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Commentary: Should you still go on holiday if you have COVID-19?

PORTSMOUTH, England: Your flights are booked, your bags are packed, and in your mind you’re already sunning yourself by the beach with a cocktail.

With summer in full swing in the northern hemisphere, and most COVID-19-related restrictions behind us, travel is back on the agenda for many people. But at the same time, COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom are rising.

So what if you’re unlucky enough to catch COVID-19 just before your long-awaited getaway? Given most countries have stopped requiring negative tests to enter, can you just go anyway?

“Obviously not – you don’t want to go and infect another country”, my 13-year-old responded when I asked him this question. But is the answer as obvious as my teenage son seems to think?

The first thing to note is that other countries may still have COVID-19 restrictions in place, so entry might be restricted altogether, or you may be prevented from travelling with COVID-19 due to testing, vaccination or quarantine rules. You can check the requirements in different countries using this map.

But assuming you’ve checked the rules for the country you’re visiting, and you’re legally allowed to travel even with COVID-19, what should you do? This is clearly an ethical question, and what seems like an obvious answer to one person might not be so obvious to others.

First, let’s look at the facts. The combination of vaccination and effective treatments for severe COVID-19 has changed the situation compared with 2020 or 2021.

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