×

Well Ahead Blog

Back to Well Ahead Blog

How to travel safely during COVID, vaccinated or not

August 26, 2021 General Wellness

With COVID restrictions easing up, there’s an increase in travel, especially among older adults, more than 80 percent of whom have been vaccinated.

Listen as Dr. Lawrence Livornese provides travel guidance on 6abc

It’s tempting to let your guard down, but you shouldn’t. Lawrence L. Livornese, Jr, MD, an infectious disease specialist with Main Line Health, offers guidance on how to travel safely during COVID whether you’ve been vaccinated or not.

“Also take note of any state or local regulations for masks and social distancing. Some companies, such as restaurants and shopping centers, may have their own guidelines in place.” – Dr. Lawrence Livornese, Infectious Disease Specialist at Main Line Health

“Just keep in mind, masks are required on planes and other public transportation,” he says. “Also take note of any state or local regulations for masks and social distancing. Some companies, such as restaurants and shopping centers, may have their own guidelines in place.”

How to travel safely during COVID if you’re not vaccinated

If you haven’t been vaccinated, you should get tested three days before travel, says Dr. Livornese. Wear a mask and keep your distance, and when you return, he says, “You should either quarantine yourself for ten days, or obtain a test around five days after you return. If the test is negative, a seven-day quarantine is okay.”

The CDC advises against international travel unless you’re fully vaccinated. If you are traveling internationally, however, and want to know how to travel safely during COVID, first check the CDC website regarding your intended destination. The website outlines COVID conditions and requirements in that area.

Every country is graded with levels one, two, three or four, with four being the highest risk of COVID. Even if you're vaccinated, says Livornese, the CDC says to avoid level four countries—period.

In some countries, the level of COVID infection and risk is unknown, like Ireland and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Also be advised that restrictions and guidance are constantly changing. What is so at the beginning of your trip may have changed by the end of it.

For any country you visit, you’ll be required to take a COVID test before re-entering the United States. In many airports, there is now on-site COVID testing so be sure to do a little research to get your required re-entry COVID test lined up. That way it’s not hanging over your head the entire trip.

While cruise ships have resumed voyages, Livornese recommends only vaccinated travelers go, and always wear a mask indoors. “Just in case, take a copy of your vaccination card as well, in case a business or institution requires proof.”

Find out more about COVID vaccination at Main Line Health and get more answers to COVID questions.

You can also register online for COVID vaccination at one of Main Line Health’s vaccination centers.

Main Line Health serves patients at hospitals and health centers throughout the western suburbs of Philadelphia. To make an appointment with a specialist, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654).