If you plan on traveling during the 2021 holiday season, there are several COVID-19 considerations you should take into account.
Adopting Healthy Habits
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a list of healthy habits to adopt during the holiday season.
1. Wash your hands regularly to aid in preventing the spread of germs; it is flu season after all. Briskly wash your hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
2. When going outdoors, layer your clothes to ensure you stay warm and dry. Don’t forget your gloves, a hat, scarves.
3. Stress is linked to taking a toll on our immune systems. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a time-out. That could look like a walk outside to get some fresh air and clear your head. It also includes getting restful sleep, as well as having outlets for releasing the stress such as catching up with a friend over the phone, or practicing meditation.
4. If you’ve been putting them off — now is the time to call your providers’ offices and book routine exams and screenings.
5. Make sure you are current on all relevant vaccinations. Vaccines save lives.
6. The holidays are often spent around the dining room table enjoying home cooked meals. Remember to regularly wash your hands and disinfect surfaces to avoid cross contamination.
7. It’s perfectly normal to indulge a bit more during this time of year, but don’t aban-don clean eating entirely — consuming daily servings of fruits and vegetables will help lower your risk for certain diseases.
Healthline interviewed pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Joseph Khabbaza, If you plan on traveling during the holiday season, Khabbaza suggests continually researching requirements for various forms of travel — that includes understanding vaccine requirements at your final destination. Travel can be stressful enough, so avoiding any surprises will make for a much more pleasant experience.
At this time, the only place that currently requires proof of vaccination within the United States is entry into Hawaii. The state has an online portal to upload proof of vaccination status.
If you have received the COVID-19 vaccine within the United States and its territories, you’ll steer clear of the mandatory 10-day quarantine. Of course you’ll need to prove your vaccine history in order to avoid this mandate.
If you do not want to indicate proof of your vaccination status, then you can undergo a pre-travel test, proving a negative COVID-19 test result. This process needs to be completed no more than 72 hours before the final leg of your trip to the state.
Look into the CDC’s latest quarantine protocols prior to solidifying your travel accommodations.
According to countless industry experts, the most reliable source to research quarantine mandates for your destination is the CDC’s website.
Keep in mind that COVID-19 statistics are constantly changing, which means that travel guidance will also regularly change. A country could require self-isolation upon arrival tomorrow, whereas today there are no quarantining protocols in place. Also, remember that vaccination status will often play a part in self-isolating requirements after entering the country.
It goes without saying that any travel during the coronavirus pandemic, no matter the method or the destination, incurs risk. Some experts say that picking a tropical location could be slightly safer given the fact it likely means you’ll spend a lot of time outdoors with lower transmission rates.
Once again, even if a particular tropical destination boasts lower COVID-19 infection rates, you’ll still need to consider the local vaccination rates. Additionally, if a particular country isn’t very strict with their COVID-19 regulations, it would be particularly prudent of you to practice safe social distancing in those locations.
The CDC has created a helpful Travel Recommendations by Destination map. Using this resource can assist in circumventing destinations that may be considered high risk.
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