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Places You're Most Likely to Catch BA.2

The BA.2 subvariant is still an issue in these places.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Vacation season is almost here and many people will be traveling overseas for the first time since the start of the pandemic—but is it safe? "Not all vacations or trips carry the same risk," says Gary Kirkilas, DO, FAAP. "For example, traveling by car to a vacation rental home is much safer than flying to a busy hotel to spend the week at a crowded beach. The key is to think about the number of close contacts you'll likely have during the course of your travel plans. The more contacts, the higher the risk." Here are five places you're most likely to catch BA.2. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


South Korea

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South Korea is still battling the Omicron BA.2 subvariant, and just announced a second COVID-19 booster for people over 60 to try and curb the spread. "The government plans to expand the fourth round of vaccination to those aged 60 and older," says Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol.



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Shutterstock / Mallika Home Studio

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Taiwan, with Health Minister Chen Shih-chung estimating they could hit 10,000 a day. "The rising trend is certain, but it's hard to predict where the high point is," Shih-chung says.



Portrait of sick young man in blue jacket put on a hood, having a cold, feeling unwell, coughing, wearing medical face mask, outdoors

Shanghai is still battling its worst surge since the beginning of the pandemic. "Shanghai's epidemic prevention and control is at the most difficult and most critical stage," says Wu Qianyu, an official with the municipal health commission.

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Woman with luggage stands at almost empty check-in counters at the airport terminal due to coronavirus pandemic/Covid-19 outbreak travel restrictions.

COVID-19 cases in Germany have surged in recent weeks, leading government officials to backtrack on plans to end mandatory quarantine for people infected. "Coronavirus is not a cold. That is why there must continue to be isolation after an infection," says Health Minister Karl Lauterbach.

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XE Is On the Rise In the U.K.

Young sick student teenager woman outside at bus stop is sneezing into the elbow by an allergy or cold. Scared woman in protective mask afraid cough woman outdoor

The new XE COVID-19 variant is on the rise in the U.K., and officials are staying alert. "XE seems to be moving in the same direction as BA.2, having an increased transmissibility to BA.1 but being less severe," says Jennifer Horney, professor of epidemiology at the University of Delaware.

"It is the devil we know, so to speak. [It is] essentially a reshuffling of the same deck of cards," says Mark Cameron, associate professor in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.


Cases are Now Rising in America


BA.2 cases are rising quickly in America. Follow the public health fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—get vaccinated or boosted ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan