New COVID Travel Restrictions

If you are like us, perhaps you have a trip planned this spring.  We thought things would be headed in the right direction with the pandemic, did our homework and booked some travel to what we thought would be fairly safe destinations.  Well, like everything else lately, travel restrictions during COVID seem to be fluid and every changing.  Let’s look at some updates as of time of this post.

  • Anyone entering the United States via air travel, must have proof of a negative COVID test.  That’s right, if you are 2 years old or older, you must have proof of a negative COVID test that is no more than 3 days prior to your flight date or, you cannot board the plane.  If you have been COVID positive, you need to have proof of that and a letter from a healthcare provider stating you are cleared for travel.  As of this post, this requirement is only for international flights headed into the US but, there is talk of a domestic flight testing requirement as well.  With the airline and tourism industries already screwed, you can imagine that both are not too happy about this new requirement.
  • Quarantine and testing after you arrive in the US.  The CDC is also stating that anyone arriving in the US from out of country to receive an additional COVID test 3-5 days after landing and quarantine for an additional 7 days.  As of publishing, this is a requirement but not enforced.
  • UK restrictions of 30 COVID hotspots.  The UK announced negative COVID test requirements upon entry a few weeks back but, a few days ago, they also announced a mandatory 10 day hotel quarantine coming from 30 COVID hotspots.  British citizens will be whisked away to a Government picked hotel where at the traveler’s expense, they will stay for 10 days under supervision.  Non-citizens will simply be denied entry upon the new rules.  A 10 day stay in a London hotel could well exceed $2000 per traveler.  This type of quarantine is already in place in several Asian countries such as Thailand and South Korea but it has been under heavy scrutiny since it was announced.  
  • Mask mandate on all public transport within the US.  While this has been widely exercised for months, the CDC has made it mandatory so now it is stronger than a company’s policy.  
  • Several countries have been added to the “Very High” risk category for travel.  While we wrote about some safe destinations mere weeks ago, things have changed.  The CDC now lists several previously considered “safe” destinations” as very high risk where the CDC is strongly advising against travel.

Unfortunately, pandemic travel continues to change.  Our best advice during this time is to be sure your plans are flexible and any reservations you make, cancellable.  At this juncture, a complete recovery to pre-COVID travel is not expected in the short term and we are all going to have to learn to roll with the punches.

To see the CDC’s latest COVID travel recommendations, click here.

A man waiting on his plane

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