International Air Travel to the US – December 2021 as the Pandemic Surge Ahead

I’m Jan. I am a Registered Nurse / Advanced Practice Registered Nurse who loves air travel. My background is in infection control, surgical nursing and nursing education. So, I know about that of which I speak.

I fly extensively from Chicago (MDW) to Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport (LAS). I love Southwest Airlines, so for over 20 years I ONLY jet about the USA via SWA.

Jan at MDW ready to jet off to LAS in December 2021

During this week of December 12, 2021, I flew to Las Vegas for the 4th time this year. I was in a pandemic cave for 18 long months, so no air travel for me in 2020. I cautiously resumed air travel in June 2021. Even though my air travel has been domestic, the following “Need to Know” items are also for international air travel.

What You Need to Know for International Travel:

Get FULLY vaccinated!

1. Get fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks before your departing flight.  Fully vaccinated includes both vaccines and the booster jab.  You may also want to get the influenza vaccine. Influenza is an awful disease!

2. Commit to correctly wearing a mask.  I recommend the KN95 mask. You can wear a fancy mask atop the KN95. The mask must always cover your nose. Plan for long time masking on your travel day. That includes arrival at your home airport, airplane, and US airport.

Hand sanitizers – Never leave home without them!

3. Handwashing helps to break the chain of infection. Since running water is not always accessible, always carry hand sanitizers with you.

Social distancing when possible.

4. Social distancing should be followed when possible. Air travel is up.  Airports and planes are at full capacity. So, make sure to follow the first 3 pointers in this blog.

5. Consider the potential consequences of indoor dining venues. With indoor dining, people will remove masks to eat.  I NEVER remove my mask even on the very few occasions when dining out.  This is doable. Remember, there will be infected COVID + diners. They will not be masked. There will be folks in the early incubation stage of a COVID infection. The infected will start feeling sick and they too will not be masked as they eat.

From “Winter Surge” to “Viral Blizzard”, infection rates are soaring.

6. The Omicron variant is extremely contagious. In the US, we are approaching a “Viral Blizzard” of COVID infections. COVID deaths are also increasing. The Winter Surge is unbelievable.  You will be fully vaccinated before entering the US. Make sure you follow all of the above public health safety practices.

Safe Travels and Enjoy Your Winter Holiday Travels