Testing positive for coronavirus abroad: what you need to know

If you test positive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you self-isolate and delay travel for 10 days, regardless of symptoms or a negative test taken within the isolation period. The country where you are staying may have its own quarantine and isolation rules. Rules differ from country to country and isolation periods can be longer than the 10 days recommended by the CDC. Across Europe, many countries follow guidance from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, which recommends that fully vaccinated people self-isolate after testing. positive. If their symptoms improve and they feel better for at least 24 hours and they test negative for the virus twice in a 24-hour period, they can stop isolating. Or, if after six days they test negative once, they can stop isolating. Unvaccinated individuals are advised to self-isolate for 10 days, but may leave isolation if they meet the same requirements for negative tests.

Some other destinations, particularly in Asia, may require mandatory quarantine or isolation in a designated government facility or hotel for 14 days or more.

This will depend on the regulations of the country you are visiting, so be sure to check what they say on the local health ministry websites. In most places, tourists are not required to officially report a positive test result to the government, although if they were tested in person at a local health center, the results are often sent to the health authority. regional or national.

Most countries, including popular European destinations like Greece, Italy and France, allow visitors who test positive to choose their own accommodation during the recommended period of self-isolation. You can find this information on US embassy websites. If you have booked a hotel or Airbnb for your trip, it is worth calling ahead and seeing what their isolation policy is and if they have availability should you need to. extend your stay.

Some lodging facilities will require you to isolate yourself in a separate room, even if your family members or fellow travelers test negative. You should also ask about access to food and medical facilities, especially if you are staying in a remote area.

It’s helpful to have a plan B in case your hotel or rental can’t accommodate you, or to have a cheaper option available if you have to self-isolate for 10 days. Many countries have designated “quarantine hotels or apartments” and some resorts in popular tourist destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Mexico allow guests to quarantine at a reduced rate.

While most people are likely to test negative within 10 days of a positive coronavirus test, for some it can take weeks or even months, according to global health association Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. If you are in that position and feel well enough to travel, you may return to the United States, but you will need to obtain “recovery documentation.”

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