Is It Safe to Travel With Kids During The Pandemic?
The war against COVID-19 has changed considerably because of the new Delta variant. The Delta variant is up to three times more transmissible than the previous coronavirus strains that even vaccinated individuals are not safe from it. All of this while there is no exact sign of COVID-19 vaccines available to children below 12 years old and many families are preparing to return their children to in-person school for the first time in more than a year.
Summer is vacation time and, understandably, you want to take them out on a trip before school starts again. Since children can't get vaccines at the moment, it makes them more vulnerable to it.
On January 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) issued an order for all international travelers and those who are traveling abroad to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the U.S. Wearing masks on airports and airplanes is mandatory. Recently CDC relaxed their travel recommendations and gave a go signal to vaccinated individuals and unvaccinated citizens to avoid unnecessary travel.
Given these recommendations, we might wonder if it is safe to fly?
Can You Travel with an Unvaccinated Child?
It all comes down to your risk tolerance. Our risk tolerance varies and it depends on us whether we can consider it safe to travel with our kids.
How safe to travel with unvaccinated children depends on several factors, including their underlying health conditions. If their condition weakens their immune system, they'll have a higher chance of contracting the disease.
There are also other factors to consider such as the location you are planning to travel to. If the location is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 then we highly recommend not to go - with or without kids.
Travel Recommendations for Kids
Experts recommend traveling by car whenever possible as commuting via bus or plane could pose a higher risk of contracting a disease. But driving isn't always the best option. If you are going to drive through areas with a high risk of spreading the virus, it may be better to travel by plane since hotel stays, and stopovers add measurable risks.
If you choose to fly, we suggest a direct flight to reduce crowd exposure in domestic travel. International travel is much more complicated especially when you are bringing unvaccinated children with you. But in general, international travel with children is not recommended.
If traveling internationally with children is inevitable, know that each country has its precautionary measures. This means quarantine, frequent testing, and a higher risk of subjecting yourself to more contagious variants.
COVID-19 has affected everyone in the past year and it has put a lot of mental and emotional stress on all of us. The urge to travel might be tempting, but the pandemic is not yet over; therefore, you need to consider the risks. At the end of the day, you have to make a personal decision about the risk you are talking about. You have to do what is best for you and your family, but experts do recommend staying at home right now even if you have been vaccinated.