Traveling in a Pandemic

Nov 28, 2021

Travel is beginning to pick up as we learn to live with COVID-19 and continue one with normal life. However, even though you can easily book a hotel, plane ticket and rental car (maybe!), traveling in a pandemic is different.

Last week I spoke on the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy offering Rapid Antigen travel testing. If you are traveling to the United States, you must get a rapid test If you missed it, go to our website at and find our health articles. You can also find the link on our Facebook page. Aside from potentially needing a travel test, there are some other items needed for your trip.

If you plan on traveling by air, you absolutely must get vaccinated. Starting December 1, if you want to board a plane in Canada you need to be fully vaccinated. Fourteen days after being fully vaccinated you can download the provincial immunization app. After you get the app, look at the top-centre of the screen. Click on the Manitoba Logo that has a little arrow to the right. Then click on the Canada Logo. You can now request your PanCanadian PVC by completing the digital forms. Even if you are planning on driving to the USA, the Department of Homeland Security is saying you need to be vaccinated to cross or non-essential purposes.

If it has been six months since your last COVID-19 vaccine you should get a booster dose. I also strongly recommend getting the flu shot, as flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms are similar. Most airports and airlines require you to not be showing any symptoms of COVID-19 to travel.

Returning to Canada will require you to download the ArriveCan App. Before your trip back home get on the app and fill out the required information. Having a trip summary receipt for the Canadian border agent might save you having to do a random COVID-19 test or further questioning.

While on your trip you need to do everything possible to prevent contracting COVID-19. Even if you are not worried about the health effects of the virus, a positive test might prevent you from returning home on time. A mask is required for flying. Although a nonmedical or cloth mask will do, a KN95 mask might be your best bet. We now know COVID-19 is airborne and a quality mask helps.

Once in the airplane, it is as good idea to wipe down areas you might be touching. Bring some antibacterial wipes with you in your carry-on. Try not to touch common things others might come into contact with. When beverage service comes your way consider delaying eating and drinking until others around you have finished. Keep the air flow above your seat on full pressure.

One of the most common places to catch COVID-19 is not actually in the plane, its public washrooms. When using public washrooms on your trip, ensure you wear a mask the whole time, wash your hands well. Avoid touching doors if you can and minimize time spent in the public washroom. While on your trip, dine and spend as much time outdoors as possible. Fresh air has never been more valuable. When you do go indoors ensure you have a mask and sanitizer ready.

Traveling to warm countries does come with the risk for other communicable diseases, which are not present in Canada. This can put your health at risk because we are often more susceptible to contracting these illnesses. Some tropical countries do not have acceptable health care. Hospitals may be difficult to access; health care professionals may not be near your beach resort and pharmacies often do not have a trained pharmacist or a pharmacist fluent in English. It is best to get your information ahead of time and take as much necessary medication with you as possible. Diseases such as Hepatitis, travelers' diarrhea and typhoid fever can all get you sick and ruin your holiday. You should talk to your pharmacist about getting vaccinated to protect against them.

You might want to also consider topping up your insurance. Your local trusted insurance provider can provide a top-up COVI0 -19 insurance, as hospital stays can get extremely expensive, and most plans have a COVID-19 treatment maximum.

Most importantly, be informed and be prepared for your trip. Make sure you have the correct information for the area you will be visiting. Travel health information can be complex and confusing; however, you pharmacist can help you have a healthy holiday.

DCP Travel Health Checklist

-Rapid Antigen Test Results (Printed or Digital) - check test requirements at

-Download the Manitoba Immunization App & Pan-Canadian PVC (same app)

-Hand Sanitizer & Sanitizer Wipes

-Face Coverings (masks) - KN95 recommended for flying

-Sunscreen (Minimum SPF 15) & Aloe Vera

-Bug Spray (for remote Areas)

-Loperamide (Generic Immodium)

-Pepto Bismol Tablets

-Pain Relievers (Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen)

-Oral Rehydration Packages (Gastrolyte or Rehydralyte)

-Antibiotic Cream or Ointment (Polysporin)

-Travel Toiletries & Hygiene Products

-Allergy Medication

-Prescription Medications & Medication List

(All products are available at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy)

Also remember to take your travel health insurance documentation. You may want to inquire about extended COVID-19 travel health coverage.


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