Are you one of the many people who is chomping at the bit to get out and about after a year and a half of relative confinement? The COVID-19 crisis threw a wrench into countless vacation plans, and many folks are anxious to stretch their legs.

However, the pandemic isn’t over, even though things are reopening and returning to normal in some ways. You still need to take additional precautions. Here are four health considerations to make before traveling this year.

1. Check With Your Insurance Carrier

While many nations have reopened their borders to international travel in recent months, there are no guarantees that things won’t change again if Delta or another COVID-19 variant proves troublesome. In many cases, you won’t get an automatic refund if you cancel your trip, even if you do so for circumstances beyond your control.

Therefore, it’s more vital than ever to purchase travel insurance — and ensure it covers COVID-related delays and changes.

You should also check with your life insurance carrier about certain health considerations. International treks expose you to unique risks, depending on where you travel and the overall safety of the region. You could find your coverage delayed or even denied — ask your agent to make the right choice for you.

2. Take Applicable COVID-19 Precautions

Even if you have had your vaccinations, you could still get sick — and potentially pass on the SARS-CoV-2 virus to others. You still need to follow all applicable COVID-19 precautions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise travelers not to fly or hit the road until fully vaccinated. You reach this status two weeks after your second dose or a single-shot vaccine.

Additionally, you will need to have a negative COVID test within three days of your planned return flight to the United States and provide written documentation of this at the gate. Many other countries, such as France, likewise require a negative test before you can enter the country.

You will need to wear a mask on the plane. The CDC extended this requirement through September 13, 2021, although they may do so again if variants remain a severe threat through the fall. You’ll also need to wear them at the airport, although you may remove them to dine or drink at restaurants and bars.

Unfortunately, airlines have ditched the requirement of keeping the middle seat free between passengers. If you worry about close quarters, you should postpone your trip or spend the money for an extra seat.

Finally, you should continue singing “Happy Birthday” twice through in your head while lathering up your hands every chance you get. Please carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer as one of your carry-on liquids to protect yourself when you can’t get to a sink.