Are you able to travel during this pandemic holiday season?
It depends. You can travel safely if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Officials advise those who have not been vaccinated to delay traveling.
No matter what vaccination status you have, travelers should take precautions such as avoiding unmasked people in indoor areas, advises Dr. Keith Armitage at Case Western Reserve University.
He says, "The delta variant has really brought me back to an earlier period in the pandemic."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against traveling if you are sick or if your COVID-19 test is positive. This applies even if you have been fully vaccinated. People who are not vaccinated and want to travel should have a COVID-19 test done within three to five days of leaving the country.
The agency states that all travelers should still use masks when traveling on planes, trains, and other indoor public transport areas.
Airline representatives claim that plane cabins pose little risk due to their good air circulation and filtration. Domestic flights do not require vaccinations or testing. Passengers can also remove their masks while eating and drinking.
Armitage states that hotels are safe for vaccinated people as long as they don't wear masks when meeting strangers. Family gatherings with non-vaccinated people are more dangerous, especially for older adults or those with health issues.
Experts in health recommend that you check the masking rules and case levels of the area you're visiting before you travel.