Where Can You Go?
Hooray! You are vaccinated and ready to travel. But Where Can You Go?
After a year of isolation and oppressively endless Zoom sessions, many of the newly vaxxed feel the same way. But it’s not a get-out-of-jail-card quite yet. Most of the world isn’t ready to roll back testing and quarantine rules for travelers just yet. We’re still in a pandemic, after all, and only a small percentage of the world’s population has gotten the jab.
Many countries—including most of Western Europe—still aren’t open to U.S. tourists. Cases are rising in some areas; most of Italy, for example, just retreated into lockdown after a variant reared its head. You’ll still need to practice social distancing and wear masks for the foreseeable future, especially when you are in public with people you don’t know.
Moreover, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which recently eased restrictions on small gatherings, continues to counsel against travel, even for the vaccinated.
Only a few countries are letting U.S. visitors bypass testing and quarantine rules if they have been vaccinated; among them are Belize, Iceland, the Seychelles, Georgia and Estonia.
The race is on to come up with a standardized, all-purpose mobile app that will let you summon your health data, from vaccinations to tests, in one tap. “It’s the proverbial Wild West out there,” said Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst at Atmosphere Research. None of the existing options “is better than the other.”
Each essentially works the same way—giving you proof of immunity in digital form that obviates the need to show a paper document. But some people might prefer an analog version to having multiple health apps on their smartphones. Others may be reluctant to share health data online. Until such concerns are resolved, it might be wise to laminate that CDC card you get when leaving the vax site so it won’t disintegrate in your wallet.
What About Kids?
There is no approved vaccine for kids under the age of 16 so if you are traveling as a family expect mandatory quarantines.
Of course, mandatory quarantines mean you won't travel.
Travel Isn't Easy
You may be sick of being homebound but travel outside the US still isn't easy. Even in the US, the CDC advises against travel, vaccinated or not.