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Issue 1

September 27th, 2019

Travel bans persist as destination restrictions

TUES. | 05-04-21 | OPINION

     Over the past few months, as cases of COVID-19 decrease, COVID-19 restrictions are being changed accordingly. During the pandemic, many international countries and individual states were put under lockdown and had to enforce new, strict policies such as travel bans.

     Last year, when COVID-19 had just begun, it was almost impossible to travel anywhere. To help prevent COVID-19 from getting any worse, over 200 territories and countries enforced travel bans to prevent people entering or exiting their borders. According to CNBC, it was estimated that 45% of destinations implemented total or partial border closures. Without people traveling, the airline's especially took a hit. Last year CNBC estimated that passenger revenue from airlines had dropped around 55% from 2019 to 2020 causing the airlines to lose approximately 314 billion dollars. Although I know our economy took a very huge hit during this time, I think the precautions taken where necessary. 

     Since the vaccine has been made available, over 23% of the total U.S. population has been vaccinated. While I was not a fan of all the travel restrictions at first, I do believe that all the bans and laws put in place were crucial to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

     Centers of Disease Control (CDC) has done a great job of keeping everyone updated with all the changes on travel throughout the pandemic. The most updated information the CDC has published about domestic travel states that vaccinated people do not have to test 

travel bans .jpg

Graphic by Mckinsey Burt

before or after their trip and they do not have to self-quarantine. The mask mandate and social distancing are still enforced and the restrictions on unvaccinated people that are trying to travel currently remain the same, but I have hope that as progress continues, one day we will not have to wear a mask anymore. Although it would be ideal if the mask mandate was gone before my trip to the Bahamas, I'm willing to be patient if that means we finally have a chance at getting rid of COVID-19.

     In May of this year, I plan on going on a trip to the Bahamas with a friend. To prepare for the trip, I've made sure to take a look at the most updated guidelines for international travel. The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people get tested three to five days after they travel and they do not need to get tested after they enter the U.S. or when entering another country unless the other country requires a negative test. As of right now, unvaccinated people are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result no more than three days before travel or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past three months to board a flight to the U.S. After traveling, people not vaccinated have to get tested with a viral test three to five days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for a full seven days after travel even if they test negative. It is also required that you follow the recommendations of the local state government. So when returning back from the Bahamas I'm going to need to follow all the precautions that unvaccinated people are required to along with all of North Carolina's travel requirements.

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