Are you considering traveling during the ongoing pandemic? Make sure to take precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19.
Although the widespread vaccinations are creating a better outlook for ending the pandemic, it won’t happen overnight. Until then, continue to take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones if you must travel.
If you’re fully vaccinated, you’re less likely to get and spread the virus. However, international travel may still expose you to a greater risk of getting the COVID-19 variants. As much as possible, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises that you avoid traveling until you and your loved ones are fully vaccinated.
Keep in Mind
Although being vaccinated can help protect you from the severity of the virus, anyone can still get very ill from COVID-19. Keep in mind that immunocompromised individuals, older adults, and people with certain medical conditions and complications are at increased risk for severe illness. There are several conditions that increase your risk of getting COVID-19. These include a weakened immune system, heart problems, all forms of cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Down syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, pregnancy, and sickle cell disease.
Local and International Travel boosts your chance of catching and spreading the virus. If you’re unvaccinated, it’s best to stay home to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19. If you need to travel, it’s best to consult your doctor and ask about any additional precautions you may need to take in case you have any complications you need to be wary of when traveling.
When making travel plans, here are things to consider:
- Are you fully vaccinated against COVID-19?
Get vaccinated. It takes time for your body to adapt and condition itself to build protection after any vaccination. Once you’re fully vaccinated, you’re less likely to spread COVID-19, and you can travel safely within the U.S.
- Do you have medical conditions that increase your risk of getting COVID-19?
Anyone can get COVID-19, but older adults and people of any age with certain medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
- Do you live with someone who has medical conditions that may be at risk?
You may spread the virus to the people you live with when you come back, even if you’re not showing any symptoms.
- Does your destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
Despite being fully vaccinated, you must follow local and international testing and travel rules, and comply with the requirements needed for travelers.
Do Your Research
Check local and international requirements, restrictions, and situations. Some state, local, and international governments have certain mandates and requirements, such as requiring people to wear masks, to get tested at entry, and requiring those who recently traveled to quarantine themselves (stay home for up to 14 days since arrival). Spare yourself from unpleasant and unexpected delays by checking for the requirements and restrictions at your destination and anywhere you might stop by along the way.
For international travel, click here to check country-specific information.
Please bear in mind that requirements and restrictions can change rapidly depending on local and international conditions. It’s very important to keep in mind that we are still in a pandemic. Continue to check for updates on your destination as your trip nears.
Travel and testing
For fully vaccinated individuals
If you’re fully vaccinated, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that you no longer need to get tested for your trip within the U.S., nor do you need quarantine after you return.
When traveling internationally, the CDC states that you no longer need to get tested before your trip UNLESS it’s a requirement at your destination. The CDC also states that before arriving in the U.S., you must present a negative test that was taken within the last three days before your arrival.
For unvaccinated individuals
If you’re unvaccinated, testing before and after travel reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19. The CDC recommends getting tested with a viral test at least three days before your trip.
“I can’t find a Covid rapid test or a PCR Test near me, what do I do?”
We recommend using Google’s local search capabilities or contact your local health authorities for more information.
Delay travel when needed if you’re still waiting for test results. Make sure to bring a copy of your negative test results with you when you’re traveling.
Take the test again three to five days after your trip. Despite testing negative, reduce nonessential activities for 7 days just to be safe.
If at any point you test positive, stay home. Isolate yourself immediately if you start to develop symptoms. Make sure to stay tuned in the news and follow public health mandates and recommendations.
Things to remember
Sometimes, even the most intricate and well laid out plans might need to be set aside when illnesses and unforeseen circumstances strike.
Stay home if you or your loved ones are sick or think you might have COVID-19, even if you don’t show any symptoms.
Stay home if you are waiting for results of a COVID-19 viral test, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 even if you don’t have any of the symptoms, or maybe you’ve been around someone with suspected or diagnosed COVID-19 in the past 14 days, even if that person didn’t have any symptoms whatsoever.
Remember, your safety is the priority. You can always travel again when you’re in tip-top shape.