How to safely travel this summer as COVID restrictions ease

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The summer of 2021 is turning into the summer of travel - and seniors are leading the way. One local expert offers some important tips for a COVID-safe vacation.

What a difference a year - and a vaccine - makes.

With more than 80% of Americans 65 and over vaccinated, seniors are packing their bags for vacation.

Dr. Lawrence Livornese, an infectious disease specialist with Main Line Health, says the CDC gives travel within the United States a green light if you're vaccinated.

"You pretty much can travel wherever you want, and do whatever you want," said Dr. Livornese.

Just remember, masks are required on planes, trains, and other public transportation and be aware of any state, local, or company regulations for masks and social distancing.

Dr. Livornese has an important piece of advice if you're unvaccinated.

"Three days before you travel, you should be tested for COVID," he said.

You'll also need to mask up and keep your distance.

"And when you return, you should either quarantine yourself for ten days, or obtain a test around five days after you return," said Dr. Livornese.

If the test is negative, a seven day quarantine is okay.

International travel is more complicated. First, check the CDC website, for the latest COVID-19 conditions at your intended destination.

"Countries are graded from levels one, two, three and four with four being countries with a very high risk of COVID," said Dr. Livornese.

Some countries - like Ireland and the U.S. Virgin Islands - are listed as unknown. Even if you're vaccinated, the CDC says to avoid level four countries.

And for all countries: "Anybody who's traveling back to the United States by air needs to be tested before they return," said Dr. Livornese.

Cruises are starting up again, but Dr. Livornese recommends only vaccinated travelers go - and always use a mask indoors. And wherever you go, take a copy of your vaccination card, in case a business or institution requires proof.
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