Doctors give green light to holiday travel

Health experts are giving the green light for holiday travel after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented families from coming together last year.

“It can be very safe to travel,” says Dr. Debroah Fuller with UW Medicine. “Your chances of transmission, if everyone is all vaccinated, is very low.”

Dr. Fuller says that doesn’t mean precautions shouldn’t be taken. “If you can drive yourself there, that increases the safety. Even if you have to fly wearing masks and practicing handwashing, sanitation, the usual things we’ve gotten used too are going to definitely help that as well.”

With more people expected to travel this year than last, the city of Seattle is asking residents to pack their patience when it comes to getting a COVID-19 test as they’re expecting longer wait times and delayed results.

The city is also asking everyone to roll up their sleeves and to either get vaccinated for the first time or get that third shot in the arm.

It’s an ask that Dr. Anthony Fauci is also making. “Now’s the time to do it,” he says. “As we’re getting into the holiday season, you want to be fully protected in the sense of getting optimal.”

But even with the social distancing, mask wearing, and vaccinations, Dr. Fuller says the reality is that there will be a post-holiday spike.

She says it’s up to each individual person to make sure they are taking the necessary precautions to keep themselves and those around them safe.

“You want to be as safe as possible,” she says. “If you want to have a great Christmas, be as safe as possible for Thanksgiving.”