Summer and Holiday Travel Planning During a Pandemic
We understand the desire to get away for some R&R, especially as we approach the summer months. Safety will still be a priority – see below for responses to a few of the most common questions we are receiving when planning travel.
Do I have to take a COVID-19 test to travel?
For domestic travel, a negative COVID-19 test is not required, however if you are unvaccinated, the CDC recommends testing within 3 days before travel and 3-5 days after travel.
For international travel, COVID-19 testing may be required before boarding your plane. Check the local regulations for your destination before traveling. When returning to the United States, a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of travel or documentation of COVID-19 recovery in the last 3 months is required for all travellers over the age of two. The CDC also recommends you get tested 3 to 5 days following your return.
Can I test at The Health Center?
Yes, if you are traveling domestically or going to be traveling internationally, you can get a COVID-19 test at The Health Center. You will be screened prior to coming to the practice and cannot have any symptoms or recent known exposure to COVID-19. An appointment is required, no walkins are currently accepted.
The Health Center, however, is unable to test members immediately upon returning from international travel until they have been in the US for at least 10 days, regardless of vaccination status. We suggest an at-home pixel test from Labcorp.
Can I get a test at home?
In addition to testing at The Health Center, in-home testing is also available for Premier members. If you prefer to get a COVID-19 test within your home or remote location, contact a Premier Health Navigator to schedule at your convenience.
Do I have to quarantine after traveling?
Quarantine has been lifted for domestic travel, but all travelers should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after travel and immediately isolate if any symptoms develop. If you are unvaccinated, it is still advised that you quarantine for 10 days without testing or quarantine for 7 days if you get tested on days 3-5 after arriving back in the United States from international travel.
If traveling, should I drive or fly?
Before deciding your mode of transportation, you need to consider that airplanes are now operating at greater capacity. Therefore, if you plan to fly, you will be in close proximity to others and regardless of your vaccination status, will be required to wear a mask at all times. If this environment will be difficult for you, we suggest planning a road trip.
Should I get vaccinated before traveling?
Yes, if you are able to get the vaccine, we highly encourage you to get vaccinated prior to traveling. The CDC still recommends delaying domestic and international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
Should I carry my vaccination card with me?
Conversations are still underway for a “vaccine passport,” but no program has officially been announced. We suggest taking a picture of your vaccination card with your smartphone and having it with you while you travel. If you have adopted New York State’s Excelsior pass, please note that the vaccination passport expires 180 days after your last vaccine shot. It can be renewed, but it requires action on your part. See the full Excelsior FAQ here.
Any other considerations when planning travel?
COVID-19 cases are still happening across the country and internationally. It is important, before traveling, for you to pay close attention to the COVID-19 situation at your destination.
You should prepare yourself and your travel companions for a trip that may be different than what you have experienced in the past. Research the destination to understand whether activities will be open and if any restrictions are in place. Additionally, for many of us, we have been isolated for a long time and it may be overwhelming at first to be surrounded by crowds again. Try to prepare yourself for this situation, identify coping strategies, and stay protected by wearing a mask and socially distancing as much as possible.
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