Traveling during the pandemic: Your questions answered

Updated: Mar. 16, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - For more than a year, COVID-19 has brought travel to a standstill. With more states and countries lifting COVID restrictions, thousands of people are dreaming of traveling to escape a year’s worth of shutdowns.

You should expect to carry documentation proving you have been vaccinated and be prepared to go touchless. Major transportation hubs across the United States have converted ticket sales, baggage, and loading docks to all virtual platforms.

Brighter days are ahead for those itching to break out their passport and travel the world.

Susan McDougal is the owner of Suzqz Travels in Huntsville. While she says there are still limitations for U.S. citizens traveling overseas, lately domestic travel has been popular.

“That has a lot to do with restrictions flying into other countries. Right now, there are very few countries us as US citizens can travel to. But they are opening up, you can fly to certain countries as long as you test negative and quarantine once you arrive.”

Each country is different, so it is best to do your research before planning a trip. Remember before returning home to the United States, you will need to show proof of negative test results.

“Hotels and resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean are offering these free of charge at the resort so people can know when they get to the airport, they can get on the airplane to come home.”

If you do decide to travel, expect to carry with you your vaccination card to prove you’ve been vaccinated.

“Vaccines for travelers is not a new thing. South Africa and African countries you’ve always had to have a Yellow Fever vaccine. And you would get a little card showing you’ve had a Yellow Fever vaccine and its good for so many years.”

Concerned that cases may surge again, the CDC is still advising people against all non-essential travel.

“I’m among the many Americans who feels that impatience, that urge to get out and travel, to see people that we care about, to be able to travel for work more and more, and yet we know that we should do that only when it’s responsible,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “This is no time to let our guard down, this is no time to surrender to the virus.”

And keep your mask close. You will likely need to keep wearing it for the foreseeable future.

“Right now, on any type of public transportation, whether it be a bus, an airplane, whether it be an Amtrak train, you have to wear a facial covering,” said McDougal. “It is the law; you have to do it. I do see it being relaxed not anytime soon, but I do see it going away and I will be just like the rest of you burning them in the fire pit.”

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