Traveling for the holidays? Here’s how you can stay safe from COVID-19 and the omicron variant

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Correction: There was a misspelling in the original video version.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – People across the state and beyond are preparing to travel ahead of the holidays as doctors warn the omicron variant spreads the virus faster than before.

“We’re in a much better place now than we were last year,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Chief COVID Officer.

As Oklahomans prepare to travel ahead of the holidays, COVID-19 is still a concern nearly two years into the pandemic.

“The World Health Organization basically said if you’re over the age of 60 or have any serious underlying conditions, you should think carefully before you travel because your risk of complications if you get COVID-19, go up substantially,” Bratzler said.

AAA says travel for the holidays is back to pre-pandemic levels, with 109 million people planning to travel – 6 million of those in airports.

“It is a year that people have definitely been looking forward to traveling as part of their holiday celebration,” said AAA’s Leslie Gamble.

Gamble says travel agents are seeing a mix of people either moving ahead with their travel plans or rethinking them.

“Really, prior to this week it had been everybody all in. There were no questions being raised until this week,” Gamble said.

If you’re still planning to take to the roads or skies this holiday season, just be sure you’re following safe practices.

The CDC recommends before you travel, be sure to plan ahead. Check the current COVID-19 situation at your destination. Make sure you understand and follow all state, local, and territorial travel restrictions, and get tested.

While traveling, wear your mask and make sure it’s properly covering your nose and mouth. Also, be sure to wash your hands often and stay 6 feet apart.

After travel, you might have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. You might feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still be infected and spread the virus to others. That’s why it’s important to get tested.

And if you haven’t gotten the shot, quarantine for 7 days and get tested.

“I think we can loosen up some things. I think you can get together with families and some things like that, particularly if you’re a family that’s really promoted vaccination and has practiced some of those safe practices,” Bratzler said.

The CDC says you do not need to get tested or self-quarantine if you recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. You should still follow all other travel recommendations.

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