Family wears masks in airport

Time for Much Needed Travel? Make Sure You’re Staying Safe!

COVID-19

To say it’s been a challenging year and a half is an understatement. Now that the summer season has arrived, many people are planning much-needed travel. While restrictions regarding mask usage and social distancing are relaxing in many states, there are still precautions to take when traveling.

“I truly hope everyone is able to get the rest and relaxation they need this summer. Everyone deserves a break, we just need to make sure we are still being careful,” said Bayhealth Occupational Health Medical Director Parvathi Somasundaram, MD. “Before any travel I urge everyone to check the latest CDC guidance for the area where they are traveling. Things can change quickly, and the CDC is a great resource with the latest information.”

The CDC resources for travelers provides separate guidance for individuals who are vaccinated and unvaccinated against COVID-19. Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or two weeks after a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. There are also separate guidelines for domestic and international travel.

While many states have now removed their mask mandates, there are still times when even vaccinated individuals should consider wearing one. “Of course if you are using public transportation such as a plane or bus, a mask is required. Make sure to follow any posted recommendations in these spaces. And anytime you are in a crowded setting, like the boardwalk or outdoor concerts as examples, everyone should consider wearing a mask, social distancing as much as possible, and of course practicing diligent hand hygiene,” said Dr. Somasundaram. “Individuals who are immunocompromised should also consider wearing a mask, even if they are vaccinated, any time they are with people outside of their household.”

For anyone planning to travel internationally, the CDC highly encourages receiving the COVID-19 vaccine before doing so. There are also guidelines in place for COVID testing upon return. “While it’s not required, I would urge anyone who is about to board an airplane to consider being tested for COVID-19. It’s a simple measure that will ensure you are not COVID positive before boarding a plane,” she said.

There are other practical measures to consider before hitting the roads or skies this summer. “Before you travel, no matter if you’re going abroad or just a few hours away, it’s important to always make sure you have your medical insurance card with you and enough medication to cover your entire trip,” said Dr. Somasundaram.

Those who will be enjoying the great outdoors want to make sure they are prepared. If you plan to hike, bike, or play sports – make sure you have proper footwear, safety gear, plenty of water and sunscreen and bug spray.

“I’m so thrilled to see people getting back to some of the things we’ve missed so much, like traveling,” said Dr. Somasundaram. “As long as individuals are following the CDC and local guidelines while making good decisions when out in public, I have no doubt this summer will be both fun and safe.”

Visit cdc.gov/coronavirus for the latest information on travel alerts and advisories.