The coronavirus is still considered a health threat. It has affected many lives and still continues to cause many problems worldwide. Fortunately, COVID-19 vaccines are in the works, and more people choose to get vaccinated. This has made travel safer than it was last year. However, it is still best to take precautions to ensure you are 100% safe and free from COVID-19.
6 Safety Tips for Traveling during COVID-19 Times
The following are safety tips you can apply during your travels:
Research About the Coronavirus Rate Where You Live
Before you decide to travel somewhere far, it is recommended to know the status of COVID-19 positive individuals in your area. If the cases are high, it means you have a greater risk of developing COVID-19. Moreover, if you travel by bus, train, or plane from where you live with high cases of COVID-19 positive, the passenger you might be sitting with, or your friend group might get infected or is already infected by the virus.
Know the COVID-19 Status at Your Chosen Destination
Before you think about how to find cheap flights and other commodities at your chosen destination, it is vital to consider the COVID-19 status first. If you plan to go to a destination with high COVID-19 positive cases, you will be at risk of getting infected, even if you have already been vaccinated or boosted.
For travels within the US, you can look at an area's COVID-19 positivity rate on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) community database or a local public health department's website. On the other hand, if you plan to travel outside the US, you can check on the US State Department website to know the coronavirus rates and entry restrictions a certain area may have.
Travel and Testing: What to Know
According to the CDC, if you are fully vaccinated, you are not required to get a COVID-19 test. This goes before and after your trip within the US. You also don't need to get quarantined after returning from your trip.
If you plan for an international trip, CDC also states that you don't need to get tested before your trip. However, if the destination requires proof of being COVID-19 negative as part of their entry restrictions, you have to get tested in the US before your trip. Furthermore, before you get back to the US, you will need to have a negative test within the last day before your arrival or documentation of your recovery from coronavirus in the last three months.
After you arrive in the US, CDC recommends you to get tested with a viral test for about 3 to 5 days after your international travel. Also, if you are not a US citizen and are traveling to the US, being fully vaccinated is required.
It is vital to know that the US will not require you to get quarantined after you arrive. It is best to check for any symptoms and get tested 3 to 5 days after arriving for safety. If you notice some symptoms, stay at home and consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Unvaccinated people need to test before and after travel to reduce the risk of coronavirus. CDC recommends getting tested with a viral test 1 to 3 days before your planned trip. It is vital to delay your trip if you are still waiting for the test results, and don't forget to keep a copy of your results once you receive them.
After your trip, it is also recommended to get a viral test again for about 3 to 5 days. Even if you tested negative, it is best to refrain from doing non-essential activities for about seven days. Moreover, if you tested positive, isolate yourself and consult a doctor.
Protecting Yourself and Others when Traveling
It is vital to wear face masks in public even when you are fully vaccinated and boosted, primarily when you use buses, trains, planes, and other forms of public transportation. Remember to make sure your mask fits snugly and fully covers your nose and mouth.
Consider the following when you travel in order to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Maintain social distancing (6 feet or 2 meters is highly recommended).
- If you are in an area with high COVID-19 positive cases, wear your mask in outdoor crowded areas, indoor public spaces, or when you are close to someone who is not fully vaccinated.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Limit any contact with places you frequently touch, like kiosks, elevator buttons, and handrails. If you must touch them, don't forget to sanitize or wash your hands afterward.
- Avoid drinking and eating on public transportation. That way, you can keep your nose and mouth covered by wearing a mask the whole time.
- Clean your hands more often. Doing so is vital, especially after you went into the bathroom, before you eat, and after you coughed, blew your nose, or sneezed.
- Wash your hands with soap and water (20 seconds);
- If there is no soap and water, you can use a hand sanitizer that is 60% alcohol.
Make a List of Vital Things You Need to Pack
When packing for your trip, it is best to include the following:
- Face Masks
- Disinfectant wipes with 70% alcohol for surfaces
- Alcohol-based sanitizer
Best Not to Travel
It is recommended not to travel if you are experiencing the following:
- You tested positive for COVID-19;
- You are sick;
- You are waiting for your COVID-19 test results;
- You had close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
To Wrap It Up
Even if you are fully vaccinated or boosted, it is still recommended to take precautions when traveling during this pandemic. Vaccines have made traveling safer, but they do not eliminate the risk of getting infected by the coronavirus. Always remember to stay safe and COVID-free. Protecting yourself from this virus also means protecting others from getting infected.