We often ask ourselves when will the COVID-19 Pandemic end, how long will it last? With new variants coming up, making their way through the Greek alphabet, the timeline keeps getting pushed. The answer is that there is no certain way of knowing how much longer the pandemic will last. So with that in mind, is there a safe way to travel during Omicron?
There’s an endless amount of information online surrounding Omicron variant. Currently it’s unclear the severity of the variant, so it’s incredibly important to be protected when travelling this holiday season. By now, it is a well-known fact that even fully vaccinated travelers can be infected with the Omicron variant. It is the variant that spreads easier than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The Canadian government is considering it a high risk for air travel right now and suggesting avoiding all non-essential travel. However, we understand that travelling is sometimes necessary which is why we have prepared this post to help.
While you can refer to our previous post about travelling safely – there are a few new notes to add with stricter restrictions. Recent studies show that N95 masks are superior to cloth masks, as they have a tighter fit. For this reason, we highly suggest you invest in an N95 mask or the KN95 which is the Chinese certification standard. It goes without saying that vaccines are also incredibly effective at preventing severe illness or hospitalization, even in the case of the Omicron variant. Everyone above the age of 5 should get vaccinated, as recommended by the CDC . If you are concerned about the side-effects or have any apprehension, the COVID-19 CDC facts and myths page is extremely useful. For example, contrary to popular belief, the COVID-19 vaccine or booster will not cause you to test positive on a viral test.
The World Health Organization recommends the following steps to reduce the spread of the virus: improve ventilation by opening windows, avoiding poor ventilated and crowded spaces, coughing or sneezing into elbows or tissues, wear well-fitting masks, keep a distance of at least 1 meter from others, and to get vaccinated.
Entry Requirements with Omicron
Entry requirements have also changed for most countries. Please ensure that you are checking the IATA website or respective government websites regarding requirements. Certain countries allow for a proof of recovery document in the case that you tested positive and need to travel. Although the expectancies of each country differ, we offer a proof of recovery document for $100 + GST, after 5 days of isolation and no symptoms. We only provide a proof of recovery document for those who have originally tested positive with us. If you have tested positive with a different testing facility, please inquire with them.
If a proof of recovery document is not accepted, or you have never tested positive, or the location you tested at does not provide the proof of recovery documentation, you will need to rebook for your required test and acquire a negative result.
With COVID-19, there is a five to seven day window after testing positive where the risk of contagion drops a lot. It is recommended that you stay home and isolate, for those days. For those who had symptoms, Day 0 is the day you had your first symptom, and for those who are asymptomatic, Day 0 is the day you test positive. If after the five to seven days, you are no longer experiencing symptoms, you are welcome to get tested and may test negative.
Self-tests for antigen testing have become more popular but are not as effective as getting tested by a nurse who has been trained for years. If you need to travel to a location that requires a negative COVID-19 Antigen test, please book with us at our Fairmont Hotel Vancouver or Victoria site. On the other hand, if you require same-day RT-PCR results, please visit our locations page to find one that is most suitable to you.
Important Omicron Notes
If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, test positive, are in quarantine or isolation, waiting for your COVID-19 test results, or have been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected of having COVID-19, the Canadian government suggests against travelling. This guideline is both for leaving and returning to Canada.
At FastTest we understand how confusing and convoluted these rules and restrictions are. Our representatives will do their best to assist you and make the entire experience as comfortable and fast as possible. If you have any further questions about the tests we offer, reach out to us via email at [email protected].