The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cleared vaccinated Americans for re-travel, but some vaccinated travelers remain on the fence pending summer plans.
Is it finally safe to fly? What about unvaccinated relatives or traveling with young children?
CNBC Global Traveler has asked health professionals anyone involved in the treatment or research of Covid-19 to share their travel plans for this summer. Here are their answers in their words.
Summer trips are “unlikely”
“I am unlikely to travel this summer … I am concerned that the proliferation of existing or new varieties will create the conditions for a repeat of last summer’s ebb and flow Covid-19 surge pattern. I am also concerned about vaccine hesitation … or problems with supply and access will limit our ability to achieve herd immunity in the short term. ”
“We just have to look to the recent Covid-19 surges in countries like Canada or states like Michigan to see how vaccine supply issues and the spread of variants can lead to dangerous, large-impact spikes.”
There is nothing wrong with waiting and seeing now.
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
“”[My kids] I’m desperate to get out of my house to a theme park this summer, but that’s just not on our cards right now. I still think there will be relatively safe travel options this summer and that there is nothing wrong with waiting. “
“Getting a full vaccination, moving our bladder with us, and maintaining the infection control measures that have made us safe so far, even when not required, would be part of the plan.”
Mark Cameron, epidemiologist and associate professor in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University
Only from one house to another – by car
“I’m not going to travel this summer except to drive from where we live in New York City to our home country. Under normal circumstances, we would travel a lot, including overseas. But this year we will be spending most of our time in ours Country house as it is much easier to avoid close contact than in the city or when traveling far away. “
“If we have to get into town, we’ll do it by car. And when we get there we’ll avoid public transportation, crowded venues and indoor activities.”
This is not the time to let up….
President, Access Health International
“Vaccination hasn’t changed my behavior or my summer travel plans. There are new varieties that keep popping up, and the vaccines won’t all be equally effective. Because of this, everyone in my immediate family and myself are taking the same post-vaccination precautions as before vaccination. This also includes avoiding unnecessary travel. “
“When we have to go to public places like the post office or the grocery store, we wear N95 masks and face shields, a combination that has also been shown to be effective indoors at greatly reducing the risk of infection.” “”
“If some members of our extended family have to travel over the summer, we will ask them not to visit us until two weeks after the trip – this includes the vaccinated adults and the unvaccinated children.”
“This is not the time to abandon the public health measures that can help us fight the pandemic.”
– William Haseltine, former professor at Harvard Medical School and current president of Access Health International; Author of “Variants! The Shape-Shifting Challenge of COVID-19”
Yes, but in the same region
“The family trip we’re taking this summer will be semi-local. We’re planning to get to the Jersey coast [to rent] An efficiency apartment … enjoy the hiking, beach and pool and bring our food with you. We will drive so that we can easily bring everything with us. “
Dr. Sharon Nachman said one consideration for her family’s summer travel plans to the Jersey Shore was “how easily we could get back in an emergency”.
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“By bringing our own food, we reduce the need to go to areas that may be crowded or unsafe. By looking at places that offer a variety of outdoor activities, we can get the fresh air and sunshine that we missed for the meal. ” in the last few months. “
“”[My children] they were all vaccinated, but not our grandchildren. With careful planning, we plan to visit and play with them this summer. “
-DR. Sharon Nachman, director of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Department at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital
Travel plans are undecided
“I don’t have any specific plans yet. I live in California and can decide to visit local destinations with my husband for a few days driving distance, just for a break. We can also choose to fly to Hawaii. Hawaii requires pre-departure and arrival testing. My husband and I are well grown and both are now vaccinated. Part of the reason why we are pleased with the idea of considering domestic travel at this point. We will definitely wear eye protection and carry travel. “
For longer flights, Dr. Supriya Narasimhan, she would consider booking a business class ticket because “the empty center seat no longer exists, airlines fly fewer flights and many are quite full”.
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“International travel is a completely different consideration. We would like to visit the family in India in the summer because we have not seen them in the last 18 months, but India is experiencing an upswing. … People do not mask themselves reliably on and on flights Time from empty middle seats is [in the] In the past, contracting Covid while traveling is a very real risk, which becomes more complex as new variants emerge. “
“In the experience of my institution, Covid is rare after vaccination and we have not yet seen a severe case after vaccination. I trust our vaccines, but I will do my part to reduce my risk even further by masking diligently when I’m around Others. “
-DR. Supriya Narasimhan, chief infectious disease at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
Definitely when traveling, but only domestically
“My wife and I will be traveling by plane to visit relatives on the east coast. We will wear masks and be aware of the social distance throughout the terminal and on board.”
“Both my wife and I are fully vaccinated, as are the family we will be visiting. The introduction of the vaccine and the impact on government-mandated pre- and post-travel testing and post-travel quarantines [were] crucial to our plans. If there had still been quarantine requirements, we would have delayed the trip until they were lifted – not because of fears of infection, but only because of the practical implications. “
Dr. Charles Bailey said he plans to clean surfaces during his flight, including seat arms and controls, the tray table and “lip” of the seat pocket.
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“If our travel plans had included infants who were not yet fully vaccinated, we would have considered the CDC recommendation for pre-travel and post-travel testing, as well as the potential impact of a post-travel quarantine period on return – school dates. It would also be a reasonable one The idea was to determine the requirements or expectations of the schools they would return to in the fall. “
-DR. Charles Bailey, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Providence St. Joseph Hospital and Providence Mission Hospital
Going abroad this summer
“Much like many Americans, my family has plans to travel this summer. This summer, four of our family members would like to travel to Lima, Peru, and take a trip to discover the many delights of this country, including historic Machu Picchu. Seventy-two Hours before boarding the plane, we will be given a PCR Covid-19 test to protect ourselves and others. ”
“Airport and local transport are expected to be more congested than last year, so it is strongly recommended that all travelers be vaccinated. As healthcare providers, my wife and I are both fully vaccinated, and ours [adult] Children are vaccinated prior to our travel activities. “
“It is important before you make travel arrangements to any destination you have studied … the rate of infectivity … should be less than 5%.”
“Data can change quickly and it is important to follow current guidelines and recommendations from local authorities.”
-DR. Ramon Tallaj, chairman of New York’s Somos Community Care
Editor’s Note: Peru is currently under a Level 4 Covid travel advisory from the CDC. According to the CDC website, travelers should avoid traveling to Peru.