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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Coronavirus

International travel is still not a good idea


International travel is still not a good idea

Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Due to the ongoing pandemic, international travel is not only unsafe right now, it is morally and financially irresponsible. 

A far cry from a year ago when most international travel was essentially banned for Americans and many others, countries are starting to open up the borders to tourists.

Many are doing so because the economies rely on tourism. This is the case for Barbados while other countries, such as Canada, may be doing it because there are many vaccinations now.

Countries from every continent are now open to U.S. travelers. Thankfully, the majority of them are taking precautions.

Most countries require travelers to have at least a negative test or a quarantine period. France is even requiring travelers to be fully vaccinated. So clearly, most countries are trying to be somewhat safe about reopening. 

However, as we’ve learned throughout this pandemic, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. 

It’s not the best idea to travel domestically right now. Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is too early to tell if it will be safe to visit relatives during the December holidays. If there is unsureness about if people can safely travel domestically, how can people think it’s safe to travel internationally?

Many people probably feel comfortable because they’re vaccinated. However, even if you’re vaccinated, you can still get COVID-19 and spread it to non-vaccinated people. 

Getting COVID-19 in a foreign country is also very inconvenient. At least if you test positive for COVID-19 in Dallas while visiting from Houston, you can drive home to quarantine. If you get on a plane for 16 hours to fly to another continent and get sick with COVID-19, you’re stuck quarantining in that country. 

International travelers could get COVID-19 and get sick. They could pass it on to a loved one they are traveling with. They could pass it on to the hotel staff. 

These travelers could end up having to pay for all the expenses that come about because of the quarantine. It could all be a big waste of time and money.

This topic of international travel during COVID-19 is especially relevant to students because there are study abroad trips happening this year for UH. While studying abroad is an amazing opportunity, students need to consider they could end up having to spend a portion of their trip quarantined or even have to stay longer.  

It’s one thing if you study abroad for a whole semester. A 10-14 day quarantine isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things then, but if you’re only going abroad for a week or two during winter break or spring break, that’s a lot of time. It would be horrible to go through the hassle of paying for the trip only to not be able to participate.

Now it’s understandable for some people to travel. Some people have to do it for their jobs or to visit family. Pleasure vacations abroad should probably be avoided. While some places are dropping in cases per day, others aren’t.

The United Kingdom has high COVID-19 rates right now and just opened up its doors to U.S. travelers. Don’t go just because you can. 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, it still is not a good decision to travel internationally right now. You risk contracting COVID-19, spreading it and also missing out on the vacation you paid so much for. It’s not worth it.

Anna Baker is an English senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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