Recently, the CDC issued a new rule that all travelers coming into the U.S. by air will need to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the three days prior to their flight. For more details on this rule and what it means for your travel plans, click here. This is leaving some travelers in a panic. However, the CDC did give travelers a two-week warning prior to the rule taking effect, so travelers using a travel consultant service should have been adequately forewarned by their agent. While the rule sounds daunting, initial reports from travel professionals on the ground is that the process is really quite simple. To help assuage travelers’ fears, many resorts are offering onsite testing (for a fee) to their guests. For a list of resorts offering this service, check here. Additionally, many airlines are providing passengers with resources to find a testing site (see first link).
As always, we recommend not traveling right now if you don’t have to. Regardless of testing and sanitizing protocols, the more we travel the more likely we are to spread this virus. Likewise, it’s important to be considerate of the locals in the destinations we travel to, many of which are in economically developing countries whose populations don’t have the means to get tested or call in sick from work, much less pay for treatment. However, if you are going to travel we are advising our clients to get tested within three days of departing for your vacation (and, obviously, staying home if you test positive), practice good social distancing, masking, and handwashing while traveling; and keeping enough of a cushion in your budget to cover this additional testing expense as well as any unforeseen quarantining needs (or purchase insurance that covers this expense). Now, more than ever, a reliable consultant in your back pocket can make the difference between a stress-free travel experience and a nightmare, so please retain the services of a travel advisor you trust.
Ultimately, this is a good thing in that more testing will enable us to find those who are infected and prevent them from passing along the virus. It’s a critical step in getting the pandemic under control, especially with the new, more transmissible variants going around, and this will be key to getting back to some semblance of business (and travel) as usual.