Countries Are Re-opening, But Should You Travel?

travel in 2021

This summer, your travel plans might look a little different. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently announced that fully vaccinated people can consider traveling for leisure, both domestically and abroad, and governments around the world are slowly easing their nonessential travel restrictions

While it may be tempting to get on a plane after being homebound for over a year, is traveling internationally a good idea right now? Here are some points to consider before you take the CDC’s latest advice on traveling internationally.

Vaccine rollouts vary by country

While most American states are providing vaccines to nearly every age bracket, a majority of countries around the world are still struggling to provide COVID-19 relief. France, for example, only began allowing citizens 55 and older to receive a vaccine from mid-April onward. They have plans to provide vaccines to those over the age of 18 from mid-June onward. In countries like India, citizens are fighting COVID-19 surges with few resources.

While some vaccines are up to 95 percent effective against the virus, there are still risks involved in traveling to a place where a majority of citizens are not fully vaccinated. Consider the conditions of your destination before booking, or hold off booking your trip until the data is clearer. 

There are still restrictions for Americans in many places

Just because you’re fully vaccinated doesn’t mean it’s possible to go wherever you want. Each country and airline has a different policy when it comes to vaccinations, and some of them, like Egypt and Ethiopia, still require a PCR test and/or quarantine. Even The U.S. State Department has conflicting information regarding which countries are safe and which to avoid based on that county's COVID-19 history.

If you’re itching to travel but don’t want to deal with the hassle of changing restrictions, consider traveling domestically instead. 

Even if you go somewhere, there might not be anything to do

Many cities are easing up on their lockdown policies, but as most travelers have seen over the past year, these policies can change in an instant. Many countries have tried to reopen, only to result in a surge of COVID-19 cases, causing more subsequent lockdowns. 

“The E.U. is saying fully vaccinated people can travel,” says Eileen Cho, an American photographer living in Paris. “But who is going to work at the resorts? Who is going to serve meals? Only pensioners are able to get the vaccine now and they definitely won’t be selling you a ticket to the Eiffel Tower.”

Before you book a ticket, make sure to check out the country regulations and city regulations of your destination. It could mean the difference between having a fun summer holiday or sitting in your hotel room with little to do.

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