How to Travel Safely Amid the Delta Variant Surge

A young boy and his French Bulldog are ready to travel the world.
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Planning to get out of the house this summer? Lifted restrictions mean that people are making plans to travel, but there are a few things you should know about the Delta variant and how it may affect your travel plans. Experts are saying that this new SARS-CoV-2 variant is a big cause for concern, and especially for those who are unvaccinated.

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If You’re Planning to Leave the Country

If you’re planning to travel outside of the U.S., countries can impose their own requirements for entry. The European Union announced on June 18 that the US would be added to its “safe list” and would allow vaccinated and unvaccinated American travelers to enter its 27 member states. Visitors must provide proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test.

“If you’re out and about this summer, chances that you’re going to encounter the Delta variant, either in the U.S. or in Europe or other parts of the world, are pretty high,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told The New York Times.

The C.D.C. has a global variant map that shows the countries where different variants have been identified if you plan to travel beyond U.S. borders. It also lists the risk level by country. The New York Times also reported that you may look online to the national health department websites for the country you are planning to visit.

To improve your odds of not getting infected, Dr. Nuzzo recommends following safety guidelines like wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding crowded or poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

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If You’re Unvaccinated

The virus poses an even greater risk to unvaccinated Americans. Dr. Nuzzo told The New York Times that she doesn’t advise unvaccinated people to travel during an era of increased spread. Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, added that travelers can wear masks or social distance while traveling, “but if you’re going to be vacationing this summer, that’s a less fun way to vacation,” according to The New York Times.

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Both Dr. Nuzzo and Dr. Jha recommend everyone seeking to travel be vaccinated for an extra layer of protection against the virus. When it comes to children, those 12 and over can get vaccinated, however, children under the age of 12 should follow mask-wearing and social distancing regulations.

Variants are expected to occur as viruses are constantly changing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Restrictions and regulations can change at any time that may impact your travel plans at the last minute.

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