You’ve hopped off the plane after a long journey, settled into your hotel, and maybe even explored a museum or two. Then, as you’re testing before seeing a certain attraction or packing up to head home, it happens — your COVID-19 test turns up positive. What do you do if you end up with Covid while traveling?
Don’t panic. Stay calm and, before you start feeling too exhausted or ill from the virus, take some precautions to keep those around you safe.
Editor’s Note: Globally, rules and guidelines around Covid are changing frequently. Be sure to check the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO), and local guidelines for your destination for the most up-to-date information on Covid.
If you’re traveling with loved ones, you’ll need to separate from them immediately to minimize their risk of infection. That means calling in to the front desk to explain your situation, ask for an additional room for yourself, and ensuring that house cleaning, room service, and other services are declined for your room during the isolation.
Staying in a hostel? Make sure to notify other travels you’ve shared spaces with and the hotel staff immediately, and move to a solo room, ideally with a private bathroom, as soon as possible. Keep a well-fitted N95 or KN95 mask on as you gather your belongings from the shared room.
Depending on your location, a positive test may mean you are required to report to the government and isolate in a specific facility. The country may even subsidize your stay in a mandated “health hotel” while you recover. Make sure to check the rules of your destination before you even board your plane, and have that information easy to access during your trip in case you do get sick.
2. Don’t Head for Home
When you’re sick, all you really want to do is curl up in your own bed, maybe with a bowl of hot soup, and relax until you are well again. But when you’re abroad and positive with Covid, you can’t just slap on a mask and hop on a plane to go home. Not only could your symptoms worsen from the time you test positive to the time you get to the boarding gate, but you will put many, many others at risk by trying to travel back home.
You’ll need to avoid traveling for at least 5 days, even if you don’t have symptoms. Ideally, you should stay put for about 10 days, per CDC recommendations. But keep in mind that other countries may have different guidelines or mandates you need to follow. You may need to quarantine for 14 days before you can continue your adventures or head back home.
3. Check Local Guidelines
Check with World Health Organization (WHO) for general advice, and review local guidelines for your destination. Here are some Covid guidelines for various countries in Europe:
4. Cancel Plans and Ask for Refunds
Unfortunately, that positive test means you’ll be missing out on that castle tour or museum visit. But thankfully many businesses and vendors are very understanding, especially when it comes to Covid.
Call to reschedule or cancel your plans and ask for refunds when possible, and check any travel insurance policies you purchased that may cover losses due to Covid (some destinations even require travelers to purchase a Covid travel insurance policy before visiting). This will come in handy if you need to pay for an extra room and/or extra nights at your hotel for isolating.
5. Make a Plan for Food
If you get Covid while traveling, you’ll need to isolate, meaning your dinner reservations and afternoon park picnics are a no-go.
Maybe the hotel will offer no-contact delivery to bring room service meals to your door, or you can send a traveling companion to get you some groceries to get through the next several days.
If you are on your own, you may need to use a food delivery service online to bring you food through no-contact deliveries. Aside from individual restaurants that may offer delivery, there are also popular delivery apps throughout Europe. Top delivery apps in Europe include UberEats, Glovo, Deliveroo and JustEat.
6. Go to an Urgent Care if Necessary
If you’re feeling especially rough, seek medical care at an urgent care or, for severe cases, an emergency room. Before your trip, you should get copies of your medical records either on your phone or printed in case you do need medical attention (this is something smart to do, Covid or not, in case of any illnesses or accidents!).
Whether you have symptoms or not, when you get that positive test, you may also want to call your health insurance company and/or your doctor for advice on what to do in addition to checking with local regulations pertaining to Covid.
Travel Prepared for Covid
Unfortunately, Covid doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon. That doesn’t mean you have to cancel your grand European adventure, but it does mean you should take some necessary precautions to minimize your risk of getting sick and know what to do if you catch Covid while traveling.
Wear your mask, test often, make a plan in the event you have a positive test result and make a point to keep those around you as safe and healthy as possible.
Source: Euro Cheapo