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  • Writer's pictureEdee On-The-Go

Covid-19 and International Travel

I was encouraged to write this blog after discussions with friends and realizing they were not aware of how having Covid-19 could affect international travel plans.

On April 27, I tested positive for Covid-19 after returning from a trip out of state. The only reason I took a test was because a very dear friend was going to spend a couple days with me before heading to meet family for a funeral. The only "symptom" I had was my usual "bronchitis cough" after returning from 88 degree to 32 degree weather. Had she not been coming to visit, I would not have even thought to test. Imagine my surprise when not one - but two - home rapid tests came back positive. I then went to urgent care where the results were confirmed yet again. I was very fortunate that I was able to receive monoclonal antibodies that same day and began my 10-day quarantine. I want to reiterate that during my 10-day quarantine I did not experience any symptom other than my occasional "bronchitis cough."

Enough of the background info. Now to the real purpose of this post. My daughter and I were supposed to be cruising in Greece and Turkey May 29 - June 5. We tested on May 27 and were to leave for Greece on May 28 and return on June 6. This was a cruise that was rescheduled from May 2020 to May 2022 due to Covid-19. As required by the cruise company, we both had to take a PCR test within 72 hours of the ship's departure date (which was the 29th) and had to show proof of a negative test in order to board the ship. WELL, guess what? Hers was negative, but mine was still showing positive. Imagine my surprise! It was exactly one month to the day that I tested positive and 20 days after my 10-day quarantine was up, and I was still testing positive. Needless to say, we had to cancel due to the cruise line requirements. Thank goodness we always purchase travel insurance when traveling abroad.

What I learned while doing research was that although you complete your quarantine and are cleared to go back into the world, if you need to test for any reason (i.e. travel, sports, school) you may continue to test positive for up to 90 days. This is especially true with the PCR test because it is very sensitive. I even tested negative on my home test before having the PCR test done at a local hospital. I also read in some cases that people may test positive up to six months after having Covid-19.

So if you have recovered or are recovering from Covid-19 and have an international trip planned in the future, you will want to check the travel requirements for where you are going, your mode of travel and also the requirements to get back into the United States. Many places require proof of vaccination and booster(s) if you are eligible. I always check to get the latest updates on the destinations that I may be traveling to. I also check my destination websites.

I have a letter from the doctor stating that I may continue to test positive until July 27 (my 90 days) but I'll test every few weeks waiting on that negative result. I also recommend that those traveling internationally purchase travel insurance, especially if you are cruising or are pre-paying for a trip, and be sure that it includes reimbursement for Covid-19 in the event you have to cancel due to this medical event. I hope this blog will save someone the agony of finding out at the last minute that they have to cancel their plans because they did not know information that has been shared above.

Happy and safe travels!!!

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