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Quick round-trippers from US won’t need COVID test and Quarantine is Recommended, says CDC site for now

#TurksandCaicosIslands, January 29, 2021 – It is a saga of epic twists and turns and the plot does thicken when it comes to the challenges of managing travel and tourism amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic.  A week ago, no one needed a negative Covid-19 test in order to enter the United States from an international destination.  A week ago, air travel from the Caribbean was not banned by Canada.  A week ago, there were not 100,000 deaths due to COVID in the United Kingdom.

A lot can change in the span of a week, we have come to learn, when it comes to this outrageously cruel virus which has now killed over two million people across the globe.

Every time travel and tourism industry professionals figure out a way to keep the sector buoyant, there comes another hurdle to hop.  The situation is certainly fluid and good advice is travellers must do the research, continuously, right up to the point of and during their trips.

We have found a morsel of reprieve. Travellers from America who will travel back to America from an international destination are exempt from having to get a brand new Covid-19 test result if, and only if, their travel is within three days.

The US Centers for Disease Control says this at its website:  “If a trip is shorter than 3 days, a viral test taken in the United States can be used to fulfill the requirements of the Order as long as the specimen was taken no more than three days before the return flight to the US departs. If the return travel is delayed longer than 3 days after the test, the passenger will need to be retested before the return flight.

Travelers considering this option should additionally consider the availability of appropriate testing capacity at their destinations, and the time frame needed to obtain results, as a contingency when making plans for travel.”

Another important clarification is linked to whether quarantine and isolation orders are mandatory or not.

Though still a bit sketchy, as rules can vary from state to state, the CDC is only recommending that people self-isolate for up to 14-days.  The coronavirus has a 14 day incubation period, and the CDC believes it is wisest to at least stay home and away from others for a minimum of seven days.

It is a recommendation only, however.  Here is the guideline on what to do, grabbed from the CDC website:

After You Travel: Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel.  Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.  If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.​​  ​If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.​  Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Always ​follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.”

A State-by-State listing of travel requirements published by CNN reveals Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Illinois and New Jersey have little to no travel requirements and do not make mandatory the quarantine. 

New York however is different, though a negative test result may be sufficient to exempt a traveler from mandatory isolation.

Though all of this information on regulations is thoroughly documented at reputable and official websites, it could all change in the blink of an eye or with the stroke of a pen; you’ve been duly warned.

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