Traveling: Safe or Dangerous?


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COVID-19 has changed travel in a significant way. How will this affect future travelers?

Sebastien A.

With the holiday season coming, countless people look forward to travel for the purpose of relaxation, rejuvenation and spending meaningful time in the company of loved ones. However, with a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, many don’t know if there will be any special preparations to travel this holiday season. 

The holiday season is unknown at this time and has been discussed, but no preparations have been started or put in place at this time,” said Dennis Anderson, the manager of Ontario-Airside. 

In response to COVID-19, people have been in quarantine, various airports were shut down and some countries and states have enforced travel restrictions to reduce the exposure of COVID-19 within their communities. Because of those limitations, families became separated, unaware of how they will share holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Fortunately, there are some countries with open borders.  However, they are all taking significant precautions.

“Some countries require a face mask and they take your temperature. In Mexico, as soon as you are in a resort or hotel, they make you wash your hands. The state of Alaska requires all people to take a COVID test 72 hours before entering the state and the test has to be negative. In addition you have to fill out an online questionnaire,” said AA travel agent advisor Evelyn. 

According to the CDC, “Some state, local and territorial governments have obligations, such as requiring people to wear masks and having those who recently traveled stay at home for up to 14 days.”

Even with these precautions, there are still many families who won’t risk the lives of their elders or children. “Barely anyone is traveling at this time. They just don’t want to risk themselves and their families just to travel,” Evelyn said

With people entering and exiting airports, many stipulations ensure everyone’s safety. According to the Ontario Press Room, travel rules are in place regarding hand washing and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer as well as the regular use  of disinfectant wipes to clean armrests and seat-back trays aboard commercial aircraft.

Before COVID-19, families would eat at restaurants before boarding their flight. With the virus, many doors are closed.“Limited restaurants and stores are open in the terminals and they all must follow all of the social distancing and face mask requirements,” Dennis said. 

Even if there aren’t as many people traveling, airports are dealing with things that they wouldn’t have even considered acknowledging last year. 

“Right now there have not been any real concerns voiced from passengers regarding COVID 19 except that there are not enough restaurants open or at times when another passenger does not wear a mask. The demand for restaurants is not there at this time. They are open long enough to serve some of the larger banks of flights but it is not sustainable during off peak times. Also, if a person is not wearing a mask, they are asked politely to please put a mask on for safety,” said David. 

If you are planning to travel this holiday season, please take all the necessary precautions and enjoy your safe travels.