What happens if you get COVID-19 during your travels?
As COVID-19 numbers are creeping back up in certain parts of the world, the odds of getting the virus also rises. So what do you do if you feel symptoms coming on in the middle of your summer vacation?
The first step is obvious, said University Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Weida.
“You want to test to make sure you do have COVID,” he said. “An over-the-counter testing kit is fine.”
If that test is positive, it’s time to hunker down.
“You’ll want to wait at least five days,” he said. “That is very important so you don’t spread the infection. After five days, you may want to test again. If you are negative, you can travel. If you are positive, you may want to wait another five days until you go back home. You may want to make some contingency planning in case you do turn positive.”
Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed another element of the country’s COVID protocols when it comes to travel.
“You do not need to test before you come into the United States as a foreign traveler or prove that you have had an infection within 90 days,” Weida said. “I would still recommend being vaccinated and to get the appropriate booster. That is the best way to prevent COVID and prevent the severe illness COVID can bring.”
And while masks aren’t required on flights or in many businesses anymore, you may want to bring one along.
“If you are traveling by plane or train or in an enclosed space, I still recommend masks,” Weida said. “I think that is just common sense and smart. If you are in open areas and it is wide open outside or even in a grocery store and places like that, you probably don’t need to wear a mask. If you are going to be in a confined place for a significant amount of time, I would wear a mask.”