Coronavirus at the airport: How can I avoid germs?

As airlines slash service and the demand for travel plummets during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, those who still plan to fly may want to go the extra mile in protecting against the viral disease.

Beyond frequent hand washing, good respiratory hygiene and social distancing, here are some tips for staying safe and healthy at the airport.

In this March 9 photo, a passenger wearing a mask as a precaution against a new coronavirus has his temperature checked before boarding a flight to Vladivostok, Russia, at the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea.

In this March 9 photo, a passenger wearing a mask as a precaution against a new coronavirus has his temperature checked before boarding a flight to Vladivostok, Russia, at the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) person-to-person transmissions of the novel coronavirus are thought to occur when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.

Embrace technology

Embrace technology at the airport to minimize your contact with other people and high-touch machines.

Embrace technology at the airport to minimize your contact with other people and high-touch machines. (iStock)

Whether or not you’re tech-savvy, now is the time to time learn — quick.

After arriving at the airport, skip check-in kiosks and desks by signing in for your flight via the carrier's app, Business Insider suggests. Many airline apps also have accommodations to adjust flights and purchase checked bags, straight from the convenience of your phone.

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When it's time to board, avoid contact with high-touch machines or other people (i.e. aviation officials) by presenting your boarding pass on your mobile device, Insider says.

Follow the TSA’s new rules

During the outbreak, the TSA is instructing people to keep personal items like phones, wallets and keys out of the constantly-used bins.

During the outbreak, the TSA is instructing people to keep personal items like phones, wallets and keys out of the constantly-used bins. (iStock)

In response to the global pandemic, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is instructing airport travelers to keep certain high-touch items out of security bins during standard screening procedures.

In hopes of stopping COVID-19's spread, the agency is telling people to keep personal items like phones, wallets and keys out of the constantly used bins.

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With the bins often used by hundreds of travelers passing through airport security checkpoint per hour, a spokesperson for the TSA told Fox News on Friday that travelers should not place phones, wallets and keys in the bins for the time being. Instead, people should secure these personal items in carry-on items, to be screened via X-ray.

Moving forward, “TSA will continue to follow guidance issued by the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding workforce protection,” the spokesperson explained. “We have also put up CDC notices in TSA areas for public information on coronavirus.”

Listen to health authorities

In this March 2 photo, pictured is a health alert for people traveling to China is shown at a TSA security checkpoint at the Denver International Airport.

In this March 2 photo, pictured is a health alert for people traveling to China is shown at a TSA security checkpoint at the Denver International Airport. (AP)

The CDC has advised most travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China, Iran, South Korea and most of Europe. For vulnerable populations – older adults and those with underlying medical conditions – the CDC had advised practicing enhanced precautions by postponing all travel.

While the CDC “does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States,” the agency is still advising visitors to be cautious while visiting certain states or communities experiencing spread of the disease.

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Where can I find more information?

For more travel planning tips regarding the ongoing outbreak, check out Fox News’ all-inclusive guides for flying, taking cruises, booking hotels and going on spring break trips in the days ahead.

Fox News’ Madeline Farber and Alexandra Deabler contributed to this report.