Traveling This Summer

Vivian Renkey, Writer

With summer arriving and school coming to a close, many families are starting to plan vacations. Last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was just beginning, a lot of Americans made the verdict to not travel. However, with more and more people getting vaccinated and travel restrictions loosening up, many have changed their minds and decided it’s time for them to return to normal summer activities.

According to Tripadvisor, “Over two-thirds of Americans (67%) are planning to travel this summer (June 1 – August 31)”. This is a 17% increase from those who traveled in the spring of 2021. But will this increase in travel result in a rise in COVID-19 cases?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor, insists that just because the summer is approaching doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start ignoring public health regulations. “You might remember a little bit more than a year ago when we were looking for the summer to rescue us from surges,” Fauci said in April of 2021, “It was, in fact, the opposite.”

Despite these warnings, travel destinations worldwide are opening up, although with certain restrictions in place to guarantee travelers safety. Popular vacation spots such as The Bahamas, Croatia, Ecuador, Estonia, Greece, Iceland and Tahiti are reopening to vaccinated travelers. Regulations such as showing proof of your vaccination and producing a negative COVID-19 PCR test are often required for travel.

“Yeah, I’m probably going to go to the beach,” says one GTJHS student who plans to get vaccinated this summer, “I’m still worried about COVID-19 for this trip, but I’m going to be extra safe about it while traveling.”

Even vaccinated individuals, though, are encouraged to follow protocols in order to travel safely. According to the CDC’s website, wearing a mask over your nose and mouth, staying six feet from others and avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often are recommended precautions for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Those who are unvaccinated are recommended to take steps to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. For instance, before traveling, they should get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before their trip, and self-quarantine after returning home.