CLEVELAND, OH – The new variant of COVID-19, the more infectious and easier to spread Delta variant, has been raising concerns within the community. This variant also impacts travelers around the world, as nations are starting to set restrictions again. Keith Armitage, MD as the medical director of the UH Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine & Global Health explained her thought on this.
Dr. Armitage said that the Delta variant will be risky for unvaccinated travelers. However, even if they’re vaccinated, they still have to have safety measures towards the virus development and wear face masks, especially in indoor settings.
“Anybody unvaccinated is at high risk, but fully vaccinated people with normal immune systems remain at very low risk for getting significantly ill,” he said. Vaccinated travelers might be getting non-significant symptoms or no symptoms at all, but they’re still at risk of spreading the virus to more vulnerable others.
In the case of international travel, Dr. Armitage advised them to be more cautious in assessing the destination’s restrictions as well as its current condition. Some countries are also implementing international travel regulations such as Canada which only allows U.S. citizens to enter the country after 14 days of being fully vaccinated starting on August 9. The children who are not eligible for vaccination are allowed to travel to Canada accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian. Travelers must input their vaccination information to the provided website.
England has started their international travel condition on August 2, which stated fully vaccinated travelers from the states and Europe are allowed to enter without having to quarantine. Even so, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides U.S. citizens a list of countries with high case rates which they should avoid entering. Meanwhile, unvaccinated citizens are not recommended to travel internationally.
As for travelers who want to enter the states, they must have a negative COVID-19 test result which is taken at least three days before entering. Dr. Armitage recommends travelers get tested every now and then. “Most major airports now have testing options. Getting tested isn’t a big barrier, just know the requirements,” he stated.
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