When I started my blog journey, my goal was to give valuable and relatable information about travel. I love the great vacation pics, but there are other travel stories beyond the beautiful travel photos. This week I’d like to focus on the reality of a positive Covid test result while out of the country.
As of January 2021, the CDC mandated that all travelers into the US have a negative test result before entry into the country. The CDC guidelines read as, “If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get tested no more than three days before you travel by air into the United States (US) and show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight, or be prepared to show documentation of recovery (proof of a recent positive viral test and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).”
If you test positive while out of the country, you will have the added expense of staying in your location until you recover. Your stay could be a minimum of 14 days. Research the Covid testing and quarantine guidelines and regulations of the country you are traveling to for information on the process if there is a positive test on arrival or during your stay. Know that airlines cannot board passengers who cannot show proof of a negative Covid test.
I wrote on a previous blog about travel insurance. I highly suggest travel insurance and for travelers to give thought to a Covid 19 travel insurance plan. Covid insurance will cover the insured during their stay. It also includes medical expenses incurred during your stay, daily stay rates, and even medical evacuations. Policies differ, so it is best to research the different options available. Please note that you can purchase basic travel insurance up to 24 hours before departure. However, premium add-ons such as “cancel for any reason” must be purchased based on when you made your travel payments.
Now more than ever, the cheapest flight option might not be the best option for travelers. Flexible and refundable tickets can make a significant difference if you extend your stay in a foreign country. There are substantial fees associated with canceling or rebooking airline tickets. Read the fine print to see if you will be refunded or given a voucher.
Consider visa deadlines. Many tourist visas are for 30 days. If you test positive, you may have to quarantine between 7 to 21 days. The forced quarantine stay in addition to your vacation time may have you overstaying your visa. Consider how you will handle visa technicalities while in quarantine. Not all hotels will be able to take care of those details for you. Now more than ever, consider registering with the STEP program. It’s free, and you will have access to the nearest embassy or consulate.
The bottom line is that if you test positive for Covid outside the country, do not expect to return until you can provide a negative Covid test result or proof of recovery. Have you considered the possibility of testing positive while on vacation? Let me know.