It’s now been more than two years since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. You’re probably no stranger to preparing for holiday travel during the pandemic. While you may be familiar with the regulations that were put in place due to COVID-19 in previous years, we’re now facing a different stage of COVID-19 that is different from the waves we experienced in 2021 and 2020.
We’ve seen the emergence of several different COVID-19 variants, all with different behaviors and epidemiological significance. As part of our commitment to keeping you and your loved ones safe, our team is here to share a few expert tips to maximize your chances of staying safe as we enter the third pandemic holiday season.
Check out these expert recommendations to maximize your chances of staying healthy during this holiday season.
Plan Ahead With COVID-19 Testing in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem
This holiday, planning and booking ahead is everything. You can begin by plotting your itinerary and making plans for every step and every activity during your travels. This includes knowing your personal risk status and the pre-existing health conditions of every person you’re traveling with.
In addition, you should research the local medical care that will be available in your destination in case you get sick while you’re there.
It’s also important to familiarize yourself with the various COVID-19-related travel restrictions and requirements. Keep in mind that these requirements change from time to time and vary from country to country and at the interstate level.
When booking your lodging and other accommodations, you need to consider the location and the size of the crowd that will be there as well. Large and high-rise hotels with multiple shared spaces, elevators, and pools can increase your risk of COVID-19 exposure compared to private spaces.
Finally, you should familiarize yourself with the individual lodging booking guidelines and policies for lodging during COVID-19. This will keep you and your family prepared.
Wear a Mask to Protect Against COVID-19 Exposure
Regardless of your mode of travel, you should wear a mask. That means wearing it when you take a plane, ride the train, or hop on a bus. Wearing a high-quality mask around crowds of people is vital in protecting you against COVID-19. Even if you’re the only one wearing one, a good mask that fits snugly over your face and is designed to protect against viruses will reduce the number of infectious particles you breathe in.
Converging lines of evidence have shown that an N95 respirator offers a high degree of protection. Understandably, wearing a mask for too long can be exhausting, but it will go a long way in protecting you during your trip.
Practice Physical Distancing
All variants of COVID-19 spread easily through person-to-person contact. Hence, you need to reduce the level of contact with people when you travel. Fortunately, most airlines and other transportation networks have protocols for social distancing.
Even when you get to your travel destination, you should still continue to keep yourself safe by limiting your contact with people. Try as much as possible to avoid overcrowded spaces and public places. If possible, limit your use of shared spaces such as elevators, public pools, and bathrooms.
While following these precautions may limit the total number of hours you spend in certain places you may love to visit, it is worth it in the end. However, there are many other ways you can keep yourself and your family entertained without exposing yourselves to COVID-19. For example, you can camp, go for a hike, or spend time at a quiet beach. All in all, limiting the amount of time you spend outdoors and minimizing contact with others will reduce your COVID-19 exposure.
Keep Your Hands Clean
Keeping your hands clean sounds simple, but it is often overlooked. As a matter of fact, handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19. One of the best ways to keep your hands clean is by washing your hands with soap and warm water.
If soap and water are not available, you can also clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You should be cleaning your hands throughout the day, especially after returning from a public place, before you leave the bathroom, and after you touch an object.
Some of the most common surfaces people touch without thinking about it include railings, countertops, and cash. You should also wash your hands after coughing or sneezing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in case you have it.
Stay Informed About Your Destination’s COVID-19 Related Data
Before you travel, it’s important to stay updated on the various COVID-19 travel requirements and policies. Just as we mentioned earlier, these requirements often vary from country to country or state to state, and they change frequently.
For instance, some states or countries may require those coming in from hotspot zones to quarantine for two weeks upon their arrival. You may need to check if your destination enforces stay-at-home orders. The United States Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly stay on top of these changing requirements.
Keep Track of Your COVID-19 Symptoms
Paying close attention to your symptoms is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your family safe during the holidays. You should alway be on the lookout for symptoms such as congestion, coughing, sore throat, headaches, fever, fatigue, muscle pain, and rash.
If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to get a COVID-19 test so you can determine if you have COVID-19 or another illness like the flu. Unfortunately, it’s common to confuse the symptoms of COVID-19 with flu symptoms. Fortunately, you can accurately determine your status with a dual flu and COVID-19 rapid antigen test in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem.
One of the biggest symptoms you should watch out for is suddenly losing your sense of smell or taste. Keep in mind, however, that certain COVID variants–such as the BA.5–are less likely to cause you to lose your sense of taste and smell. Everyone handles the virus differently, and you need to consider the COVID-19 risk status of the people you’re traveling with and the condition of those you’re visiting.
As a pro tip, you may want to consider investing in a pandemic essentials bag. In this bag, you will need to stock up on pandemic essentials like latex gloves, facemasks, and hand sanitizers. Your pandemic essentials bag should also include health insurance cards and COVID-19 rapid testing kit thermometers.
Get a Same Day COVID Test in Memphis, Germantown, & Winston-Salem Before You Travel
Whether you show symptoms or not, you should always get tested for COVID-19 before you travel. Besides COVID tests now being a requirement for certain airlines and popular destination countries and states, they’re also an important part of keeping yourself and your family safe.
For your COVID-19 test results to be as accurate as possible, you should get tested as close to the time of your departure as possible before your trip. At Rapid Care Testing, we can provide you with a convenient, same day COVID-19 test in Memphis, Germantown, and Winston-Salem. Schedule an appointment with us today!