With more people becoming vaccinated, certain travel bans being lifted and summer around the corner, you may be feeling ready to take some long-awaited trips. But it’s important to understand when it’s safe to travel and how to help protect yourself when you do.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its recommendations, allowing those fully vaccinated to travel within the U.S., without testing or self-quarantining. That said, even fully vaccinated travelers should continue to follow safety precautions during and after traveling to help protect others.
International travel, however, may put you at increased risk for getting or spreading new COVID-19 variants, even if you are fully vaccinated. If you must travel internationally and are fully vaccinated, make sure to follow your airline and destination’s requirements, which may include getting a negative COVID-19 test within three days before re-entering the United States.
For more tips on how to best protect yourself before, during and after travel, consider these five recommendations from the CDC.
1. Understand the guidelines
If you aren’t fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends delaying your domestic travel. If you must travel, remember to:
- Get tested one-three days before your trip
- Take safety precautions during your trip, like wearing a mask, avoiding crowds and washing your hands often
- Get a viral test three-five days after you return home
- Self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel, even if you test negative. If you don’t get tested, self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
If you are fully vaccinated, you can travel domestically without getting tested before or after your trip. You should still self-monitor for symptoms and get tested if you develop any.
2. Continue following safety precautions
If you are fully vaccinated, you should still follow CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely including:
- Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth
- Staying 6 feet from others
- Avoiding crowds
- Washing your hands often or using hand sanitizer
3. Check local restrictions
If you are planning to travel out-of-state, make sure to check the state’s local restrictions to ensure you are prepared to follow them. Testing requirements, mask mandates and quarantine recommendations may differ.
4. Avoid COVID-19 surges
Some states and regions are experiencing a COVID-19 surge as variants of the virus continue to spread. Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, it may be best to avoid those areas, if possible.
5. Take precautions booking international travel
The U.S. State Department recently announced it will designate 80% of countries worldwide with a “Do Not Travel” warning where they are experiencing dramatic spikes in cases. If you are planning to travel internationally, check the travel advisory level before booking and make sure you’re covered.
Traveling may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, so it’s important to follow the recommended guidelines. Remember, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have recently been exposed or tested positive for the virus, the CDC encourages you to stay home.
For more information, read more about the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.