Is it safe to travel during the holidays when the Omicron variant is widespread?

Dr Anthony Fauci said Americans can travel as long as they are vaccinated, stay healthy and follow health regulations (Image: Getty Images)

The rapidly spreading Omicron variant and recent increase in Covid-19 cases in the US have raised concerns for many about traveling and gathering during the holiday season.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe BidenThe top medical adviser said Americans can proceed with their travel plans as long as they are vaccinated and boosted if eligible, while wearing masks and avoiding unnecessary risks, such as crowds. large east.

‘If you have a vaccination situation, your family is vaccinated, enjoy the holidays indoors with your family,’ Fauci speaking on CNN Global Town Hall on December 1st.

While encouraging those taking the proper precautions to enjoy the holiday, on Thursday, Fauci added that the Omicron variant remains cause for concern.

The Biden administration continues to campaign for vaccines and boosters as the holiday season approaches (Image: Getty Images)

The leading infectious diseases expert said he believes the Omicron variant will become the dominant Covid-19 variant within the next few weeks.

‘This is the most contagious Covid virus we have had to deal with to date. It will soon become dominant here. It’s something we know,’ Fauci told a virtual audience of the US Trade Organization.

Coronavirus cases in the US are expected to grow 55% to 1.3 million per week Christmas day, according to a grim new prediction from the CDC. There could be an additional 15,600 deaths per week on January 8.

The US has seen an increasing number of infections, although they are largely delta variants. The CDC reported an average of 118,000 new infections per day in the past week alone – a 37% increase from the previous week.

Other public health officials have also expressed concern about the growing number of infections, warning that hospitals are still battling the Delta variant and could become overwhelmed once again.

“When you look at the current rate of infection, things get worse as we go into the depths of winter,” he said. ‘And with Omicron panting behind our backs, things can get really bad, especially for the unvaccinated.’

Preliminary data suggest that Omicron may be more contagious than Delta, but less likely to cause severe illness, although much remains unknown.

In New York City, the percentage of people testing positive for Covid-19 has doubled in three days, according to Dr. Jay Varma, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s senior public health adviser, who said the city had never seen anything like this before.

Despite the increasing number of positive coronavirus cases, tour groups anticipate a flurry of holiday travel this winter.

AAA estimates more than 109 million Americans will travel during the extended Christmas and New Year’s week. Before the pandemic, a record 119 million Americans traveled over Christmas 2019.

According to AAA, airlines are expected to carry 6.4 million travelers during that peak holiday season.

At least 36 states have reported confirmed Omicron cases, CDC officials said on Wednesday.

Although omicron is more contagious than earlier variants, it remains unclear whether it causes milder or more severe illness than previous strains.

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Huynh Nguyen

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