This study states that The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health emergency,1 with more than 100 million cases reported worldwide by the end of January 2021.2 During the containment phase in England (up to 12th March 2020),3 Public Health England (PHE) implemented control measures to prevent case importation. In addition to supported isolation of travellers from high-incidence areas, PHE followed an air travel contact-tracing protocol similar to that of other respiratory infections, which involved identifying cases with recent flight history and liaising with port health authorities and airline companies to identify their contacts.4 Where reachable, contacts were put under passive surveillance for 14 days from the day of the flight, and, if they developed symptoms, asked to inform PHE and call NHS 111 to get tested. In doing this, PHE defined an air travel contact as a person sitting within a two seat radius of a confirmed case, or a member of cabin crew serving the area around where the case was seated.

The magnitude and determinants of risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission on aircraft continue to be of public and policy interest.

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