Delta Variant Travel Restrictions: Tips for Tourists Traveling Right Now

Safe Travels in Uncertain Times

Travel has certainly rebounded more than 16 months into the COVID-19 pandemic but the emergence of the more transmissible Delta variant has given many a reason for pause. Despite the continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, rises in coronavirus cases around the world, especially among the unvaccinated, threaten to turn back the progress made in recent months in terms of eased safety measures and loosening travel restrictions. Nevada recently re-implemented a mask mandate, and starting July 30th Disney Parks and Resorts will require masks indoors.

Internationally, some tourism hotspots in Mexico now recommend negative COVID-19 test results or proof of vaccination to enter hotels, bars, restaurants and shopping venues. Fortunately, travelers can take plenty of measures to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their trip without having to return to quarantine this summer. Here are some tips for travelers hoping to safely navigate the latest challenges presented by the Delta variant.

Get Fully Vaccinated

Getting vaccinated against the coronavirus is the first step you and your travel group should take to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip this summer. "Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and death," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states. "Unvaccinated people should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated. With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever." People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine. Acquiring proof of vaccination will also open up more destinations to travelers and help them avoid lengthy quarantine requirements.

Embrace COVID-19 Testing

Many international destinations are requiring visitors to present proof of negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen tests taken within two or three days of travel in order to enter regardless of vaccination status but testing is certainly a must for unvaccinated individuals. The CDC continues to recommend that individuals who have not yet been inoculated get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before their trip and take another viral test 3-5 days after travel regardless of their destination requirements. Unvaccinated travelers should also stay home and self-quarantine for a full seven days after their trip, even if they test negative after travel. Those who choose not to get tested should self-quarantine for at least 10 days.

Take Appropriate Health and Safety Measures

Regardless of vaccination status, face masks that cover both your nose and mouth continue to be required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and train stations. Travelers who are unvaccinated are also advised to avoid crowds and stay at least six feet from anyone who is not traveling with them and should wash their hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.

Consider US State Department, CDC Advice

The U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are constantly assessing COVID-19 threat levelsaround the globe, routinely issuing updated Travel Health Notices and travel advisories, respectively. If you have a destination in mind, be sure to read up on the latest expert guidance as officials continue to warn against travel to many places as they experience rising coronavirus case numbers spurred by the spread of the Delta variant.

Seek Out Lower Risk Destinations

Even if travelers have taken the proper precautions, risk can vary based on the destination. While no place poses no risk consider visiting a lower risk destination as defined by the aforementioned agencies, including places where you can spend more time outdoors and away from crowds. Staying at an expansive resort property where you can see and do more while also spreading out from other guests or booking a private villa or vacation rental are also good ideas to minimize your exposure to the virus without sacrificing a fun and relaxing getaway. Click here for travel restrictions by country.

Purchase Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing a travel insurance policy that can cover medical expenses in a foreign country and protect your investment in the event of an unexpected cancellation. Allianz Partners USA is one of the most trusted names in the industry and a great starting point when it comes to insuring your health and travel amid the pandemic. Click here to learn more about travel insurance.

Talk To a Travel Advisor

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout and loosening restrictions have made travel much more feasible this summer compared to last but there's still a considerable level of uncertainty with the emergence of the Delta variant. That means it's more important than ever to put an expert in your corner by working with an experienced travel advisor who can keep you in the know, point you toward safe destinations, accommodations and activities based on your preferences and comfort level and help you find the right travel insurance plan to protect you and your trip. If you don't have a go-to travel professional, visit TravelSense.orgto search for an American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) verified advisor based on your destination and trip type.

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