The Minnesota Department of Health says more and more cases of travelers becoming infected with COVID-19 variants continue to be reported. Therefore, they are urging all people returning to Minnesota after travel, especially international travel, to self-quarantine and get tested for COVID-19 before resuming their normal activities within the community. The recommendation is to get tested three to five days after returning from travel.

They report that a recent example of COVID-19 variants coming home with Minnesotans after travel involved a series of four cases of the P.1 variant first detected in Brazil. Four Minnesotans tested positive for the P.1 variant after staying at The Grand at Moon Palace in Cancun between March 12 and March 23. The cases were in members of different families.

Mexico continues to be a place were COVID-19 is circulating widely. Because of that, the Center for Disease Control recently issued a Level 4 travel advisory which states that Americans should avoid all travel to Mexico due to the very high risk of contracting the virus in that country.

“We know Mexico tends to be a popular get-away destination for Minnesotans in late winter and spring and there may have been a considerable amount of travel to that country over the last few weeks,” said MDH Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Richard Danila. “The recent CDC travel warning shows that Mexico is a very high-risk destination right now, so people should consider this, and if you have not yet been vaccinated, it is all that more important to consider postponing non-essential travel."

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While the growing number of people getting a COVID-19 vaccine is encouraging, that doesn't mean people can let their guard down.  If you are traveling, the Minnesota Department of Health says you should mask, physically distance, avoid crowds, and wash your hands frequently.

Unvaccinated travelers should test one to three days prior to leaving. Do not travel if you are sick or exposed to someone with COVID-19.

Also, remember if you leave the country and test positive for COVID-19 while away, you will likely not be able to leave the country you've traveled to. My wife knows of someone in her life who was not allowed to leave Mexico as scheduled due to a positive test. This person was then forced to quarantine in her hotel room for a couple weeks and could not leave the country until she tested negative.

In a nutshell, if you do travel you should take precautions regardless of whether you've been vaccinated or not.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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