David Friedman, elected president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, said the type of mask is particularly important when traveling. Dr. Friedman discourages people from wearing cloth or homemade masks; He said that N95 or KN95 masks are better.
It is difficult to assess how likely it is that a passenger will encounter an infected person while on a flight to their destination. This is especially important to consider when traveling with children who are too young to be vaccinated or to wear a mask. Testing or proof of vaccination is not required for domestic flights into the United States. Some countries and airlines require both. Others don’t.
Creating a shorter window for testing — as the United States recently did for everyone flying into the country from abroad, regardless of nationality — makes sense, Dr. Friedman said. Testing three days before a flight could miss people who are incubating the virus and may be infectious and test positive by the time they board their plane. He added that a flight requiring PCR testing is also less risky than a flight requiring antigen testing. But, he said, with their advanced air filtration systems, there is potentially a greater risk of transmission in airports than in planes. So much is beyond the control of even a careful planner.
Part of the challenge many are grappling with is knowing how to weigh other variables – such as the mental health benefits of celebrating Christmas with family, or the professional benefits that can come from interacting face-to-face with coworkers. . It is easier for governments to define “essential travel” than for individuals, said Ms Nibruzydowski, travel risk analyst.
Tatiana Torres, 37, who lives in Orange County, Calif., is among those struggling with this equation. Ms. Torres, a retail facility coordinator for a company based in Canada, is to be there for a work holiday party next week. Since she debuted in January, she has never been in the same room with her colleagues. It feels valuable to finally meet them, but she worries that she might be trapped in Canada, away from her sick cat.
“I’m just like that, is it worth such a trivial thing?” he said on Tuesday. He has yet to decide whether to cancel or not.
Travel risk experts say the fear of getting stuck is not unreasonable. If a person tests positive, they will not be able to re-enter most countries, including the United Statess, unless they test negative. During the pandemic, many airlines have canceled flights at critical times, leaving people stranded for days or even months.