Vacation safety during the pandemic

Source: Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology

How can I make my travel plans safer?

If you ultimately decide to move forward with your travel plans, follow these tips to ensure maximum safety during your trip:

  • Get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Wait two weeks after your second shot (or the one shot in a single-dose vaccine) to travel, so your body can build up the protection it needs to be fully vaccinated.
  • Check travel restrictions (at home and your destination) before you go.
  • Get tested one to three days before your departure date. If you receive a positive result, DO NOT TRAVEL; immediately isolate yourself.
  • Wear a mask that covers both your nose and mouth when in public and when using public transportation such as planes, trains, and buses.
  • Bring extra masks.
  • Stay 6 feet away from people who are not traveling with you.
  • Avoid crowded bars, restaurants, beaches, and other spaces where people are gathered. Follow local ordinances for public gatherings and obey curfews.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

What does it mean to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19?

You are fully vaccinated when it has been two weeks since you have received the necessary number of doses required for your COVID-19 vaccine. Your vaccination means:

  • You are potentially protected against a variety of strains, though the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection cannot be completely eliminated as long as community transmission continues.
  • According to early data, you are less likely to have an asymptomatic infection (an infection without symptoms) and give it to others. Get tested if you are showing any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless anyone in the household has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

What steps do I need to take when I return from my trip?

Because you and your traveling companions may have been exposed to COVID-19 during your trip, you should take precautions.

  • If you have not been fully vaccinated you should get tested for COVID-19 three to five days after you return. Stay home and self-quarantine for seven days.
  • Wait 10 days before visiting people who are at higher risk for developing serious illness from COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Follow state and local recommendations and requirements when you return.

Which COVID-19 hot spots in the U.S. should I keep in mind?

Hot spots are always subject to change. Stay informed through the news media and by checking the CDC’s COVID-19 travel recommendations page or data tracker page.

What else do I need to know to be a safe traveler?

There are non-COVID-19-related safety measures that you can practice during your travels in any given year:

  • Prepare for the health and safety concerns that may exist at your destination.
  • Make sure all of your vaccines are up to date (influenza, MMR, Tetanus).

Pack a first-aid kit, insect repellant, sunscreen, prescription and over-the-counter medications, and alcohol-based hand sanitizer.