ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – This week the CDC announced new guidelines about summer travel and says if you are traveling out of the country, to check with the state department and embassy before you book your flight.
If you travel abroad, you may have to still show a negative COVID-19 test even if you are vaccinated.
The CDC has added more than 60 countries to a “Very high” alert level because of COVID-19 infections including India, Egypt, Costa Rica and several European countries.
Dr. Henry Wu, Director of Emory Travel Well Center says, “Countries in the midst of serious surges are not good choices. Even if you are vaccinated, if you need health care whether it’s car accident or heart attack, you become a burden to a struggling health system.”
But the CDC is easing travel restrictions to more than 100 countries including Mexico, Canada and Japan. Health experts say only travel if you are vaccinated.
“Our vaccines are effective and can prevent illness from the new variants. I am concerned that our vaccination rates are slowing down. I would love to see more uptakes because it is the best way to protect and reduce the risk in the US,” says Dr. Wu.
The CDC says many Caribbean countries are reporting low infection rates and could be good choices for families.
Dr. Wu says, “Airports and airlines are still requiring masks for all passengers including fully vaccinated ones.”
Health experts say if you do travel, have proof of your vaccine.
“If you haven’t gotten it yet, I strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated. The COVID vaccine has proven to be effective and safe. With 6 months of data since their rollout, the serious side effects are rare while more studies show how many deaths are prevented with vaccination,” says Dr. Wu.
Dr. Saloni Firasta-Vastani, Emory Professor says, “If it’s not needed, avoid travel. The hospital beds are still full so if you contract COVID-19 it may be difficult and be challenging.”
The CDC says only fully vaccinated people should travel and recommends that you avoid all travel on cruise ships because of a rise in variants.