Spring has sprung! And while it’s tempting to want to jet off to the nearest island for a tropical getaway, in the age of COVID-19 that’s just not the best idea. After all, we’re still in a pandemic.
Although coronavirus vaccinations are underway throughout the country, many people have not yet had the opportunity to get their vaccine. Consequently, it has not yet been possible to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19. Since travel is one of the easiest ways to catch and spread COVID-19, the official stance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is to skip all non-essential travel until further notice. New variants of COVID-19 have been found as well, which is why it’s extra important to continue to minimize the spread of COVID-19, as well as minimize your chances of catching coronavirus.
While we stand by the CDC’s official recommendations for minimizing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding travel, we understand that, realistically, some travel may occur this spring break season. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the safest ways to celebrate spring break and the changing of the seasons with COVID-19 in mind.
- During this time, the CDC recommends delaying travel in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- The CDC also advises checking state, territorial and local health departments for information about local quarantine requirements in the case you catch COVID-19 while traveling. Make sure to have a plan for what to do if you catch COVID-19 while traveling before leaving for your trip.
- If you are sick, have been exposed to COVID-19 or have a known case of COVID-19, do not travel.
- New travel requirements state that all passengers coming to the U.S.—including U.S. citizens—must have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.
- Masks are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations, according to the CDC.
- Even when masks aren’t required, they should always be worn in public (including on public transportation).
- Whenever possible, wear a mask, stay at least six feet apart from others, avoid crowds and wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer often.
- If you do plan on traveling, getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before doing so is the best option.
- Traveling via car is less likely to result in COVID-19 exposure than traveling via airplane.
- Avoid traveling via cruise ship, as this form of travel has resulted in large COVID-19 outbreaks in the past.
SPRING BREAK + SPRING TRAVEL ALTERNATIVES:
- Staycations, also known as a vacation at home, are a great way to skip the travel this season while enjoying what your home and hometown has to offer.
- Since you’re less likely to catch and spread COVID-19 driving versus flying, a short road trip within your state is far safer than flying to a different state or country.
- If you do plan on traveling to a different state, try to go somewhere less likely to have crowds. That’s why we recommend avoiding popular spring break destinations, and instead opting for locations off the beaten path.
OTHER SPRING SAFETY + LEISURE TIPS:
- Spring is the perfect time to get outdoors and explore local parks and hiking trails, or to go camping at a nearby, non-crowded campground.
- Stick to hanging out with just your immediate household or designated COVID-19 social “bubble.”
- Hang out in non-crowded areas. If you go somewhere that ends up being too crowded (i.e. somewhere social distancing isn’t possible)—leave and go somewhere else.
- Continue to social distance whenever possible (with at least six feet of distance between yourself and others), wear your mask (especially when you’re in public), wash your hands and use hand sanitizer often. Even if you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s still possible to spread coronavirus to others so it’s important to continue to follow these guidelines.
- Last, but not least: get the COVID-19 vaccine when you become eligible! The more people who get vaccinated against COVID-19, the more likely we are as a society to achieve herd immunity and safely go back to normal.