Traveling while COVID positive: What to do if it happens

According to the US Travel Association, 35% of Americans expect to travel more this summer than they did last summer.  That means the risk of getting sick while traveling is most definitely a possibility.

According to the US Travel Association, 35% of Americans expect to travel more this summer than they did last summer. That means the risk of getting sick while traveling is most definitely a possibility.

mrodriguez@charlotteobserver.com

Travel in the United States and abroad is back in full swing despite COVID-19 still looming.

With millions of passengers flying annually, Charlotte Douglas International Airport is the sixth busiest airport in the United States. About six in 10 Americans plan to travel at least once this summer, according to data from the US Travel Association.

Of those planning vacations, 35% of Americans expect to travel more this summer than they did last year. That means the risk of getting sick while traveling is most definitely a possibility.

COVID-19 restrictions have loosened at most US airports and hubs of public transportation. Nonetheless, to enter the US from foreign countries, passengers must provide proof that they’ve recovered from COVID-19 within the last three months or provide a negative test result within one day of travel, according to the CDC.

If you become infected while traveling abroad, you’ll find that being quarantined in a foreign country can be difficult.

Here are a few tips for prevention and preparation for the worst-case scenario:

Plan ahead first

Being prepared for what could happen if you test positive for COVID-19 is the best way to diffuse a stressful situation. Keeping informed of laws, policies and COVID-19-related protocols at your destination can help ahead for unexpected outcomes.

The US Department of State’s website encourages travelers to make a plan in case they become infected with COVID-19 while traveling.

“This includes being ready to cover additional lodging costs, flight ticket change fees, and any other additional expenses they may incur due to the unexpected extension,” the Department of State wrote.

Check for COVID-19 availability lodging

Although a few cities in the US provide discounted lodging for infected travelers, domestic options are diminishing as COVID-19 restrictions in the United States have lifted. Some international hotels and resorts offer discounted rates to travelers who have found themselves in need of quarantine, USA Today reports.

Pack COVID-19 tests in your luggage

Packing a COVID test for longer trips is a great way to avoid placing yourself and others at risk. According to the US Department of Transportation, unused testing kits are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Invest in travel insurance

One way to curb the financial burden of an unexpected trip extension is travel insurance. Keep in mind that not all insurance companies still provide protection against pandemic-related incidents. Thoroughly read what’s available before your trip.

Choose your airlines wisely

You can prevent a messy situation at the airport by booking your flight with an airline that allows free trip cancellation and complimentary rescheduling. Airlines like Delta and United allow passengers to be flexible with their travel dates.

Evan Santiago is a reporter for the Charlotte Observer writing for the publication’s Service Journalism Desk. He hails from New York City and is currently based in the Queen City where he works to help local readers navigate the challenges that come with daily life in the modern world.

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