Since May, the numbers of travelers have been steadily rising, but then came the delta variant. The recent news about travel in a pandemic is starting to feel like déjà vu all over again. Now, instead of focusing on the numbers of Covid-19 cases, experts are talking about the rates of hospitalizations and deaths.
There are more than 100,000 people across the US that are currently hospitalized for the coronavirus, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. That’s the highest number of hospitalizations since January 2021. New hospital admissions for kids have reached the highest levels since the US started tracking pediatric cases, and doctors are warning it could get worse as schools reopen and the delta variant continues to spread.
Early fall months like September and October are considered the shoulder season, a time when bookings become available and prices go down. Here’s what you need to know about the up-and-down ride that is trip planning in a pandemic.
FDA approves two vaccines
This week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines full approval, which health experts hope will persuade people who were hesitant to get vaccinated to book the next appointment. FDA approval will make it easier for businesses, the military, schools, and hospitals to mandate vaccination.
European travel is risky
Many Americans have waited and hoped for a fall or winter European trip, but travel restrictions and cautions remain in place across the continent. The delta variant’s rampant progress means more changes are inevitable.
Keep in mind that given the continued high rate of COVID-19 cases in the US, European countries could at any time ban inbound travelers.
What can you do? Book only when there is built-in flexibility. Think plane tickets with no change fees, generous cancellation policies at hotels and homestays, and itineraries where you can spend most of your time outdoors in case indoor spaces are restricted.
Canada travel is difficult
The excitement around Canada’s recent news about borders re-opening for fully vaccinated US travelers turned sour as people learned what’s really required to cross the border. The requirements to enter the country are so restrictive as to effectively end any chances of casual travel.
TSA numbers are falling
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the lowest number of travelers passed through security this week. The highest traffic numbers of the year were at the beginning of August. Rising concerns about the delta variant and vaccination rates are pushing people to cancel their flights.
Other interesting news
Fined for fake vax cards? One couple from Florida was recently fined $8,000 for attempting to travel with their kids to Hawaii with fake vaccination cards.
2021 is the year of the travel company IPO – quite possibly caused, in part, by the global pandemic.
Traveling with the kids this Labor day? Here is a list of 10 products that make it easier to travel with the small ones.