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Drew: Holiday Travel during COVID-19

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By Samuetta Drew

Where many Americans have opted not to travel to visit family or friends during the Thanksgiving holidays, many have decided to keep their travel plans to visit their love ones or friends for various personal reasons. I have spoken to others who have selected the Christmas holidays as their time for travel.

The holiday one chooses to travel to spend time with family or friends is inconsequential, it is the act of traveling safely during a pandemic which is the primary focus of this article. Let us review some travel safety measures you should consider practicing protecting yourself from getting or spreading COVID-19.

Spending time in airports, train stations, bus stations, rest stops, and gas stations can expose travelers to the virus that causes COVID-19. I have spoken to individuals who jokingly said, “they were traveling by car like their family did prior to integration.” This means they plan to pack travel food, personal necessities and make only strategic limited stops. Where the individuals were serious while joking, it told me they had a travel plan to minimize their exposure to COVID-19. Either way, have a travel safety plan.
Having a COVID-19 travel safety plan for you and/or your family is important for all travelers regardless of the transportation mode. Prepare a small travel personal sanitizing kit. The kit should contain hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and extra masks. If you desire, you can add a few pairs of disposable gloves.

Always wear your masks in public, wash your hands frequently, and practice social distancing when around others not from your household. Know the risk level for your destination. This should be a point of consideration when deciding whether to travel or not.

Driving your own vehicle lowers your risk exposure to COVID-19. If you need to use commercial or public transportation, be aware of and try to avoid the busiest travel times. Consider traveling during non-peak times when there are likely to be fewer people. Some hosts are hosting their holiday events on an alternate day to help lower their guests’ risk exposure when traveling.

Know when to delay or cancel your travel plans. Do not travel if you are sick with a fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Do not travel if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test, or have had close contact in the past 14 days with a person who has tested positive or has symptoms of COVID-19. If you have been asked to quarantine, delay your travel until after the full 14 days of quarantine, even if you do not have symptoms. If you test positive for COVID-19 while at your destination, isolate yourself from others for a minimum of 10 days or after two, consecutive negative tests and delay your return.

It is essential to Keep an Eye on Safety the entire duration of your travel and to practice all coronavirus COVID-19 safety measures.