Is traveling during the pandemic safe this holiday season?
It depends. It may be safe to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but officials say people who didn’t get the injections should postpone travel.
Regardless of vaccination status, all travelers should continue to take precautions, such as avoiding covered, unmasked crowds, said Dr. Keith Armitage, an infectious disease expert at Case Western Reserve University.
“The delta variant has really brought us back to an earlier point in the pandemic,” he says.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say don’t travel if you’re sick, or if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 and your isolation period isn’t over — even if you’re fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated people who decide to travel must undergo a COVID-19 test one to three days before departure and three to five days after return.
All travelers are still required to wear masks on trains, planes and other covered public transportation areas, the agency says.
Airlines say airplane cabins are low risk because they have good air circulation and filtration. However, there is no vaccination or testing requirement for domestic flights, and passengers can remove their face masks while eating or drinking.
Hotels aren’t risky for vaccinated people as long as they wear masks around strangers, Armitage says. More fraught are family gatherings with unvaccinated individuals, especially for those who are older or have health problems.
Health experts recommend checking the case levels and masking rules in the place you’re visiting before traveling.
The AP answers your questions about the coronavirus in this series. Submit them to: FactCheck@AP.org. Read more here:
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