news cdc drops covid 19 travel advisories tips for travelling overseas
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CDC drops COVID-19 travel advisories; tips for travelling overseas

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appear to be in agreement with President Joe Biden’s remarks that the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

On Monday, the CDC dropped COVID-19 travel notices from its website. These notices were issued early in the pandemic.

“As fewer countries are testing or reporting COVID-19 cases, CDC’s ability to accurately assess the COVID-19 (travel health notice) levels for most destinations that American travelers visit is limited,” according to the CDC.

The CDC recommends travelers check out their notices and advisories before travelling – as they may post notices in the future if a situation or new variant of the virus is discovered.

The CDC is also still recommending travelers are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.

During the height of the pandemic, the U.S. barred people who had visited dozens of country. The U.S. had also required people to test negative before boarding planes.

The U.S. also required masks on public transportation until that requirement was lifted by court order.

Experts still recommend that you protect yourself when travelling overseas.

Here are some tips from InsureMyTrip to protect yourself when traveling overseas:

  • Get vaccinated: No matter where you’re going, being up to date with your Covid-19 vaccines is key to protecting yourself.
  • Know before you go: Some countries still have entry requirements and restrictions related to COVID-19. InsureMyTrip’s  Visa Requirement and Travel Restrictions tool lays out all that is required when visiting a specific country.
  • Prepare for the worst: Contracting COVID-19 while on vacation can scary and expensive. Most domestic health insurance policies will not cover medical bills incurred abroad. So, a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes travel medical can help cover the costs if you have a medical emergency while traveling and this may include issues related to COVID-19.

A travel insurance policy may also offer protection for flight delays, trip cancellation, baggage loss or emergency medical evacuation.

“Becoming unexpectedly ill or injured while vacationing abroad can be stressful.  You are in a different country and aren’t familiar with the healthcare system,” said Meghan Walch, director of product for InsureMyTrip. “Most travelers are not aware that their domestic health insurance plan will not cover medical bills incurred overseas. This is where travel insurance comes in. Depending on the benefits you choose, a policy can help provide coverage for things like emergency medical bills, emergency medical evacuation, and even quarantine.  There is even an upgraded option, Cancel for Any Reason, which would allow you to cancel a trip for something other than a covered reason – such as fear.”

While most travel experts would agree with Walch, that travel insurance may be helpful, they do recommend that you ask questions since there are many policies out there that do not cover medical bills and pandemic-related issues. Experts recommend purchasing travel insurance from a respected agent and getting coverage details in writing before purchasing a policy.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.