COVID-19 Vaccine and The Future of Travel for Health Professionals

 In Healthcare Workforce of the Future

COVID-19 Vaccine and the Future of Travel for Health Professionals

 

As 2020 comes to an end and the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine becomes a reality, many health professionals are itching to get back out on the roads and start exploring again overseas. These are exciting and slightly intimidating times. Thankfully, rapid testing and the COVID vaccine are beacons of light in a very long and dark tunnel. 

 

At MedTreks, we are thrilled to begin running trips again for healthcare practitioners. We are lucky because most of our teams and participants are in the healthcare field and will likely have the vaccine in the next few months. While we are excited about the potential of travel again, our MedTreks staff have continued to be cognizant at choosing adventures in 2021 that align with COVID safe measures. For this reason we have chosen trips that involve spending time in the wilderness, rafting on rivers, gathering in open air spaces and selecting warmer destinations where social distancing can be an easy option. We have been working hard to make sure that these experiences are as COVID safe as possible and are excited to get healthcare workers back out in the world again. 

 

For those who are questioning if they should travel in the coming year, below are some considerations and tips that you will hopefully find helpful: 

What to Consider When Traveling During COVID

While these are exciting and hopeful times, the decision to travel should be based on several considerations: 

 

  • Travel Restrictions: 

    • Travel restrictions are changing daily. CDC has a list that can be helpful to review prior to deciding on traveling State & Local Requirements 

 

  • Type of Travel: 

    • The type of travel you chose to participate in can be important. A few things to consider:
      • Flight Times: choose destinations that have shorter and direct flights to minimize time spent on the airplanes and in airports 
      • Travel Restrictions: destinations that are not as high risk   
      • Easy Social Distancing: trips that make social distancing easy include- rafting trips, hiking trips, biking trips. Outdoor yoga & wellness retreats can be a safe option if their facilities are open to the air. 

 

  • Risk Level 

    • If you are considered higher risk as described by the Center for Disease Control, it is recommended that you do not go on a wilderness or international adventure at this time in the pandemic (unless you have received the vaccine)

 

  • Traveling Responsibly: 

    • Be mindful of your own risk to others and the communities that you are traveling to. Use your face masks when close to others, practice social distancing, avoid crowded places and indoor spaces. Avoid traveling at all if you have any COVID symptoms. 
    • Seek out travel outfitters, hotels, resorts, guiding services that are following COVID-19 guidelines
    • This pandemic wont last forever and the most responsible decision after you have weighed all the risks, might just be to stay home in your own “COVID Pod”. 

 

  • Personal Comfort: 

    • The decision to travel in the next 1-2 years will be based on your own personal comfort level. Several factors play a role in this: your personal risk (immunocompromised, 65 yrs +), your risk to others (healthcare worker), if you have had the vaccine, if you have rapid testing widely available and if you are easily able to quarantine and self-isolate if necessary. 

 

If You Decide to Travel, the CDC recommends the following steps to help protect yourself and others from COVID-19: 

 

  • Check Travel Restrictions before you go 
  • Get your flu shot before you travel
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer 
  • Know when to delay your travel and when you need to quarantine and self-isolate
  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings 
  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet from anyone who is not in your travel group
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol)
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth

 

A Note on Safe Gathering for Holidays & Travel: 

As the pandemic evolves during the winter season, a team of doctors at UCSF suggests some ideas to help keep gatherings safer: 

  • Get tested before seeing people, allowing enough time to get test results back before gathering 
  • Isolate as much as possible after getting tested 
  • When together, avoid being indoors with people outside your household as much as possible
  • Wear masks whenever you’re not eating 
  • Practice physical distancing 
  • Get tested again when you get home 
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations if you might have been or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus 

 

Helpful Articles on COVID-19 and Travel: 

 

Do Masks On Plane Flights Really Cut Your Risk of Catching COVID-19 

Domhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.htmlestic Travel During COVID-19 Pandemic

Mayo Clinic on Coronavirus Travel Advice 

An Interactive Tool that Tracks Travel Restrictions by Country

Will I have to get a COVID vaccine before I Travel 

 

What to Expect When Traveling with MedTreks During COVID

 

As an international adventure and global health company, MedTreks is dedicated to making sure our participants have the safest and most comfortable experience possible. We are excited to get our groups back out in the wilderness and safely into destinations where social distancing will be easy. Knowing that there are some factors that are completely out of our control, here is a list of what we are doing at MedTreks to ensure the safety of our groups on the future adventures: 

A Note on COVID-19 and the Future of MedTreks Travel 

 

Upcoming MedTreks Trips 

Mexico Wellness & Yoga Retreat

Alaska Tatshenshini River Expedition

Whitewater Rafting & Yoga in Oregon

Global Health & Medical Volunteer Kenya

Medical Spanish Costa Rica

 

Other Resources: 

CDC: Know when to Clean & Disinfect

CDC: How to Select & Clean Your Mask

Where to Find the Closest Testing Site

You may also want to check out destinations Specific Requirements for COVID-19 for example: 

Costa Rica 

Kenya

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico 

 

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