Travel during COVID-19 may be too risky for some people.
Is there such a thing as safe travel during COVID-19? There are ways to make pandemic travel safer, but unfortunately, you can’t completely avoid all risks. For this reason, if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, it should convince you to delay, cancel, or replan your trip.
A Checklist for Safer Travel
1. Is COVID-19 actively spreading at your travel destination?
Check the state’s cases to see how well it’s controlled. Avoid visiting places where the rates are high or increasing. Instead, look for places where rates are stable or decreasing.
2. Are you or anyone in your group having symptoms?
This should go without saying, but traveling while having symptoms of COVID-19 is a definite no. You can use the Coronavirus Self-Checker Tool by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess your symptoms.
3. Are you or anyone in your group at risk of COVID-19 complications?
Travel during COVID-19 may be too risky for some people. This includes older adults and people with underlying medical conditions, such as heart diseases, diabetes, lung diseases, or cancer. People in these groups have a higher risk of serious complications of COVID-19.
4. Do you live with someone at risk of COVID complications?
You might bring the infection back with you and put them at risk. One way to get around this dilemma is by quarantining away from your loved one for 14 days after returning home from your trip. This helps to ensure that you won't accidentally expose them to the virus if you are infected but asymptomatic.
5. Have you been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
If you’ve had exposure to an infected person, you really need to isolate at home and monitor for your symptoms. Otherwise, you could put the local people in your destination at risk. The last thing you want to do is cause an outbreak in another city, so it’s worth it to delay your trip until after you’re in the clear. Many travel services are offering increased flexibility during the pandemic, so you may be able to reschedule your flight or hotel without losing money.
Show Caution—No Matter What
Even if you answered “no” to every question above, you still need to exercise extreme caution on your trip. Traveling exposes you to people outside your local area and requires you to visit public places like airports, gas stations, and hotels. That’s why it’s important to strictly follow strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
After all … you don’t want your “R&R” to become a trip to the ER.
- People at increased risk. Atlanta, GA; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020. (Accessed on October 1, 2020)
- Symptoms of coronavirus. Atlanta, GA; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020. (Accessed on October 1, 2020)
- Travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020. (Accessed on October 1, 2020)