Vaccination programs are ramping up worldwide, and more people are starting to travel. A recent ‘temperature check’ among our Linkedin followers showed that around 60% are ready to take off. In the US, corporate travel demand is up to 30-35% of 2019 levels and expected to reach 66% by the end of 2022, according to a study by JPMorgan.
With the delta variant being a cause for concern and safety and security guidelines still changing on a regular basis, what do you need to take into consideration and how do you prepare yourself to travel?
The fully vaccinated will have it easier
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that for fully vaccinated people travel planning is much easier than it is for non-vaccinated people. Lots of countries are opening up their borders for the fully vaccinated. According to leaders such as the UK’s transport secretary full vaccination is expected to be a requirement to enter most countries from now on.
An important question to ask yourself is: when are you considered fully vaccinated? According to Dr. Hauptman – Medical Director Assistance, International SOS - in general, a person is considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after the second shot of a two shot regimen, and two weeks after the one shot of a one shot regimen such as Johnson and Johnson. “There is research and growing evidence that for people who have had COVID-19, one vaccination shot instead of two (of a two jab regimen) may be sufficient for complete vaccination protection. Some countries, such as France, Spain, Italy, and Germany, have adopted policies providing people who have had COVID-19 just one dose of the two dose vaccines, and providing these people vaccination cards documenting full vaccination. However this is not universally accepted at this juncture as research is ongoing.”
When you are traveling and unvaccinated, take into account that in some regions/countries special regulations apply. France for instance has introduced a mandatory ‘Pass Sanitaire’ at the beginning of August that you need to show at places such as restaurants, theatres, shopping malls, and amusement parks to prove that you are double vaccinated or have tested negative. The city of New York recently began mandating proof of full vaccination from customers who want to eat indoors at a restaurant, work out in a gym or attend a show. Additionally, some New York City hotels are beginning to announce their own vaccine requirements.
Keep on checking local measures at your destination
As COVID-19 travel related guidelines change on a frequent basis, make sure you are prepared at all times. Even when you are fully vaccinated safety measures may still apply. Familiarize yourself with local and regional restrictions. There are tools to simply the travel experience like CWT Travel Essentials. This online tool includes a filter for fully vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers. You’ll find a simple list of required travel documentation that can be downloaded or completed online.
Follow safety guidelines at all times
Last but not least, follow basic COVID safety guidelines at your destination. These may differ from region to region. At some destinations face masks are not mandatory, for instance. To be on the safe side, make sure to maintain social distancing, and have your face masks and hand sanitizers ready at all times. The virus is still with us, so stay focused on your own personal safety and that of others.