COVID-19 passport? Check.
Hand sanitizer? Check.
The tourist travel checklist goes far beyond that, obviously. But a COVID passport or vaccination card may soon become an essential carry-on as travel amps up in the months ahead. As more people get vaccinated, and travel restrictions are lifted, new opportunities for adventure have opened.
But there are more logistical challenges than ever before, especially if you plan on traveling overseas.
“One thing you’ll have to navigate will be a fluctuating environment, in terms of tests or vaccination requirements, even borders that may open and then shut again very quickly,” Henry Harteveldt, founder of Atmosphere Research Group, a travel analysis firm in San Francisco, told the New York Times. “We’re going to have to be prepared for a very dynamic, very fluid international travel environment for the remainder of this year.”
Even in the United States, navigation is tricky. The governor of Hawaii recently reissued an emergency proclamation that will make traveling to the state more challenging. There is a 10-day quarantine in place, even for vaccinated travelers. But visitors can bypass the quarantine by testing negative for COVID-19 before departure. However, it must be an acceptable test (not antigen) from a “trusted testing partner.” Visit hawaiicovid19.com/travel for more details and updates on Hawaii’s quarantine policies.
That mandate reflects the cautionary tone of an order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in January, which requires a negative COVID-19 test — taken no more than three days prior to travel — to board international flights to the United States. Travelers are advised to get a COVID test three to five days after arriving back in America. New recommendations state that fully vaccinated people no longer need to self-quarantine after international travel, but they should still self-monitor for any symptoms.
COVID-19 travel can be complicated. Here’s how to make things less complex if you have cabin fever and need to get away:
● Carry a digital photograph of both sides of your vaccination card. Other options include scanning the card and saving the file on a laptop or desktop. Vaccine passports –– digital bar codes proving that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 — are complicated because they don’t have unilateral support, and some states are bucking those requirements.
● Keep it simple. Look for destinations within driving distance. That makes it easier on several fronts, including avoiding sticker shock on car-rental rates, because there is a shortage of cars. If you need to fly, try to book direct or non-stop routes, limiting your exposure.
● Be aware of COVID protocols when choosing a hotel. The chains have policies and stipulations easily found before check-in, but mom-and-pop lodging might require additional research. You may want to look for a place that allows you to open windows and let fresh air circulate into your room.
● Consider camping. If you love being outdoors, camping offers greater protection and less risk. Thanks to recent CDC updates, masks are no longer required outdoors in most cases. Hikes, walks along the beach and bike rides are wonderful options for your vacation getaway.
● Be smart. It leads to being safe.
“The most we can self-isolate, be it in an RV or a car, or keeping a small footprint, will certainly reduce exposure,” Letitia Anderson, MD, Northern Nevada Medical Group Vice Chief of Staff at Northern Nevada Medical Center, recently told mynews4.com.