to other states or countries.
As a result, there had been a severe decline in air travel by about 40 to 60%. But with recent changes in the guidelines, the restriction has been lifted slowly. There are signs that travelers are growing comfortable flying again and are taking delayed or planned trips. But what about the people who wish to travel along with their ESA? Is there a provision for them too?
If you are one of those people who are looking forward to flying to a different place amidst the COVID-19, this post is for you. These tips would help you to cope up with the changes and travel smoothly.
#1 You Must Keep Your ESA Socially Distanced From Other People AS Well As Pets - [But do not use face coverings on animals]:
As per the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), it was stated that the animals do not have any risk of the COVID-19 virus. But they can be carriers of the disease. So you must ensure that your ESA is kept at a safe distance from others. Even if the animals get coronavirus, it doesn't affect them like humans. They just show mild symptoms that vanish on their own within a week.
But experts suggest that the effect of the virus is quite unpredictable, so if you are flying with your ESA, make sure that you keep them protected against the infection.
According to CDC, it is also suggested that the ESA must have a leash at least 6 feet away from others but does not recommend putting masks or other face coverings on animals, which could potentially harm them.
Moreover, the pet owners should not wipe or bathe their animal companions with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products that are not approved for use on animals.
Wearing a face covering and washing your hands before and after being around your emotional support animal if you are sick is also advised.
#2 Before You Enter The Airport For Check-In Make Sure That Your ESA Facilities Are Cleared
While you are planning to fly with your ESA, it must be ensured that you are well-informed about the different rules and procedures. You would need to submit your ESA documents to the flight authorities at least 48 hours before your departure. (Different airlines have different policies and rules regarding ESA, so don’t forget to go through all these guidelines beforehand). It might happen that some airlines would only ask for an ESA letter while you are checking in whereas some would require the ESA letter prior to your flight along with an ESA form verified by your healthcare professional.
#3 Being With An ESA, You Must Check For Health Tips from Governmental Agencies
If you are planning to fly with your ESA, ensure that you are aware of all the current restrictions and various safety procedures. If you are not well-informed, it would be difficult for you to travel. The government agencies have made amendments in the domestic as well as the international flight to prevent the spread of the infection. Along with the flight instructions, the healthcare professional would also let you know how to follow the safety measure to keep yourself and your ESA secure.
According to the CDC and TSA (Transportation Security Administration) guidelines, the travelers are asked to follow the safety guidelines given below:
Each and every traveler must maintain good hygiene, which includes frequent hand washing/sanitizing. This must be done before and after the security screening process at the airport.
All the travelers are requested to maintain a social distance for yourself and your ESA. You must stay at least six feet away from other travelers wherever possible.
Always wear a face mask. It will keep you protected from the infection. If you wish you can make use of gloves to cover your hand and avoid touching anything.
People who are suffering from mental or emotional disorders generally carry an ESA along with them even when they are flying to some other place. This ESA (emotional support animal) helps them by comforting their anxieties, stress during traveling. The ESA plays a significant role in helping these people who have deteriorating mental health due to depression, isolation, and other mental problems. Due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus, there has been a drastic change in the guidelines of flying with an ESA. Therefore, it is always advisable that before planning any trip with your ESA, you must check out the flight guidelines. It is always better to clear the things beforehand rather than facing embarrassment.