Tips for traveling outside of Spain

Tips for traveling outside of Spain

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After more than two and a half years of the pandemic, and with the arrival of a calmer situation thanks to vaccination, many people resume their plans to travel outside of Spain in the summer. Now, people who are considering it should take into account some considerations. According to the WHO, todaytraveling increases the probability of getting infected and transmitting. If you are not vaccinated, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19.” Because, although the current variants arising from Ómicron present milder clinical pictures in immunocompetent and healthy people, affecting the upper respiratory tract, warns Dr. María del Mar Tomás, spokesperson for the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) « it is possible that in vulnerable patients or with comorbidities they give rise to more complex infections».

The expert points out that the main measure to prevent serious illness «is the vaccination». In addition, he adds, it is recommended to wear an FFP2 mask indoors with poor ventilation, in crowded situations and when we have contact with vulnerable people. The truth is that before starting a trip abroad it is advisable to consult the requirements demanded by the countries to which you are traveling and the protocol to follow in case you get sick with Covid there, a situation that is possible and should not be ruled out.

It is possible that in vulnerable patients or with comorbidities they give rise to more complex infections

Maria del Mar Tomas

Spokesperson of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC)

“In general, the variants that circulate in various countries in Europe and the US are the variants derived from Ómicron. In the last weeks the variants stand out BA.4 and BA.5, which are causing a significant increase in infections and even hospitalizations in some countries. This depends on the level of vaccination of the country’s population, as well as the level of longevity» adds Tomás.

If you get sick just before you travel

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) recommends not traveling if you have symptoms compatible with Covid-19 (fever, shortness of breath, cough…). It also recommends having the complete and updated vaccination schedule and finding out about the health requirements and the epidemiological situation of the country to which you are going. Before traveling, says the UNWTO, you should consult the instructions of the health authorities and, if you decide to travel, you have the responsibility to ensure your own health and that of others. If you become ill while traveling, UNWTO recommends isolating yourself and seeking medical care as soon as possible. As acknowledged by the spokesperson for the SEIMC, “due to the current level of globalization, together with the significant transmission capacity of the Omicron variants, it is difficult to rule out a country in which they are not present in the population. The important thing is to prevent through vaccination and in specific situations of possible risk, wear a mask, social distance, as well as ventilation»

The important thing is to prevent through vaccination and in specific situations of possible risk, wear a mask, social distance, as well as ventilation

Situation by country

There are numerous private and institutional web pages that provide up-to-date information on travel requirements. The WHO recommends checking with the airline that will have the most up-to-date information. The IATA divides the countries of the world into 4 classes for Spaniards who want to travel: countries that cannot be visited for tourism, such as China or Saudi Arabia, or the Philippines; those in which they ask to take a Covid-19 test before traveling like Russia; those who ask for some type of certification or document that proves that they have been vaccinated with the complete schedule, such as the US, Canada or Morocco (if they have not received the three doses of vaccines due to having suffered from Covid, this vaccination schedule will not work for them and you will have to provide certified proof of not having the virus).

There are also countries where quarantine is required even if you are vaccinated, such as Australia and Kenya. At the other extreme, there are countries that do not ask for any type of certification or any test, because there are no restrictions, such as the United Kingdom.

There are countries in which quarantine is required even if you are vaccinated, such as Australia and Kenya

There are many countries for which there is no information on the requirements for the tourist trip or the situation of the epidemic, so it is not advisable to travel to them. Within Europe, there is European Certificate of Vaccination with which you can travel to the member countries of the EU. If you are not vaccinated, a negative test is required.

Health coverage

If you are going to travel through Spain and are going to stay for a long period of time (more than a month) at your destination, it is advisable to request the transfer of health coverage to your place of residence. With private insurance, you only need to contact the service center of your choice and request an appointment. If you travel through Europe, to be attended by public health you must apply in Spain for the European health card. For coverage with private services, each entity has its own agreement. If you are going to travel outside of Europe, it is highly recommended to take out medical insurance that gives you general and specific coverage for Covid. There are very basic insurances from 40 euros to 300, depending on the coverage, which includes a specific Covid insurance.

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