Questions to Consider Before You Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Pre-Travel Considerations in the Time of COVID-19

While there are many steps travelers can take to protect themselves and others from COVID-19—including staying home when they feel sick, wearing a face mask in public settings, social distancing (staying at least six feet from others) and washing or sanitizing hands regularly—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that leaving home for travel increases your chance of getting and spreading the virus. However, as more destinations reopen their borders and travel gains momentum, especially domestically, there are a few important questions the CDC has outlined that travelers can consider before committing to a trip in the time of coronavirus.

What’s the Situation in Your Destination?

Before you travel, it’s important that you monitor the degree of spread of COVID-19 in your destination. “The more cases at your destination, the more likely you are to get infected during travel and spread the virus to others when you return,” the CDC states. The CDC’s COVID Data Tracker is a great tool to use to track things like total cases, cases in the last seven days and cases per 100,000, among other insightful data.

Are There Travel Restrictions or Requirements in Your Destination?

Many destinations, including some popular places across the country, have implemented mandatory quarantine orders for visitors that could potentially derail your vacation plans if you’re not prepared. In some cases, travelers can bypass the 14-day quarantine with proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within a few days of travel. On the other hand, you may simply be asked to complete a traveler declaration form or do nothing at all. Be sure to read up on the restrictions or requirements in place in your destination prior to travel so that you know what to expect upon arrival.

What’s Your Likelihood of Becoming Severely Ill Due to COVID-19?

Older adults and those with underlying medical conditions are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill after contracting COVID-19. If you fall into this group you’ll want to reconsider travel for the time being given the risk of hospitalization or even death, the CDC and other leading health authorities advise.

Do You Live With Someone Likely to Become Seriously Ill?

If you contract the coronavirus during your travels there’s the risk that you could bring it home and potentially infect other members of your household. Many states are advising both visitors and returning residents to quarantine for at least 14 days upon arrival to reduce the possibility of transmission in their community if they have the virus but aren’t showing symptoms.

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