(AP) — What happens if I contract COVID-19 while traveling?
Depending on your destination, this could lead to an unexpected change in plans, such as having to stay isolated in a hotel.
That’s why the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you have backup plans ready if you’re traveling overseas. You may need to stay longer than expected if you test positive.
In some places, you won’t be able to board until you test negative. In others, you may also be required to stay in a quarantine facility.
Since PCR test results can remain positive for weeks after an infection, those who have had COVID-19 may need to obtain documentation from a doctor or health authorities indicating that they have recovered. Some trips only require an antigen test.
If you end up needing medical treatment, check with your embassy for suggested healthcare providers. Keep in mind that some countries still have overwhelmed healthcare systems due to the pandemic.
Allow time for recovery as some countries – including the United States – require a negative test for re-entry. Exceptions to this policy may be granted on an “extremely limited” basis, such as in the event of an emergency medical evacuation or humanitarian crisis, the CDC says.
It also helps to be financially prepared to pay unexpected bills. Although it varies from country to country, travelers are often responsible for the costs associated with isolation or necessary medical treatment.
Travel agencies suggest taking out insurance that will cover the cost of treatment, isolation, or postponed travel plans. Some countries require you to have insurance before you are allowed entry.
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