The eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic last year changed all of our worlds. And not just in the short term. Outside of health care — where heroes dressed in gowns continue to battle on the front lines — few sectors have been hit as hard as the travel industry.
Entire nations were ordered to stay at home, airlines have gone bankrupt, travel companies laid off massive numbers of workers, and hotels were turned into hospitals.
However now, vaccination roll-out is finally and thankfully well underway:
- Israel is virtually back to a pre-pandemic state.
- The UK has over 30 million vaccinated people. It seems as though the world is starting to get back on its feet.
Now that things are slowly beginning to return to “normal”, many have raised the question of travel, especially international travel. Will it look very differently?
Before You Travel
If you are thinking about planning on travelling in the near future, consider these questions quite carefully.
Have You Had Your COVID-19 Vaccinations?
When possible, make sure that you get vaccinated. If the vaccine necessitates two doses, wait two weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel. If the vaccine necessitates one dose, wait two weeks after getting the vaccination to travel.
It takes some time for your body in order to build protection after any vaccination. When you’re fully vaccinated, you’re less likely to spread COVID-19. In addition, you can travel more safely within the US and internationally. However, you may have an increased risk of getting COVID-19 if you travel to international destinations as vaccination rates vary depending on destination.
Are You At Increased Risk For Severe Illness?
Anyone can contract COVID-19 however older adults and people of any age with particular medical conditions are at an raised risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
Do You Live With A Person Who’s At Increased Risk For Severe Illness?
If you are infected while travelling, you could spread the virus to the people you live with when you return. This is even if you don’t have symptoms. Does your home or destination have rules or restrictions for travellers? Even if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you need to follow local, state and federal testing and travel rules.
Keep Yourself Informed
Make sure that you keep track of the ever-changing guidelines and restrictions for your destination. You are able to check specific travel requirements through, for example, the US State Department website or – alternatively – your destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health. As well, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides guidance on travel to other countries, which are ranked from ‘very high’ risk of COVID-19 transmission to “low” (among them China, Iceland as well as Rwanda).
Ensure That You Bring Your Vaccination Card
Some countries would like to see your vaccination card, so ensure your official CDC vaccination card is completed with the date of your dose or doses (if you got a two-dose vaccine). It’s a great idea to make a copy of the card or have a photo on your phone as back-up.