Staying in town and just getting back to work. Some semblance of ‘normal’ or planning a much-needed getaway, do not forget to pack your face mask. The consequences of not wearing one may be costlier than you think. Who knows when product shortages are going to hit face masks again.
Businesses are ordering workers back to the office. As stimulus and unemployment benefits end more will eventually need to pack back into buses, trains, and planes to return to work. In fact, 47 out of 50 corporations had told airlines they will resume flying this year a1ccording to the Wall Street Journal. Even though business travel may not return to previous normal levels for a while, leisure travel is booming again.
Orlando’s International Airport alone reported 360,000 passengers departing between May 27th and June 1st. A 500% increase from last year. With international flights preparing to start up again, and domestic lines, increasing their number of weekly flights between states, those figures are likely to explode over the summer.
Airbnb has said it is desperate for millions of more hosts to handle the demand for this summer. While RVing has rocketed to being a popular choice for travel, shortages of units and skyrocketing RV and trailer costs are making it one of the more expensive ways to travel this year.
Most travelers are not capable of hours of driving. Towing huge trailers, or dealing with the messier side of cleaning out the facilities.
While vaccination levels in the US have remained far lower than the government was pressing for, the hope is more will open. Even without them much of the US and world have been opening for travel again. Parts of Europe have even been reportedly opening.
While those looking for the peace of mind of staying closer to home may find Mexico, Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands all options according to The Points Guy. Others are looking forward to getting back to cruises. Though if you have enough money, it seems you can charter a yacht or private flight just about anywhere you want to go on the planet. Or, if you are Jeff Bezos, even off-planet. Wherever you are dreaming of going, you deserve it. There is no telling how long this current freedom is going to last. Just be safe.
Know the rules for showing proof of the right vaccination. Getting pre and post-travel COVID tests, quarantine on both ends of your trip. Face mask rules and where to stay.
The United States is considered one of the lowest risk countries. Face masks are mandated on public transports, buses, trains, and planes. Some individual states are still incredibly strict on travel.
Traveling from or passing through many free states like Texas and Florida. You have paid for your vacation to find respirators are mandatory, and you cannot find one to buy locally.
Wearing face masks on public transportation is not just a CDC recommendation, it is a federal mandate. The FAA also has a ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ towards those refusing to wear masks on airplanes. This means you could not only face tens of thousands of dollars in fines for forgetting your mask but may also face jail time. Yanked off their flight, or hauled away by the TSA security agents. Spend the vacation they paid for in a cell or court instead? However, you feel about masks, it just is not worth it.
Individual states also have their own rules for non-vaccinated, partially vaccinated, and fully vaccinated individuals. Places require you to wear a mask even if fully vaccinated. Michigan includes one of those that continue to have strict rules, even outdoors. Travelers landing in other countries can find they are in serious legal problems and end up staying in foreign jails, even in unwittingly breaking the rules.
Even if you have been the most outspoken anti-masker and anti-vaxxer over the past year there are good reasons to keep wearing an n95 mask and to ensure you have plenty handy. Comparing masks is mandatory to make sure you buy the one that fits you.
False sense of safety, many people getting vaccinated. According to the New York Times, the US has given 97 vaccines per 100 people. Though, if you dig into the data, some areas still have low single-digit percentages of the local population vaccinated.
Fake or falsified vaccine passports are also becoming a thing. Do not assume you are safe because you think everyone else is vaccinated. At least tens of thousands of people have tested positive for the coronavirus. After taking the vaccine. New variants like the Delta plus variant are proving even more contagious and moving fast. Even in unexpected places, like Mississippi.
Even if being vaccinated may save your life, even if you are infected, you can still be a carrier and infect others who have not been vaccinated, including young children. It is not about us, but not having to live with infecting those that we love and care about, and the potential outcomes. Plus, if cases begin rising again, it is quite likely we will be locked down again, and travel will be shut off. It is unlikely to recover from a second round. So, if you do not love being locked down, and want the option to travel when you need to, it just makes sense to wear a mask. At least in these recommended travel settings.
Traveling may demand better quality and different types of masks than you may get away with elsewhere. You can bet you will get some of the wrong attention wearing a bandana or ski mask and sunglasses at the airport or train station. What the CDC recommends for all situations is at least a Bielcor NIOSH approved N95 face mask. This is even more important in travel situations. You will want to have a number of these N95 masks that are not expired on hand. They should be changed regularly, and they will constantly get dirty traveling. Be sure to be ahead on your supply needs, as who knows when current shortages on all types of other products may roll over to masks. This is especially likely in the case of a new surge in cases or the emergence of a new virus.
Face masks are still mandatory on buses, trains, and airplanes. More places are hiring and opening for travel this summer. Get out there and explore. Just make sure you know the rules, stay safe, and have plenty of face masks with you.
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