Summer travel: How to stay safe as COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease


Prior to this global health crisis, U.S. airlines were transporting a record 2.5 million passengers and 58,000 tons of cargo each day, but as travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders were implemented, demand for air travel declined sharply.

At its lowest point, passenger volumes were down 96% to a level not seen since the 1950s.

Now, U.S. airlines are seeing a gradual uptick in demand for air travel as we approach the traditional summer travel season, however demand remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels.

As COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen, the demand for travel is rising. So far, over 237 million vaccine doses have been administered with more than 99 million people fully inoculated across the U.S.

According to the CDC, those fully vaccinated against COVID-19, can now add traveling on their list of things to enjoy. But there are some things you need to know before booking your trip.

Dr. Ken Redcross is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician and author of “Bond: The 4 Cornerstones of a Lasting and Caring Relationship with Your Doctor.” He said it’s important to have a plan in place.

“I know that we all want to get back to normal life, but before we get to the airport, let’s make sure we’re doing three things…That mask, it’s incredibly important and that’s a basis for everything,” he tells PIX11 News.

But aside from masking up, those three things include: avoiding large crowds, washing hands and practicing social distancing.

Dr. Redcross also advised travelers to err on the side of caution and try to avoid international travel unless you must. While fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19, the spread of variants differ from country to country. 

“I think we need to wait a few months, everyone, because we’ve seen [and] learned what the variants can do — they increase the infection rate, which is a big deal, and they also increased mortality or death. Let’s figure a little bit about what’s going on and get our hands around the situation in India a little bit,” he said.

Also, do your homework and find out your destination’s requirements.

Robert Firpo-Cappiello is the editor-in-chief at Hospitality Technology Magazine. He said one of the best ways to stay safe is to take advantage of technology.

“You’re going to find that many properties now offer the opportunities for contactless transactions, booking payment, and mobile check-in. It’s artificial intelligence, but it’s so good. It’s giving you a local recommendations and tips for the property,” Firpo-Cappiello said.

Along with packing essentials for your getaway, Dr. Redcross recommends bringing vitamins like vitamin D, magnesium, and omega-3s to give your immune system a boost while you’re away.

When it comes to domestic travel, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers aren’t required to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine, unless their destination requires it.

If you develop symptoms, isolate, and get tested. 

For international travelers, while you don’t need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States, the agency does recommend getting tested 3 to 5 days after travel. 

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