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Are COVID-19 Tests Required To Travel If You Are Vaccinated?

As you read about COVID-19 travel restrictions for vaccinated people, you’ll learn:

  • Why vaccinated people still need to take precautions
  • Which guidelines you should follow when traveling internationally

One of the most effective tools we have for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is vaccinations. While being fully vaccinated does not entirely prevent you from contracting COVID-19, it does lower your risk of getting sick and spreading the virus. It also reduces the risk of being hospitalized from complications associated with the virus. As the world begins to open up and people start traveling again for business and pleasure, there are various restrictions in place for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The CDC recommends that people only travel if they have already received the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have been vaccinated, you may not think you need to take a test before traveling, but it is always a good idea to take a few precautions.

Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

While studies show that vaccinated travelers have a low risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, we do not yet know how the back scenes guard against variants that usually emerge in other countries. The primary concern with international travelers is that they may bring back a new variant. Because we are not sure how protected people are from other variants, travelers should follow a few guidelines even if they are fully vaccinated.

Before Travel

Different airlines and countries have various travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19. Because the guidelines are constantly changing based on virus hotspots and vaccination rates, it is best to research the place you are traveling to so you understand the restrictions. You may need to get a test before entering another country even though you are fully vaccinated. In some countries, you must wear a mask in all public spaces whether you are vaccinated or not. Some places only require you to show proof of vaccination to enter. Do your research beforehand so you know what to expect when traveling.

During Travel

You want to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 when traveling, but because you do not know the vaccination status of all of the people you come in contact with, you should always follow the guidelines set in place by your destination. Many places ask you to take the following precautions:

  • Wear a mask when inside a building
  • Practice social distancing whenever possible
  • Make sure your mask covers your mouth and nose

Before You Arrive in the United States

Whether you are a U.S. citizen or a foreigner, you must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entering the country. The test must be conducted within three days of traveling. Alternatively, you can choose to show documentation of your COVID-19 recovery if you have previously contracted the virus and now have natural immunity. This documentation must be dated within three months of traveling.

After Travel

Even though you are vaccinated and have a reduced risk of spreading the virus, you should still take a viral COVID-19 test within five days of returning home. The CDC also recommends that you quarantine if you develop any symptoms of the virus. For this reason, it is a good idea to isolate and self-monitor for symptoms for a few days after returning home.

COVID-19 Testing in Woburn

If you have recently returned home from traveling abroad, you need to take a COVID-19 test within a few days. ARCpoint Labs of Woburn, Massachusetts, offers a variety of testing methods to prove you are not spreading the virus when you return home from traveling. Located in West Cummings Park near Cedar Street and Washington Street, we are prepared to help with all of your COVID-19 testing needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.