How to plan a COVID-safe summer vacation in 2022 – Verywell Health | Gmx Pharm

The central theses

  • Experts say it’s safe to travel this summer as long as you plan ahead and take precautions to protect yourself from COVID-19.
  • If you have young children who are not yet eligible for vaccination, you must take additional steps for COVID-19 safety.
  • Many countries lift vaccination requirements for travelers, but check before you travel abroad. Remember that anyone flying to the United States needs a negative COVID-19 test.

When the children come home from school, many families are ready to start the long-awaited summer vacation. Most pandemic travel restrictions have been lifted despite rising COVID-19 cases.

Here’s what you should know about traveling this summer, including logistics and tips for staying safe.

Travel and vaccination status

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again due to a surge in Omicron infections. The second half of May saw an average of 100,000 cases recorded daily, up from 40,000 in April, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, hospitalization and death rates remain low.

Most of the previously mandated COVID rules are still lifted and people can travel without wearing a mask or showing their vaccination record.

But immunization status – particularly in young children – remains a major concern. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve a COVID vaccine for children under the age of 5, leaving mixed feelings for parents traveling with unvaccinated infants and children.

“I’m hesitant to fly with my young son, especially now that masks aren’t required,” Melissa Larkin, a mother of three including a six-month-old, told Verywell. “I don’t want to risk COVID exposure while he’s so young. We will stick to outdoor activities this summer.”

While some parents are worried about their family’s vaccination status, others aren’t too concerned about traveling this summer.

“I’m not letting COVID affect our summer plans,” Donna Reese, a grandmother of five children under the age of 10, told Verywell. “Our children are not vaccinated and we are not concerned about the delay in vaccines. Many had COVID and it was so mild we didn’t even know they were sick.”

It is important for parents traveling with unvaccinated children to plan ahead and choose a destination with low to moderate COVID transmission rates.

Tips for vacation planning

Here are some things to keep in mind when planning a family vacation this summer:

  • Consider your unvaccinated child’s risk factors, including health conditions that put them at high risk of serious illness if they catch COVID
  • Avoid places with spikes in COVID cases (you can check the CDC data tracker).
  • Plan activities that allow for social distancing
  • Stay in rental apartments instead of overcrowded hotels

To fly or not to fly

Since the CDC mask mandate was thrown out by the court in April, people are no longer required to wear face masks on airplanes or public transportation, except in certain locations like New York City.

While passengers can choose what is best for them, a previously built-in security measure for air travelers no longer exists. Some travelers celebrated the lifting of the mask requirement, but others may be less comfortable flying.

Currently, major airlines also do not require proof of vaccination for domestic travelers. Many countries, including New Zealand and Australia, are reopening their borders to US citizens, but may require proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test.

The CDC strongly recommends full vaccination before travel, especially internationally. All persons flying to the US, including US citizens, must have a negative COVID test result before boarding a US-bound flight. Purchasing COVID travel insurance can help offset some additional costs if you have to postpone your return trip due to COVID-19.

Flight planning tips

To protect your family on international flights and in the United States, experts recommend the following:

  • Make sure you are up to date with your COVID vaccines before you travel
  • Check your destination’s COVID restrictions and follow all local authority guidelines
  • Wear a mask indoors, on public transport and in crowded areas
  • Check if your airline requires COVID testing or vaccination certificates
  • Do not travel if you have COVID symptoms or have tested positive for COVID

Is cruise safe?

With updated COVID guidelines, many cruise ships are putting to sea again.

If you’re planning a cruise this summer, be mindful of safety precautions. COVID and other infectious diseases can easily spread among people in a confined space.

If you test positive for COVID on board or develop symptoms, you must isolate in accordance with cruise line and public health protocols.

After your cruise, regardless of your vaccination status, it is recommended that you take a precautionary COVID test three to five days after your return.

Tips for planning a cruise

To ensure the safety of cruise passengers, the CDC recommends taking the following steps before setting sail:

  • Make sure you are up to date on COVID vaccines
  • Check the cruise ship’s fall rate and color status on the CDC website
  • Take a COVID virus test at least three days before departure
  • Familiarize yourself with your cruise line’s COVID requirements
  • Get travel insurance in case your plans change
  • Wear a mask on public transport and in large crowds

When a trip should be cancelled

You can plan the perfect vacation only to end up canceling because someone gets sick. While postponing a long-awaited trip can be disappointing and inconvenient, there are times when traveling is unsafe.

The CDC recommends avoiding travel in the following circumstances:

What that means for you

Getting fully vaccinated is the best way to stay safe when traveling this summer. You should avoid visiting destinations with high COVID case numbers. You can also do a rapid test three to five days after returning from your trip to make sure you haven’t contracted it.

The information in this article is current as of the date shown, which means that more recent information may be available by the time you are reading this article. For the latest updates on COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus News page.

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