It’s that time of year when everyone is thinking of summer travel plans and although
COVID-19 cases have decreased in our region, that’s not the case in some states and countries. Unfortunately, that means you may still have to consider COVID-19 in your travel plans. Below is information you should keep in mind as you select your destination and prepare for your trip:
Each location you travel through or to, may have different travel restrictions. Be sure to know each destination’s COVID-19 situation, requirements, quarantine, and isolation guidelines. Here you can find up-to-date information and travel guidance, for states, tribal, local, and territorial health department’s websites Some international destinations still require a formal quarantine. Ensure that proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results are sufficient for entry into the state or country you're visiting.
Be aware that some transportation/locations/destinations may require COVID-19 vaccinations. If traveling, it’s best to be up to date on all COVID-19 requirements.
If flying, check COVID-19 testing requirements for your destination and selected airlines. Most airlines do not require testing before traveling domestically, however, there are some exceptions. It's strongly suggested that unvaccinated travelers flying within the U.S. should get tested one to three days prior to travel. Additionally, some destinations require a negative test when arriving. Nearly every country now requires a negative COVID-19 test and/or proof of vaccination for entry. Each international destination will have its own testing requirements, and some can be quite complicated, so you'll want to check ahead of time to make sure you have what you need before you go.
Make sure that your destination approves the test. There are several types of tests available, including rapid antigen and PCR. You'll want to make sure your destination approves of the specific test you're taking — otherwise, you may have to take another test or even face a mandatory quarantine. For example, many destinations do not accept antibody or rapid testing as an official test.
Plan for testing time. Schedule testing in advance and know when to expect results. Many countries require documented results, so be sure you know what is needed. If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air back into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.
If taking a cruise ship, check your cruise ship’s color and vaccination status. There are a whole list of protocols and requirements depending on the status. Read carefully your cruise line requirements for testing and/or vaccination status or if they have any other requirements to board. Know masking requirements on ship and at the destinations.
Be sure to know what your destination’s quarantine and isolation requirements are in case you get sick while traveling or before leaving a country. You may be stuck there for up to two weeks and not all countries provide accommodations. Be prepared and have a plan.
Wearing masks over your nose and mouth may be required in some indoor areas, on public transportation, and in transportation hubs (including airports). Always keep masks on you in case you need them.
Do not travel if you are sick, tested positive for COVID-19 and haven’t ended isolation, had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and haven’t ended quarantine, or are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.
If you are traveling with children, check the age requirements. They may be exempt from taking tests for travel.
Keep in mind that some tourist locations may have timed entry or limited capacity, so check restrictions prior to showing up.
Get travel insurance. Make sure you have a plan to get care overseas, in case you need it. In fact, some destinations abroad have medical coverage requirements for incoming travelers. Consider buying additional insurance that covers health care and emergency evacuation, especially if you will be traveling to remote areas. Ensure that it covers COVID-19 quarantine and isolation reimbursement. Buying “cancel for any reason” (CFAR) coverage will give you some reimbursement no matter what your reason for canceling.
Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel.
There is no denying that, after two years of uncertainties, travel is on the rebound but it looks very different and planning is the key to a pleasant experience.