Summer travel continues to heat up despite a surge of COVID-19 cases.
Experts said there are several things to keep in mind before taking to the roads, air, or sea in the coming days and weeks.
Remember, all air passengers must have a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery before boarding a flight bound for the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
COVID-19 cases have also been confirmed on a cruise ship out of Galveston, leading the Carnival Vista to require masks and negative tests for passengers before boarding days before the company planned to enforce further mitigation efforts.
Catherine Banks of Legacy Travel in Plano said they’re staying busy with end-of-summer travel, especially to locations without any pandemic-related restrictions.
“The Caribbean and Mexico have been mostly very easy so, a whole lot of Caribbean and Mexico,” said Banks.
Banks urged customers to secure travelers’ insurance and to follow ever-changing testing requirements and travel restrictions for their destinations.
“Jamaica at one point said you can be this far out for your COVID test and all of the sudden, they changed it to three days. So, it changes all the time with no notice so, you have to really stay on top of it,” she said.
It’s just as important to research the kind of tests needed for travel.
Ask yourself this, she said: Have you chosen to get the vaccine? Are you willing to do whatever testing is involved? What are the activities you’re going to be doing at your vacation destination?
When you’re choosing your flights, are you on the last flight of the day? If you’re on a connection, are you on the last connection of the day?
The CDC recommends against international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
A map on the CDC website shows travel recommendations by destinations and now urges against travel to additional countries including Greece, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Ireland over a ‘very high’ COVID-19 risk level.
Carnival’s Vista, which departed Galveston last weekend, alerted passengers of ‘a number’ of COVID-19 cases onboard. Those who have tested positive are in isolation, according to a statement provided to NBC 5.
How can you stay safe and healthy while traveling?
Registered Dietician Amy Goodson encourages frequent handwashing, disinfecting surfaces, and eating nutrient-rich foods to strengthen your immune system against illness.
“If you’re worried about: am I going to get exposed to something at a restaurant or from the convenience store? While I think all of those people are taking great precautions, things you can do: Pack your own snacks for your kids,” said Goodson. “A lot of times I’ll even bring my own plastic spoons if I think that is not going to be accessible to me. Being as self-contained as possible can be helpful.”