Travel advice about COVID-19, rules for summer 2022

(WHTM) – With the weather warming up, you might be ready for some spring and summer excursions. With cases of COVID-19 declining from the height of winter but increasing again in some places, you may still have to consider COVID-19 in your travel plans.

Dr. John Goldman, an infectious disease specialist at UPMC told abc27 in March that precautions you might want to take to avoid contracting COVID-19 can vary depending on where you go on vacation.

“If you’re on a beach vacation, there won’t be many people around, and you’re eating at home, I wouldn’t worry about that right now,” Goldman said. “If you’re going to a crowded hotel and spending most of the time in restaurants, or going to a concert, I’ll look and see how much that happens in the area. I would feel more comfortable if there was a drop in the rate of COVID in that area.”

Dr Joseph Contra, chief of public health infectious diseases at Penn Medicine in Lancaster, says personal risk should also be considered when deciding whether and where to travel: “If you have a normal immune system, that means you’re relatively young – under 65 General – and you have no chronic medical conditions, you’re not taking any medications that suppress your immune system, then your risk is relatively small, and I think you can follow CDC guidelines unless you’re in very crowded indoor places or on public transportation.”

Here are some tips and resources to refer to when planning travel this season.

Tips for choosing a destination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shifted its COVID-19 risk metrics to include data on case numbers and hospitalizations, which it has reported as COVID-19 at the community level. This map, which is updated periodically, indicates community levels in counties around the United States

This risk information may help you decide where to go, and it also indicates the safety precautions the CDC recommends based on the risks in the area.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people in “low-pressure” areas should stay up to date on vaccinations and get tested if they develop symptoms of COVID-19, but they need to wear masks only in places that require it. In “intermediate” areas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that people at high risk of severe disease may want to hide. In “high” areas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says everyone should wear masks indoors, and high-risk individuals may take extra precautions.

The applicable COVID-19 rules may vary in different regions within the United States. For example, Philadelphia recently mandated indoor masking, while other parts of Pennsylvania do not require masks indoors. This CDC website provides links to the websites of state and local health departments for more information about local regulations.

The CDC also runs the International Travel Risk Assessment Tool, displayed in this color-coded map. The US Department of State provides a list of links to COVID-19 information by country that may be useful in identifying applicable rules for different destinations.

COVID rules to get to/from your destination

The nationwide mask requirement on indoor public transportation in the US was due to expire on April 18, but has been extended through May 3 as cases surge and the BA.2 omicron sub-factor circulates. The CDC said it has extended the mask’s mandate to provide more time to assess the effects of the new COVID strain.

According to the CDC, masks worn on indoor public transportation should completely cover your mouth and nose. Face shields cannot be worn in place of masks. Masks can be removed briefly in certain situations, such as when eating or drinking.

Negative COVID-19 tests are recommended but not required for travel within the United States, according to the CDC. The CDC recommends that individuals not update their COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible from the time of departure as well as 3-5 days after returning from travel.

Proof of a negative COVID-19 test may be required for international travel depending on the destination. The type and timing of testing required may vary depending on the destination. The VeriFLY app can help travelers determine requirements for international destinations.

All travelers age 2 and older returning to the United States by air after traveling internationally are required to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 virus test taken more than one day prior to travel to the United States, and must provide contact information, which Contact tracing can help. Additional steps may be required for persons entering the United States who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. immigrants.

For cruises on ships that participate in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships, a negative pre-boarding test is required. The timing and type of testing required depends on the vaccination status.

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