Do’s and Don’ts of travel with Omicron Covid variant

Holiday Season Travel: Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling with Omicron Covid Variant

The Omicron variant has been designated as a ‘Variant of Concern’ by the World Health Organization (WHO). This time, we have more resources to combat the Omicron variant than we did against prior variants, including the lethal Delta variant.

To cancel or not to cancel those booking and tickets is the question that travelers are pondering as the Omicron variant spreads over the world, reminding people that the pandemic’s roller-coaster journey is far from over. Most of us have become adept at making health-risk assessments during the pandemic, but it doesn’t help us decide whether to travel or cancel plans any easier. What’s different this time is the holiday travel season which is just around, and there’s another Covid variant in the picture.

International Civil Aviation Day 
On December 7, we observe International Civil Aviation Day, which honors the signing of the Convention on International Civil Aviation in 1944, which established the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a United Nations body. The objective of this year’s International Civil Aviation Day is to emphasize ICAO’s initiatives in supporting countries to increase and strengthen the awareness of international civil aviation to a country’s social and economic growth. 

However, should you travel or not, the question still remains unanswered.

Travel during the Covid Pandemic

Experts in infectious diseases agree that the omicron variant of Covid-19 is a cause for concern. Research results are awaited, including its transmissibility, ability to attack the immune system, and the subsequent severity of the illnesses.

While doctors agree that those immunocompromised should not travel, this includes those over 65, obese people, and those with any comorbidities. Breaking it down, overseas travelers face far greater dangers than domestic travelers. With governments worldwide closing borders and implementing new travel restrictions, there’s a good chance your flight can get cancelled, and you’ll be stuck overseas, or you’ll be compelled to quarantine upon arrival at your destination. As a result, it’s difficult to say whether those who have holiday travel arrangements should go ahead or spend another holiday season at home.

Experts advise those who do not have underlying health concerns and whose flights are already booked to take a wait-and-see stance when it comes to domestic travel.

To avoid ruining your vacation, here are the travel safety rules we have compiled for before, during, and after your travel. Please remember that these recommendations are for individuals who have had their covid vaccinations and are not immunocompromised. Children and the elderly are urged to postpone their travels until we have more information about the Omicron variant.

Domestic Travel During COVID-19

Covid safety protocols before you travel

  • Postpone your trip until you are fully immunized.
  • Before you travel, check the COVID-19 status of your destination. National, state, and/or local governments may impose travel restrictions.
  • Wearing a facemask over your nose and mouth is a must while traveling in public transportation (including airplanes) and transportation hubs (including airports).
  • Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, are sick, or test positive for COVID-19.
  • If you aren’t fully vaccinated and need to travel, get tested before and after your trip.
  • Examine the COVID-19 situation at your destination.
  • Ensure that you understand and adhere to all state and local travel regulations, such as mask-wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, or quarantine requirements.
  • Check the state health department’s website where you are, along your route, and where you are heading, for the most up-to-date information and travel advice.
  • Check with your airline to see if any tests, vaccinations, or other documentation are required.
  • Be prepared to be adaptive during your journey, as rules and guidelines may change.
Travel during Covid- DO NOT travel if- 
You are unwell. You are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. You tested positive for COVID-19 and are in quarantine (even if you are fully vaccinated). Unless you have been fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 over the last 90 days, or if you have been exposed to COVID-19. 

Covid safety protocols during travel

  • Wear face masks over your nose and mouth on flights, buses, trains, and other modes of public transportation.
  • Avoid using fabric or handmade masks; instead, use N95 or KN95 masks.
  • Handrails, elevator buttons, and kiosks are examples of regularly touched surfaces that should be avoided. If you must touch these surfaces, apply hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) or wash your hands afterward.
  • Maintain social distance by keeping a distance of 6 feet (2 meters) from people.

Covid Safety Protocols After Travel

  • COVID-19 may have been introduced to you during your travels. Even if you feel OK and have no symptoms, you might still be infected and potentially spread the virus to others.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 signs; isolate and get tested if symptoms appear.

Facing the Mental Challenge

As we approach Christmas and the new year, many people are grappling with factors like the mental health benefits of enjoying Christmas with family or the professional gains of meeting with coworkers face-to-face, viz spending another Christmas and New Year at home.

The joy of meeting one’s friends and family after a tough time of social distancing and lockdowns is incomparable. We at Gigadocs urge our readers to exercise caution and self-discretion with travel matters. Needless to say, vaccinations are a must!

We are here for your healthcare needs; download the Gigadocs app and explore an entire gamut of healthcare services like vitals tracking, appointment booking on the Gigadocs app. Consult doctors for yourself and your family at ease with the user-friendly Gigadocs appoint-booking feature. Ensure you have the Gigadocs app, especially if you are traveling to ensure you have access to the best doctors around you, no matter where your travels takes you.

Stay safe, stay guarded, manage your health with Gigadocs.

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