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The Covid Conundrum: An Updated Guide to Traveling During the Pandemic

By Sophie Jin

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been going on for about two years now, and yet cases are still on the rise, leaving the whole world cautious about travel. Though the virus is still present, with COVID-19 vaccines being made available and more vaccinations occurring, restrictions are slowly lessening.

Now, in many places, masks are not required outdoors, and friends and families are able to meet together, though it is still recommended to avoid large gatherings.

There are also restrictions when traveling into, out of, and within the country. Many countries stopped United States citizens from entering or going out of their bounds when COVID-19 was spreading rapidly for the first time, last year in 2020.

However, with the help of vaccinations, most countries have now lifted their travel restrictions, allowing U.S. citizens to travel back and forth. Here is some information that must be followed if you are planning to travel anytime soon:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) recommends that all travelers avoid booking a flight and traveling unless they are fully vaccinated. Those who are completely vaccinated are validated by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) to travel safely within the United States.

For those who are not vaccinated yet, a PCR COVID-19 test is required one to three days before their trips. The record must be proven and shown at the airport before a flight in order to be accepted to fly.

Also, when traveling, masks must be worn covering the nose and mouth on any transportation within or outside the United States. Masks are not required outdoors unless complete indoor guidelines and social distancing is still put in place.

For all travelers, washing one’s hands is very important, and following the respective state or country’s restrictions should be followed.

Both vaccinated and non-vaccinated travelers should check if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms before and during travel. That being said, vaccinated travelers do not need to get tested again or self-quarantine if they have recovered from COVID-19 in the last three months or are vaccinated.

Non-vaccinated travelers should be tested three to five days after their trips and stay home to self-quarantine for at least seven days.

These are all comments and restrictions from the C.D.C., but all travelers should also follow and look at the restrictions of countries abroad before beginning their journeys.

When traveling internationally, proving that you are vaccinated and have a negative COVID-19 test is required for documentation before boarding the plane. However, if you received your vaccinations at least two weeks prior to your flight, you are all set to fly. If it’s been less than two weeks, you are not considered fully vaccinated by the C.D.C.

Many countries are accepting U.S. citizens for travel, but it is still important to make sure to look at your destination before booking your flight. Countries like Argentina, Norway, China, and Australia are not currently accepting U.S. Citizens for travel.

It is important to make sure to double-check the restrictions and do your research before taking off. Hopefully, through preparation and respect for the rules, travel can start up again!

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