How to Travel Safely After Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
It's been a couple months since the program for the mass vaccination of seniors begun. Most, if not all, are fully vaccinated by now. Good news, right?
However, it's still way too early to think that all our troubles are over. While the situation in your area may have returned to near-normal, it isn't the same in the rest of the world or even within the US itself.
Some places have let loose. Others are still quite stringent with the SOPs. Moreover, we still don't know if the vaccine qualifies as a permanent fix for the pandemic. Its longevity and side effects are still under observation. This is why there's a general recommendation for vaccinated people to wear masks and maintain social distance whenever they're out in public.
What Does This Mean for Traveling?
As far as traveling is concerned, intercity, interstate, and cross-country travels are much easier than international travel. Here's what you need to know:
Traveling Within the US Territory
If you are planning a cross-country trip for the summers, there really aren't many restrictions standing in your path. If you've been vaccinated and aren't experiencing any side effects or sickness, you are free to go anywhere, book any hotel you like, and do anything you want.
However, you should take a look at the government mandates and public guidelines for any place before you decide to travel. Since you have received the vaccine, you should also keep your vaccination card at hand to show authorities that you're free to travel. For even more clarification, you may consult the Ohana Concierge Service if you feel stuck!
Outside your own country, it's a completely different story. From booking your seats to finding hotel accommodation and activities, there are hundreds of different stories. Therefore, there are a couple of things you should know heck before you pack your stuff up and head out the front door.
First, what's the status of the virus in your destination? Some countries have defeated the pandemic and have lifted all SOP compulsions, such as China, New Zealand, etc. There are others where the virus does exist, but not too severely. Finally, some places are still battling severely with the virus, such as India.
You may have gotten the jab, but the places that still have COVID-19 at large aren't exactly safe for you. These places often experience a shortage of medical resources and a crippling economy which has to lead to an increase in street crimes, especially with tourists.
Moreover, they aren't allowing anyone on historical or recreational places, so going there will be pretty much useless. Finally, some of these places aren't currently accepting international tourists, so that lowers down your travel options significantly as well.
As a vaccine recipient, you may want to feel that the nightmare is finally over — at least for you! But the reality is far more different. For one, the COVID vaccines aren't a hundred percent effective. They also use the mRNA technology for the very first time. This means that we cannot bank solely on our COVID vaccination cards to get access anywhere and everywhere. So if you're planning to travel, here are some tips on what you should do:
Make Sure Your Vaccination Procedure Is Complete
Leaving the house without proper vaccination is just useless. You won't get the safety that the vaccine offers! So before booking your flight, please ensure that:
- You have received the complete dosage of the vaccine (one dose for J&J's vaccine and two doses for others)
- You have waited for a potential side effect or reactive symptoms to emerge or until the vaccine's side effects have subsided. From mild body ache to inflammation, there's a variety of such side effects, which your healthcare provider will explain in detail
- You've completed any required medical prescription courses after getting the doses, no matter how well you feel. This is because you won't be able to receive proper healthcare during travel if something goes wrong.
Whether you're traveling from a high infection-rate area to a lower one, or vice versa, it's best to stick to COVID-19 precautionary protocols every time. This will save you from getting yourself into trouble with legal aspects and will also fully ensure that you're not carrying the virus.
Before you leave for international travel, get a coronavirus test done. Yes, even if you've been vaccinated, because nobody can tell for sure how effective they are, or if they work against COVID variants, or just how long the protection will last. In some cases, even fully vaccinated people may transmit or carry COVID!
In some places, you'll be required to get a test done after you've landed, and you may even have to spend two weeks in quarantine if that's what your destination's rules are. When you have returned from your journey abroad, you'll have to get the test done and quarantine again at the airport or seaport or train station or whichever form of travel you're using.
During your travels, it's best if you stick to the safety practices that you observe at your destination. In fact, it's still recommended to wear a mask, sanitize, and avoid crowded spaces, even if you're fully vaccinated. So wherever you're off to, here's a checklist that'll definitely keep you safe:
- Have your vaccination card on you at all times
- Get a COVID test done if you're experiencing symptoms, especially if your destination has viral variants in the area
- Wear your mask, sanitize, and avoid crowds and unhygienic places
Post-COVID travel has been a dream for many. Even though a vaccine enables you to live that dream, you can’t completely let yourself loose! Until the vaccines are approved safe and proven 100% effective, you can’t be sure just how safe you are from the virus. In that case, you should avoid places with high infection rates, poor healthcare systems, and destinations that do not properly follow COVID SOPs.