Tuesday, November 17, 2020

November 2020 COVID Travel Update


COVID numbers in the USA are climbing. The CDC has changed their warning to Level 3: Avoid Non-Essential Travel.

Traveling within the United States can be tricky because each state has their own requirements. Click here for more information. Basically, if you plan to travel to the Northeast, New Mexico, Hawaii or Alaska, you should be prepared to quarantine upon arrival. The requirements are fluid and ever changing so be sure to check before you hit the road.

For lodging during travel, I'm an affiliate of Booking.com. I noticed they relaxed many of their cancellation policies for both rental houses and hotels. I highly recommend booking a rate that only requires a credit card guarantee and allows you to cancel 24 hours before arrival.

With all travel, it's critical you check your local, county, state, employer or school quarantine requirements. Testing before and after travel is a great idea even if a 14 day quarantine is not required.

For Caribbean travel, airlines are increasing their flights to Cancun, Mexico. Mexico does not require a negative COVID test for entry. The Dominican Republic no longer requires tests prior to arrival, and is randomly testing travelers upon arrival. Several other islands still require tests: Jamaica, Aruba, Antigua, Barbados, Turks and Caicos and St Lucia.

My husband and I spent two weeks in Mexico in October. We followed all the CDC guidelines: outdoor dining, social distancing, and masks when within 6 feet. This was difficult at a couple resorts. I think if you are considering traveling, your resort choice is more important than ever to ensure you can keep yourself safe. You cannot rely on other guests to follow the CDC protocols.

The CDC let the Cruise Line No Sail Order expire so that cruise lines can begin to practice sailing safely with:
  • Tests prior to arriving at the port, tests at the port prior to embarking on the cruise, and tests on the ship prior to disembarking to head home.
  • Social distancing and mandatory mask requirements
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Isolated shore excursions to limit cruise passenger contact with local island residents.

The CDC order also said ships may not sail itineraries longer than 7 nights from US ports so most of the cruise lines stopped selling these itineraries, but they aren't yet cancelled.

What do I think will happen? I think we will know a lot more once the initial test sailings get underway. I think some cruise lines may wait until after Inauguration to see if the CDC changes the framework or reinstates the No Sail Order. If you remember, the CDC originally wanted the No Sail Order to be extended until February, but the White House Coronavirus Task Force pushed that it only be extended until the end of October.

If I had to guess, I'd say we likely won't see guests back on cruise ships until at least April and that depends on getting COVID numbers back under control across the country.

Should you book a trip right now?

For cruises, I think it's a good time to book for late 2021 and 2022. Refundable deposits are available. I think this is the lowest pricing will be for a while.

For all inclusive resorts, I recommend you only book a couple months in advance for right now. I think we may see new travel restrictions after the Inauguration. For Spring or Summer 2021, I recommend we regroup in February when we have more information.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

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