Summer is usually the perfect time to satisfy your wanderlust by jetting off on near and far vacations, but during the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many people are asking themselves just how safe traveling is right now. While stay-at-home orders have mostly been lifted, many travel bans and restrictions are still in place. But if you do decide to get on a plane or even drive somewhere for a getaway, how safe is it to stay in a hotel? In short, not very, experts say.
“As with any public place, there are transmission risks in hotels,” Andria Rusk, research assistant professor specializing in global health and infectious disease at Florida International University’s College of Public Health & Social Work, tells POPSUGAR. “This risk comes from interacting with fomites — objects or surfaces that are likely to carry infection — or interacting with infected people. The risk in a hotel environment could come from interacting with hotel employees, such as front desk staff or housekeeping staff, or with other hotel guests.”
The risk is elevated especially in the hotel’s high-traffic, shared public spaces, like public restrooms, fitness centers, business centers, and marketplaces or dining areas. Any high-touch surfaces — such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, ink pens for signing hotel agreements, pool railings, and stair banisters — also pose an elevated risk.
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