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Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

If you're traveling internationally this holiday season, make sure you know all the COVID-related requirements at your destination.

Why it matters: International travel poses an increased risk of infection even for fully vaccinated travelers. If you don't follow local rules on masks, testing or quarantine, you could be forced to return to the U.S.

What's happening: While domestic air travel has bounced back strongly, international trips are still 56% below pre-pandemic levels, according to data compiled by Airlines for America.

  • Mexico and the Dominican Republic are by far the most popular destinations from the U.S. In September, air traffic to those destinations even surpassed 2019 levels.

Be smart: Travel restrictions continue to evolve. Check frequently with your airline and destination for the latest requirements.

  • In any case, you will be required to get a COVID-19 test before your return to the U.S., even if you are fully vaccinated.

Go deeper: CDC guidelines on international travel

Go deeper

Oct 25, 2021 - World

U.S. releases updated vaccination, testing rules for foreign travelers

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Foreign travelers will be allowed entry to the U.S. beginning Nov. 8 if they can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination with a shot authorized by the World Health Organization and a negative test within three days of departure, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: The updated guidance, which exempts children under the age of 18 from the vaccine requirement, is intended to provide further clarity for airlines and foreign nationals who have been restricted from traveling to the U.S. since early 2020.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

NYC firefighters union urges members to defy mayor's vaccine mandate

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The president of New York City's firefighters union told reporters Wednesday that he's advised unvaccinated members to ignore Mayor Bill de Blasio's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city workers, per Reuters.

Why it matters: Under de Blasio's order that's due to take effect Friday, unvaccinated city employees would be placed on unpaid leave. But Uniformed Firefighters Association head Andrew Ansbro said he told members that "if they choose to remain unvaccinated, they must still report for duty," according to Reuters.

3 hours ago - Health

Study: Common antidepressant guards against COVID hospitalization

A COVID-19 intensive Care Unit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 27, 2021. Photo: Fabio Teixeira/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The readily available antidepressant fluvoxamine significantly reduced COVID-related hospitalizations, according to a large study published Wednesday.

Why it matters: The clinical trial suggests that a cheap, readily available drug could dramatically reduce serious illness and death when prescribed early.