By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– San Bernardino County residents who have procrastinated about getting a COVID-19 vaccination have yet another reason to invest a few minutes to get a shot: the summer travel season will soon be upon us, and many destinations and airlines require passengers to be vaccinated (or at the very least show a negative test result) before being allowed to board or visit.
In California, all restrictions (with the exception of conventions with more than 5,000 attendees) are scheduled to be repealed statewide on June 15. However, the state has issued a travel advisory recommending self-quarantines for both unvaccinated out-of-state visitors AND unvaccinated Californians returning to the state.
“If you plan to travel during the next few months, it is essential for you to protect yourself and your family — and that means getting vaccinated,” said Interim Public Health Director Andrew Goldfrach. “The CDC says those who are fully vaccinated can travel within the United States at little or no risk.”
The same advice also goes to anyone staycationing at local museums, sports venues, theme parks and related destinations. The good news is that places everywhere are opening up; the bad news is that if you haven’t been vaccinated, you are at risk of serious illness from COVID-19.
Traveling by train or airplane
Beginning May 23, Amtrak will no longer limit capacity on its trains. Those searching for a train will be able to determine the percentage of seats sold on that particular trip; should they perceive the train to be too crowded after making a reservation, they can cancel or rebook their trip at no charge. And like traveling in planes, masks are required on all trains now.
Travel outside the United States can present additional challenges.
Several countries are continuing to see rising COVID-19 cases, and in response have renewed national lockdowns. Many nations, including Canada, remain closed to American tourists, and while several countries in Europe hope to re-open to vaccinated travelers this summer, the time frame is uncertain. To reference the specific OCVID-19 regulations for any country, visit the U.S. State Department Travel Website.
Although Mexico is one of the few countries that welcomes American travelers without testing or quarantine requirements, the CDC cautions against travel to Mexico because of the high risk of contracting COVID-19.
Regardless of where one travels outside of the U.S., all airline passengers flying back into the country, including U.S. citizens and fully vaccinated travelers, must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their departure from a foreign country or proof of recovery from coronavirus.
“The very best way to assure a negative test result is to get vaccinated,” said Goldfrach. “That will not only give you the peace of mind knowing you and your loved ones are safe, but also help you avoid the inconvenience of a quarantine.”