As of August 2023, the landscape for COVID-19 precautions, especially regarding travel to large events, has evolved significantly. Here are some updated guidelines and considerations for travellers based on current information:
COVID-19 Variants and Testing: Although the Federal government has declared the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, and many countries have relaxed testing requirements, it's important to stay informed about any new COVID-19 variants and local testing policies. Only a few countries still require COVID-19 testing for vaccinated travellers, but it's always prudent to check the specific requirements of your destination.
Vaccination Status: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated their guidelines on what constitutes being "up-to-date" on COVID-19 vaccines. As of April 18, 2023, receiving an updated or bivalent vaccine is considered current. These vaccines offer protection against both the original strains and the Omicron variants.
Masking and Social Distancing: While many airlines, cruise lines, and other transport modes have largely removed mask mandates, they still suggest that passengers who prefer to wear masks continue to do so. This is particularly recommended for at-risk or immunocompromised individuals. Social distancing and frequent hand washing or sanitizing are also advised as good hygiene practices.
Insurance and Cancellation Policies: Travel insurance policies and travel suppliers have generally returned to pre-pandemic cancellation policies. Travelers concerned about COVID-19-related cancellations should consider purchasing a "Cancel For Any Reason" (CFAR) travel insurance policy.
Check Entry Requirements: It's vital to continually check and re-check entry requirements for all countries in your itinerary, as these can change rapidly in the event of a spike in infections.
After Travel: If you feel sick after traveling, especially with a fever, it's advised to talk to a healthcare provider and inform them about your travel history.
Outdoor Activities: Activities like outdoor movies, restaurant patio dining, camping, swimming, small group gatherings, and boating are considered low to moderate risk. It's recommended to maintain physical distancing and practice good hygiene during these activities.
High-Risk Activities: Large gatherings or crowds where maintaining a safe distance is challenging are considered high risk. The risk increases with the size of the group and the duration of the gathering.
Personal Precautions: Continue practicing precautions like hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and wearing a well-fitted mask in areas with a high risk of COVID-19, especially if you are at high risk of serious illness.
Well-Being and Enjoyment: Balancing safety precautions with activities that bring joy and normalcy to life is important.
Staying informed and making thoughtful choices can help you navigate travel during the ups and downs of the pandemic.Remember, these guidelines are subject to change, so it's crucial to stay updated with the latest information from reliable sources like the CDC and health authorities in your destination country