Hand luggage: How to keep your luggage clean from coronavirus when travelling – top tips

After just a week into the coronavirus lockdown in the UK, many weary travellers have grown familiar with how to protect themselves from the deadly coronavirus. Airplanes, hotel rooms and crowded areas have all become no-go zones for regular people unless you’re having to travel for an essential reason. But even day-to-day while travelling to the shops for essentials, how do you keep your belongings and clothes clean?


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Can you catch the dreaded bug or spread it via your clothes?

Medical experts have said the threat is low but have also suggested several precautions to help ease people’s minds.


According to research conducted on the coronavirus, the virus can spread through particles in the air and via contaminated surfaces.

The virus is typically expelled when a person coughs or sneezes so the particles can land clothing.

If no one around you has tested positive for the virus then you should wash your clothes as normal.

But if you’re out shopping and people are not adhering to social distancing rules then it might be an idea to wash your clothes as soon as you get home.

If someone in your household does have covid-19 then extra precautions should be taken.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended wearing disposable gloves when handling clothes and then discarding the gloves afterwards.

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Your hands should be cleaned after using the gloves.

Another tip is not to shake dirty laundry as you could disperse the virus into the air.

The CDC has confirmed that washing clothes with detergent will also kill the virus.

But metal, plastic and glass are more frienfly habitats for viruses with research suggesting that the virus can live on plastic and steel surfaces for up to 72 hours.

When travelling, a canvas tote bag or rucksack might be preferable to a carry-on with an aluminium handle or a plastic suitcase.

Ann Falsey, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Rochester Medical Centre in New York said the virus can generally last less than a day on fabrics and other porous materials, and 30 minutes to an hour on hands.

However, Ms Falsey also said that instead of washing your clothes you could always just leave them.

She said simply: “Don’t use them for a week and the virus will die.”

Greg Poland, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said that to catch the virus from luggage, you would need a very specific series of events to occur.

He said: “You’d literally have to have someone sneeze all over it, get mucus on it and then, within minutes to a few hours, you would have to touch your bag and then your face.”

He suggested that concerned travellers should wipe down the parts of their luggage that have been touched by other people.

Mr Poland also suggested putting anything that could be contaminated out in the sun as the humidity and temperature along with the UV will disrupt the virus.

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Flight warning: Airline tickets could be given tobacco-style warnings – here’s why

The coronavirus pandemic has seen less people travelling abroad and more people being forced to enjoy local walks and their homes. Although coronavirus has been a huge inconvenience for most people who have cancelled their summer holiday plans, the virus has also had a positive impact on the environment.


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With millions around the world either out of a job or working from home, factories have been forced to close and people aren’t driving or flying as regularly.

All of this has led to a massive drop in air pollution which kills a shocking 4.2million people every year.

The last few months have seen a huge change in air quality, especially in places like Wuhan, northern Italy, London and parts of the US.

In the UK, the lockdown has seen toxic small particulate matter drop by as much as 50 percent.

Now, experts are urging that tobacco-style health warnings should be displayed on airline tickets, petrol pumps and fossil fuels.

Experts writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) have called for the warnings to be slapped on airline tickets to tell people that burning fossil fuels worsens the climate emergency which impacts people’s health.

The warning labels, like those on tobacco products, will be displayed at points of purchase such as at petrol stations, on energy bills, and on airline tickets.

The potential move is a low cost way to encourage people to change their behaviour as part of efforts to cut fossil fuel use and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which are fuelling rising global temperatures.

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The group of experts has been led by Dr Mike Gill who is a former regional director of public health.

He helped create the health warnings that cigarettes and tobacco products have to carry today, which have helped make smoking less socially acceptable.

The experts have said that similar to smoking, fossil fuels harm others as well as the person using them.

But unlike cigarettes, fossil fuels harm future generations as well.

The experts suggest:”Warning labels connect the abstract threat of the climate emergency with the use of fossil fuels in the here and now.”

Like tobacco products, there would also be restrictions on advertising by fossil fuel companies.

The experts have said that the restricted adverting would prevent misleading claims about investments in renewables when this is only accounts for a fraction of their plans.

While fossil fuels are already on the forefront of most governments’ minds, more action is needed to keep global temperatures below 2C (F).

The UK has a target to cut emissions to net zero by 2050.

The Government is hoping that by being ambitious, it will encourage other nations to do the same in the run up to key “Cop26” UN climate talks due to take place in Glasgow in November.

The experts added: “There is an opportunity for national and local governments to implement labelling of fossil fuels in the run-up to Cop26 in Glasgow and in particular for the UK Government, as the host of the Cop, to show leadership, as part of a package of measures to accelerate progress on getting to ‘net zero’ emissions.

“When the Covid-19 pandemic eventually wanes labelling could play an important role in helping to reduce the risk of a rapid rebound in greenhouse gas emissions as the economy expands.”

It is likely that Covid-19 global cases will hit one million in the next few days.

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British passports: What to do if you need a new passport during coronavirus travel ban

This week Boris Johnson announced a huge lockdown on the UK which permitted people to only travel if “essential”. The stringent new measures urged people to remain indoors and only venture out to buy food, carry out “essential” work or for a medical reason. However, covid-19 has not only impacted Britons’ daily lives but their holiday plans too.


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The latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FC) in response to the coronavirus pandemic is advising British nationals against all but essential international travel.

The latest advice reads: “Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.

“If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available.

“Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.”

Many Britons are now scrambling to re-book their summer holiday flights as some airlines still refuse to accept cancellations.

But as holidays are now delayed, some people’s passports are set to expire leaving many wondering whether they can still apply for a British passport.

Well, the answer is yes, British citizens can still buy a passport despite the ongoing coronavirus.

A spokesman from the Home Office said that flight cancellations and the latest travel advice from the FCO does not impact on people applying for a passport.

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He added: “But there might be delays in processing.”

The government website says that it costs £75.50 to renew or replace a passport if you apply online or £85 if you fill out a paper form.

It should take three weeks but it may take longer.

If you need a passport urgently then you need to book an appointment at the passport office and pay online.


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However, British nationals abroad who need to apply for a passport won’t be able to apply for one if the country’s visa application centre (VAC) is closed.

But an emergency travel document or an “emergency passport” can be purchased if need be.

These can be bought if you’re abroad, need to travel and cannot get a passport in time.

Those who have never had a British passport and are abroad cannot apply for an emergency one.

There have so far been 440,386 cases of coronavirus worldwide with 112,036 of those recovering.

Globally, just under 20,000 people have died since the outbreak began back in December.

The UK has 8,227 cases and 433 deaths.

Italy is still the world’s epicentre, having had the most deaths and catching up to China with its total number of cases.

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