Commentary: Should you still go on holiday if you have COVID-19?

The ratio of deaths to infections continues to become more favourable, and while the potential for a new, more harmful variant is an ongoing concern, the risks from COVID are becoming increasingly similar to risks faced from many other infectious diseases.

Given this, and the fact that it’s becoming harder to find a COVID test (or certainly a free one), it may be more pertinent to consider the question in relation to infectious diseases more generally.

RISKS TO YOURSELF AND OTHERS

If you’re planning to travel while knowingly ill, there would seem to be risks both to you and others. For instance, people generally don’t like the idea of being sick far from home, and buy travel insurance in the hope it will ensure they’re cared for should they become unwell (or get worse) while abroad.

But while taking out insurance shows one level of concern for health risks, these concerns are by definition quite self-centred.

Considering risks to other people, travelling with an infectious disease clearly carries the potential of passing the disease on to others. With all diseases, certain sections of the population will be more vulnerable.

So where a virus like COVID might result in only mild cold-like symptoms for you, it could be fatal for someone else.

But working out who may be vulnerable so that you can then avoid them if you’re sick is very difficult. There are also plenty of people who care for vulnerable people, and could easily pass an infection on.