The time has finally come where COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted across the country and for the first time in over a year we are able to get together with friends and family, attend big events, and travel. While vaccination rates are continuing to increase, there is also the risk of the new Delta variant spreading through the country. As you’re getting back out there are some things you’ll want to know about entry requirements for entertainment events, staying safe, and when you may need to take a COVID-19 test.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Test Requirements
While restrictions have lifted in many parts across the country, some activities require that you show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to attend. These requirements will vary based on state and event so you’ll want to do research ahead of time. Examples of activities you’ll want to check are:
- Broadway and art shows
- Sporting events
- Airline travel
- Cruise ships
Instead of vaccination requirements, these activities may also require proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Understanding if that is a requirement, plus if there is a specific COVID-19 test required, will be beneficial to know beforehand.
Safety Precautions and the Delta Variant
While COVID-19 cases are decreasing, health officials are still concerned about the virus and the new Delta variant. First detected in India, the Delta variant is considered to be more contagious and cause a more severe illness. The good news is at this time, those with the COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be protected against this variant. For those unvaccinated, the first recommendation would be to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) provides many helpful information for finding a vaccination site in your area. Without a COVID-19 vaccine, social distancing and masks are still important in protecting against COVID-19 and all variants.
When You May Need a COVID-19 Test
While the available COVID-19 vaccines are all well-vetted and have high rates of effectiveness, none are 100% effective at preventing the virus so unfortunately there is a chance you could contract the COVID-19 after a vaccination. Right now, these cases are rare but it’s important to know that there’s a chance you could become infected and need a COVID-19 test.
If you are fully vaccinated, it’s only recommended that you get a COVID-19 test when you experience symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 virus. For international travel, even if you are fully vaccinated, you may need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test and it’s encouraged you take another COVID-19 test after you return from international travel. For those unvaccinated, testing guidelines remain that you should get tested if you’ve been around somebody who has COVID-19 or if you are experiencing any of the symptoms.
While it’s exciting to get back to activities we’ve missed and spend time with friends and family, it’s important to remember that the threat of COVID-19 still lingers and it’s important to keep up best practices to stay safe and slow the spread. Always comply with state and local guidelines and continue to follow updates from the CDC.