Posted on April 01, 2021
It seems like everyone else is finally traveling. Why shouldn’t you? Might want to carefully ponder that question before answering.
It’s been a full year of lockdowns, shutdowns, quarantines, masks, social distancing, hand sanitizer, video calls, and, yes, illness, upheaval and loss. Of course, you feel ready to get out of town. But are you really ready to pack up and go?
Travel in the spring of 2021 is unlike anything we’ve seen or done before. The COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging the country. So it ought to go without saying that we need to be careful about how we travel.
Since nothing ruins a vacation quicker than contracting (or transmitting) a novel coronavirus, do your part and follow these tips to ensure safe traveling.
Before You Travel
First things first. If eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before you travel, it’s the best way to keep yourself safe. If you aren’t totally inoculated, the most important thing is to not get ahead of yourself. Those who recently tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to COVID-19 need to stay put. The CDC can even restrict travel of people known or believed to have COVID-19 — so just wait until you’re healthy to travel.
If you are healthy enough to travel, it’s important to be mindful of who you’re traveling with or where you are traveling to — older adults and people with particular medical conditions are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Preparation goes a long way. Be sure to check the local guidelines and laws of where you’re traveling to — they could look a lot different than the laws you’re used to following. This includes knowing what type of regulations are enforced and what type of tests are needed before entering.
If you’re planning a vacation outside of the United States, know that many places require a negative test between 48-72 hours of entry, varying by location. Upon returning to the United States, the CDC requires all air passengers two years of age and older to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days. While travel inside the United States is more relaxed, some states require testing and/or quarantining upon arrival. Learn the local rules before you book your flight.
If you need a test within 48-72 hours of travel, Urgent Care is here to help. Let us know which type of test you need, and how soon you plan to travel. If you’re in a rush, Urgent Care offers both Antigen and PCR testing that will get you results within two hours, so you can travel safely and assuredly.
While You Travel
When you travel, follow CDC guidelines and keep to yourself as much as possible. This means you should avoid large crowds both indoors and outdoors. You have a higher risk of becoming infected the more people you interact with and the longer those interactions last, so social distance and stay at least six feet away from anyone not in your party.
Keep those hands clean while you’re out and about, too. Handwashing should be frequent and with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Although it helps a lot, handwashing isn’t the only thing you should be doing. You’ll want to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, as well.
What to Bring
Keep yourself stocked with a travel health kit. Being well prepared means being proactive. (We all know that the best offense is a good defense.) Here are a few things to bring along with any trip:
- Face masks: Wearing a face mask is an easy way to help protect yourself and others. COVID-19, along with the flu and the common cold, are spread by respiratory droplets. Make sure you’ve got a mask that covers both your mouth and nose.
- Disinfecting wipes: These disposable wipes have germ-killing solutions on them which can kill viruses and bacteria. Curious if your wipes can kill the coronavirus? Checkout the EPA’s list of disinfectants.
- Hand sanitizer: Washing your hands and using hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol are your best bets at keeping your hands clean.
- Vitamins: Nutrients and vitamins such as zinc, melatonin, vitamin C and vitamin D help stimulate immune systems and keep them strong. Vitamins may not directly fight COVID-19 (research is still being conducted), but they are important for a healthy immune system.
We’ve all been cooped up this last year, and pandemic fatigue, burnout and anxiety are taking their toll. That’s why visions of the Big Apple, Big Sur, or the Grand Canyon are so powerful. A vacation may just be the right medicine to fight burnout, improve mental health and lower stress.
But if you want to travel, you MUST travel safely. So, before you hit the road, be sure to get the test. Urgent Care offers antigen and PCR COVID-19 tests with results within two hours.