Should We Use Covid-19 Tests As An Okay To Travel? Travel Doctors Weigh In
Photo Credit: Envato Elements

Photo Credit: Envato Elements

Should We Use Covid-19 Tests As An Okay To Travel? Travel Doctors Weigh In

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Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Jul 17, 2020

The only thing that hasn’t shattered dreams of taking a summer vacation is the fact that there are a handful of countries (mainly the Caribbean and Croatia) that are willing to accept American tourists provided they pack a negative coronavirus test.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that as more states report an increase in positive coronavirus cases and the limited availability of testing supplies nationwide, access to a test within the 72-hour timeframe needed to enter a country can be a challenge.

Another testing hurdle for travelers is the fact that the Centers for Disease Control hasn’t set guidelines about testing before getting on a flight. 

“Testing is actually a much more nuanced thing right now, where it’s important when we test you based on your last exposure, did you have a known exposure? Do you have symptoms? Are you asymptomatic with a known exposure? That guides us on when to administer a test,” Dr. Ellis-Yarian told ABC News 4. “Just randomly testing someone before they go out of town is not reassurance they don’t have COVID-19 or could eventually spread it.”

But even with the testing guidelines, some doctors think it’s just too risky right now.

“Personally, I don’t feel comfortable traveling right now, be it by air, train, or cruise ship.  There are literally and figuratively too many moving parts in commercial travel, too many unknowns, and too many risks,” said Dr. Nina Shapiro. “For instance, air travel includes time at an airport, public restrooms, enclosed spaces, and being surrounded by so many people who can have all levels of potential to transmit Covid-19.”

“Being a physician in Arizona, where we are experiencing a record number of COVID-19 cases, I have been recommending to patients to reduce unnecessary travel at this time,” Dr. Alissia Zenhausern, NMD Naturopathic Doctor, said. “One of my biggest concerns is some airlines are considering filling their planes up to capacity, which makes social distancing nearly impossible. I am extremely concerned by this and have recommended patients not to travel by air at this time.”