(KRON) – Summer travel is back after many put the brakes on trips due to the pandemic. But health experts warn that with the latest highly contagious Omicron variant swirling about, it is vital to be prepared.  

“Who can help you? How do you contact public health? How do you contact a physician? What are the things that you’re going to need?  How are you going to get tested?  What kind of medication is available for you where you’re going?  There are all sorts of things you need to do to prepare for your trip,” said Dr. John Swartzberg with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. 

Swartzberg said this form of the virus is more contagious than the previous iterations. With this in mind, he recommends travelers having a plan in place. 

“A year ago, not much you could do. But now if you are positive, you can get Paxlovid, or the next drug, Remdesivir,” he said.

He says if you have tested positive and plan to fly home, consider driving. The safest way to do so is have the windows open with a mask on to avoid infecting family members and friends. 

He also says that the data is showing, the vaccines work helping to prevent hospitalizations,  but avoiding COVID is the best medicine.

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“We are seeing lots of people get it second and third. And it May not be like the first, it could be worse, and data is now showing you’re putting yourself at increased risk for long-term complications,” Swartzberg said. “So this is not the virus you want to keep getting.”