What to Wear on an Airplane to Protect Against COVID-19

Health experts recommend that when you travel you want to cover as much of your body as possible.

If you’re getting ready to fly again amid the coronavirus pandemic, there are ways to reduce your risk of catching COVID-19, as several airlines resume filling their planes to capacity.

It starts with what you wear to the airport. Health experts recommend that when you travel you want to cover as much of your body as possible, such as sweatpants, closed-toed shoes and a hooded sweatshirt that you can zip up and flip on to protect your face from the rest of the travelers. 

Additionally, a face shield can be worn over a face mask to give extra protection. Packing everything in a carry-on also prevents more hands from touching your luggage. Bring your own food so you don't have to rely on airline-provided snacks.

When you go to the airport, use a digital boarding pass. 

"Anything to decrease the risk of having another item that you may touch and somebody else may touch and give back to you," said Dr. Ravina Kullar, an infectious disease specialist. 

She also suggests trying to reserve a seat in the front of the plane and to board last if possible.

"The window is the best seat. The aisle is the worst seat," Kullar said.

On board, immediately wipe down your seat and tray table, and remember to open your air vent, said CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg. 

"The air is recirculated in the cabin every three minutes ... and then purged every three minutes," Greenberg said. "That recirculation is a much better air quality with HEPA filters than you have in your own home. So I would have no trouble getting on a plane."

As soon as you reach your destination, go into the bathroom, change out of your clothes and put them in a separate plastic bag. Wash your face thoroughly with soap and water. Leave your shoes outside of your destination and wipe down your suitcase, including the wheels.