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Staying Safe: Summer Travel and Gatherings

As progress with the vaccination rollout continues many are wanting to go out and resume their lives. People want to visit their loved ones, see new places and friendly faces. So we are left with the question, is it safe to travel? There are many things to keep in mind and many precautions to practice if traveling during this time to ensure your safety and protect others.

Weigh Your Risks

It is important to note the at-risk groups during this pandemic. If you are over the age of 65 are at risk for more severe illness. Additionally, underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes can result in complications should you contact COVID-19. Another consideration to keep in mind is if you are vaccinated or not. Remember that you are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after your final vaccination and it is important to plan accordingly. These factors can help you assess your personal risks and help you determine if you think it is safe for you to travel.

Restrictions

Many states within the US still have tight travel restrictions, and may have different practices in place for social distancing and slowing the spread than are in place in your hometown. It is crucial to be aware of the restrictions and rules in place in your desired travel destination. This will help you assess if a trip will be possible. Many countries outside of America have even tighter restrictions on non-citizens. Make sure that you do your research to understand the quarantine rules of your desired location to ensure your trip is possible and enjoyable. Another consideration to keep in mind is that many senior living communities across the nation have strict policies on travel or leaving the facility in place to ensure residents stay safe. Remember to know all the possible restrictions in place before planning your trip to watch out for any possible bumps in the road.

Considerations While Traveling

If you do decide to travel there are some steps you can take to keep yourself safe and minimize unwanted contact with others. If you are traveling by air it is important to wear a mask in the airport and on the plane, consider bringing disinfectant wipes to clean high-touch areas such as seat rests and tray tables and bring hand sanitizer to help keep your hands clean. If you are traveling by car, consider bringing snacks and food for the road to minimize the stops you will need to take and decrease the people you will come into contact with. When you do need to stop use masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant accordingly to stay safe. If you are traveling do your best to minimize interactions with people you aren’t traveling with and avoid crowded areas as best as possible.

Safe Gatherings

Especially with summer holidays such as the Fourth of July and Memorial Day quickly approaching it is also important to keep in mind how to be safe while celebrating. If you haven’t received the vaccine or you are an at-risk population you could consider celebrating with loved ones virtually through applications such as Zoom or FaceTime. But if you do want to attend in person it is important to take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe. Know if others at the gathering are vaccinated, understand the area’s current COVID-19 levels, and how many people will attend. This can help you assess your comfortability with attending the gathering in person. When you are at the event consider bringing a mask, try to stay a safe distance away from others, avoid commonly touched surfaces, and encourage and practice proper hygiene at the event through hand sanitizer and frequently washing your hands.

It is understandable that many people are looking for ways to break out of their pandemic routines. After a long year, indoors many people are looking for new things to do and give them some much-needed relaxation, enjoyment, or stress relief. If you feel this way appropriately assess your personal risks, research COVID-19 practices in your desired location, and take precautions while traveling. Consider getting tested or quarantining when coming back home to keep others safe upon your arrival back home. Stay safe, and happy travels!

 

For more information on safe travel check out these resources:

Is it Safe for Seniors to Travel?

6 things doctors wish patients knew about travel during the pandemic

CDC Travel Recommendations

Healthy Hive

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