How to travel safely during COVID-19

July 02, 2020 | by Edward-Elmhurst Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

Summer is here, and that means it’s time for vacations.

Taking time off to recharge has proven benefits for your health. Vacations can help boost your mood, improve your heart health, lower stress and even give your brain a boost.

This summer, though, planning that trip might pose some challenges. With the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, planning a trip will require a little bit more research.

Staying closer to home might be a better option. Take the time to check out state or local parks or attractions, or visit a nearby town.

If you’re traveling out of state, here are a few things to consider:

  • What are the COVID-19 policies in your destination? Some states are requiring out-of-state travellers to self-quarantine for 14 days after their arrival. Travel and Leisure magazine has a state-by-state list of travel restrictions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers a listing of state and territorial health department websites that you can check for travel guidelines. You’ll also want to check what the restrictions are in your own state upon return from traveling.
  • Is COVID-19 spreading in the area you are traveling? You’ll want to check to make sure there hasn’t been an uptick of COVID-19 cases in the area you are traveling to before you go. And if COVID-19 cases are on the rise where you live, you might want to reconsider travel plans. You can still spread the virus even if you don’t have any symptoms.
  • How will you get there? Airlines are requiring passengers to wear masks while in flight, leading many to opt for road trips instead.
  • If you are driving, try to plan your route to minimize stops. If traveling through multiple states, check what the level of openness is in each state so you can plan your stops for food, gas and lodging appropriately.
  • Where will you stay? Renting a vacation home or condo for your trip may prove to be a better option as you can limit the number of people coming in and out of the home. If you are staying in a hotel, some travel sites suggest skipping the daily housekeeping and making your own bed and picking up your towels to limit the number of people in your room. If you opt to skip daily housekeeping, be sure to bring some cleaning wipes and supplies.
  • Is anyone you are traveling with at higher risk for complications from COVID-19? Do you live with anyone who is at higher risk for COVID-19? If so, your travel plans should take those persons into consideration.
  • Have a Plan B. COVID-19 spread can change quickly. You may want to consider having a back-up travel location in case COVID-19 cases spike in your original destination.

COVID-19 doesn’t have to spell an end to your summer plans. With a little planning and preparation, you can still enjoy your summer vacation and stay healthy.

For updates on our planning and response efforts as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, please check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.

The information in this article may change at any time due to the changing landscape of this pandemic. Read the latest on COVID-19.

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