Written by: Nick Bessignano
Travel has been a rollercoaster of a topic throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. After the U.S. State Department recently lifted a five-month-old international travel advisory for Americans. European nations like Italy, Spain, and Germany continue to ban non-essential travel departing from the United States. However, they are allowing entry only to businesspersons, students, EU residents, or relatives of EU citizens. In the UK, visitors must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Breaching that order can result in a £1,000 fine.
The CDC states that traveling during the pandemic “increases your chances of getting and spreading the virus.” Health experts add that as long as people take the necessary precautions and stay in uncrowded spots they will be less at risk of contracting COVID-19.
Hotspots like Hawaii are currently requiring tourists to quarantine for 2 weeks or face a hefty $5,000 bill if violated. Beginning October 15, the island state will give travelers two options: take a pre-travel test 72 hours before departure and wait for the results or isolate in place for 14 days.
The first step is to determine if traveling is absolutely essential. Those with preexisting conditions, confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses, and elderly adults should consider postponing or canceling trips. According to the CDC, “most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes.”
Road trips and other short getaways are becoming the safe alternatives. Cedars Sinai shared transportation guidelines that instruct travelers to wear gloves when pumping gas. They also recommend staying indoors after returning and minimizing contact with other people. Thinking about dining? Keep it outdoors.
We’re going to have to be patient before we can plan our next trip. In the meantime, we can take advantage of local attractions and more weekend escapes.