The COVID-19 pandemic is now in a different phase, due to vaccination and less virulent variants, allowing hope around most of the world. It is of course true that the virus does not respect geographical boundaries, so increased travel brings with it the risk of contagion. But, it is also fair to assume that vaccination allow us to travel.
Vaccination reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19, and may make it less severe if you do catch it. If you are thinking of travelling, we strongly advise that you do so once fully vaccinated including booster doses. Travel will be safest in areas of high vaccine coverage.
Even once vaccinated, you should continue taking precautions to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19. Older people, and those of any age who have some medical conditions including chronic kidney disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Down’s Syndrome, serious heart problems, a weakened immune system, Type 2 diabetes, and sickle cell disease, as well as those who are obese, who smoke or who are pregnant, are at increased risk of illness from COVID-19.
When deciding whether it is safe to travel, we also advise that you think about the increased risk to anyone you live with who may be affected by these conditions and who you may need to consider when deciding to travel. But whether you’re traveling for work or pleasure, travel is an important part of many of our lives and we want to help you do so safely:
Once you’re on your journey, there are many ways you can help keep yourself and others safe:
Some special tips for air travel:
Before deciding to travel, and when choosing where to go, remember vaccination can decrease decreases the risk of contracting severe forms of COVID-19. Take your booster dose, if your doctor or health authorities recommend it. It’s also important to remember your annual influenza vaccination.
Travelling will be safest in regions with high vaccination coverage. Check the local situation, be clear on the regulations at your destination, both on arrival as well as on your return home, and consult with your doctor about your planned trip.
These are challenging times. Stay safe, and enjoy.
Dr Fernando Macário
Chief Medical Officer