Covid-19 has changed the travel industry radically, with some experts predicting it will take years to return to any semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy. Despite several advances that make travel safer now than in 2020, many people remain hesitant to undertake unnecessary trips, fearing that they could catch the virus onboard an aircraft. The announcement of new variants and infection waves only seems to exacerbate this trend.
However, the government encourages people to resume traveling, provided everyone adheres to public health guidelines governing their behavior in transit. If you have decided to rejoin the travel rush ahead of the holidays, here are some things you should know.
Any international travel requires a negative Covid-19 test. As of December 6, 2021, Covid tests are only valid if taken one day before travel. The previous standard of 72 hours was amended after the Omicron variant emerged. Test results should contain the subject’s full names and surname, passport number, date, type of Covid-19 test administered, and the results. The service provider that conducted the test should also provide their registration details.
As with most public health regulations, protocols are subject to change at short notice, as prompt responses to new Covid-19 trends are essential to prevent the virus’s spread. Keep up-to-date via the CDC’s website to ensure you can get all documentation in order and avoid travel disruptions.
Instead of visiting a local testing center, choose to have Palm Springs travel COVID testing done through Drip Hydration, Covid Clinic, Event Scan, or Global 7 Diagnostics. These private medical services have mobile staff, reporting to clients’ preferred sites to perform various Covid-19 tests, including standard and rapid PCR (polymerase chain response), antigen, or antibody tests.
Where to travel
Healthcare professionals and epidemiological experts advise that travelers adhere to government advisories regarding their destination. The CDC monitors Covid-19 figures to label each country according to the risk that travel there represents. Level One countries present a low risk, Level Two is moderate, Level Three is high, and Level Four is very high. Continuous monitoring means that a nation’s level might change as infection patterns alter.
The CDC recommends that travelers avoid going to Level Four destinations and not undertake non-essential travel to Level Three countries. It also lists Level Unknown countries, where Covid-19 statistics are unknown, and advises the people not to travel there either.
Regardless of the potential threat level, the CDC advises that travelers do not undertake overseas journeys without being vaccinated. A person is deemed fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving their final vaccination dose and should have documents proving their vaccine status. It’s also important to get your Covid booster shot as soon as you are eligible to do so.
Travelers should know that some countries have started implementing vaccine mandates that forbid non-vaccinated individuals from entering specific venues or undertaking certain activities. These matters should be investigated before departure to avoid disappointment upon arrival. It’s important to remember that being vaccinated does not exempt travelers from other regulations or health and safety measures.
Some countries have different mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing protocols, while others take a more relaxed approach. Even within one nation, such as America, protocols may vary from one area to another. Travelers should undertake continuous research to ensure they remain updated about new trends, developments, and precautions.
Authorities do not accept ignorance as a defense when caught in breach of public health regulations. The onus remains on travelers to know what is happening on the ground at their destination and follow the rules. They should also know the potential outcomes if they fail to do so. Some countries have strict laws, including fines or imprisonment for non-compliance with Covid-19 prevention protocols. They enforce these penalties against everyone, including travelers.
Some countries do not allow non-citizens to enter their borders from overseas without specific exceptions. Currently, America’s federal government prohibits visitors from several southern African states, such as South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Namibia, from entering its borders. Even people traveling from other destinations after they were in one of these prohibited countries within 14 days of their proposed entry to the United States are not allowed access.
International governments have different requirements set out by their governments based on their political and Covid-19 context. For example, some countries expect non-citizens to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense upon arrival. Citizens might be allowed to quarantine at home or have their quarantine accommodation paid for by the state if they undertook essential travel. Due to the uncertainty surrounding international travel, most people stick to domestic destinations, where testing is not mandatory, and most public health regulations remain similar throughout the country.