Even as the number of coronavirus cases is skyrocketing in some parts of the United States, largely driven by the Omicron variant, the holiday travel rush appears unstoppable. On Friday, Los Angeles International Airport reported its busiest day since early 2020, and on Sunday, 2.1 million people passed through airports in the United States, nearly twice as many as at this time last year.
For people who are determined to keep their travel plans, figuring out how to do so responsibly remains confusing. So what can travelers do?
Get a booster. Only one in six Americans have received a booster, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fully vaccinated people without a booster are at least twice as likely to test positive as those who received a booster.
Consider the worst-case scenario. When deciding what is responsible in terms of holiday travel, Kelly Hills, a co-founder of Rogue Bioethics, a consulting firm in Boston, advises thinking about “moral injury” and asking whether you are mentally prepared for the consequences if you infect a vulnerable person.
Test as close to the gathering as possible. Many pharmacies and online retailers have sold out of at-home tests. The White House plans to make 500 million free at-home tests available, but that won’t happen until January. For those who do manage to get a kit, use it as close to your departure date as possible, several experts said.