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Should Travelers Be Concerned About the New COVID Variant?

Omicron Variant and Travel Concerns

How Concerned Should Travelers Be Regarding the New COVID Variant?

Should travelers be concerned about this new Omicron variant? Let us see what the experts have to say about this

Should Travelers Change Their Plans Because of the Omicron Variant?

Dr. Jasmine Plummer, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai, advises that travelers should continue what they are already doing to protect themselves against COVID-19.

“Travelers should be vigilant by continuing with all CDC recommendations: Get vaccinated if you haven’t already, including the booster shot if you’re eligible,” she says. “Continue with masking and practice social distancing where possible.”

Right now, we don’t have a lot of information on this new variant. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta.” We also don’t know yet if Omicron causes more severe disease compared to other variants, so you may want to hold off on changing your travel plans until we have more information.

What Should Travelers Do to Protect Themselves Against the New Variant?

Continue to take the same COVID-19 measures that we know are helpful until we learn more about the omicron. Wear a properly fitted medical-grade mask, keep a social distance, and wash your hands often. The most essential thing tourists can do to protect themselves against the variant is to get vaccinated.

Although we don’t know if boosters are effective against Omicron, “We do know boosters are effective against other variants,” says Dr. Plummer. “So please follow CDC recommendations and receive your booster if eligible, which now includes everyone 18 and older.”