As of October, it is required that patients take COVID tests 72 hours before traveling internationally. (Photo Credit: Kimberly Egoavil/ Achona)
As of October, it is required that patients take COVID tests 72 hours before traveling internationally.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Egoavil/ Achona

Traveling amid the pandemic

October 24, 2021

Hardly any industry has been left unaffected by the coronavirus crisis, but travel was definitely the first one to take the brutal blow. Worldwide lockdowns and border closures sealed off entire countries at the very beginning of the pandemic two years ago. Fortunately with the vaccines underway and the proven necessity of economies, little by little airports have opened, and people have started to once again vacation and explore.

Safety precautions taken depend on where you’re going, domestic or international, and the airline you choose to travel with. How complicated it is, depends on your vaccination status as well. 

Domestically, the restrictions are less. If you are fully vaccinated, you can travel safely within the United States. However, the CDC recommends that you follow the rules of maintaining your mask on during the planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. 

The CDC’s official guidelines for international travel while vaccinated or unvaccinated Photo Credits: CDC

If you are not fully vaccinated, before traveling you must get tested with a viral test and follow the mask-on at all times within enclosed spaces. After traveling, one should get tested with a viral test 3-5 days afterward, and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days. For both groups, it is advised to avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and use hand sanitizer or alcohol, as well as keeping six feet of distance from other travelers. 

Internationally, every country has a different set of rules that are to be followed. For example, in Peru upon arrival one must present a negative COVID-19 molecular test result issued a maximum of 72 hours before boarding. There are also extra forms issued by the Peruvian government such as a “health declaration form” that is to be filled online a maximum of 72 hours before departure, and a pre-registration migration form to be filled out online before arrival. 

Remember that things are continuously changing depending on what is administered safe and recent updates on the pandemic. All of these restrictions are imposed to keep the public safe and to hopefully keep travel open. Sofia Girgenti (‘23) said, “I am glad travel is starting again, I know a lot of economies and people rely on tourism as a source of income and it must be a huge weight off their shoulders.”

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