Federal government-imposed travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are getting both looser and tighter at the same time. Gone is the ban on incoming travelers from 33 other countries—provided those visitors are fully vaccinated. At the same time, however, the new regulations make it harder for unvaccinated American citizens to reenter the country. Whereas previously they could get on a U.S.-bound plane if they could show proof of a negative test within 3 days of departure, they now have to produce documentation within 1 day of coming home. Americans who can show proof of vaccination still have the 3-day window for a negative test. The easiest (and, obviously, the safest) solution is to be fully vaccinated before you leave the country. Ask patients about upcoming travel plans and ensure they know that they’ll have to plan accordingly if they’re not vaccinated. On the flip side, the fact that more tourists and business travelers than we’ve seen for nearly 2 years could be pouring in from around the world could mean an uptick in the number of patients who need testing. Reach out to hotels and resorts in your area to let them know you’re prepared to administer tests and provide vaccination at a moment’s notice.
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