How to Travel in 2021


Airport During Covid: This shows a vacant airport with little travelers. Photo Courtesy: Layla Carlberg, January 29, 2021

     Traveling in 2021 has changed immensely because of the Corona-virus pandemic. Many new protocols and rules have begun to keep people as safe as possible when traveling. Each state and country has their own rules set in place that travelers have to follow depending on their destination.

     When entering the airport, you’ll notice many workers wearing masks and few travelers. Some tourist shops are shut down and few food vendors are open. New protocols for entering the plane consist of smaller groups while getting on, disinfectant wipes handed out to every traveler and many announcements discussing masks and safety protocols on the planes. 

     Although getting a negative Covid-19 test is not mandatory for traveling from state to state, everyone must wear a mask the whole flight. Because there are less travelers on the plane, the seats are more spread out and you are less likely to be seated right next to people on a crowded plane.

     27 out of 50 states require you to quarantine for at least 10 days upon arrival or be able to prove a negative covid test at your destination. This prevents the spread of covid from state to state as people are traveling back and forth. 

     Ava Steigbigel, a junior at Foran says, “There were definitely some things different than previous traveling, one obviously being wearing a mask everywhere. Masks were required in airports, planes, hotels and even outside when walking in crowded areas. Another new protocol is a form that needs to be filled out when you fly back into any New York airport, stating where you’re coming from and how long you’re staying in New York.”

     There is a process you need to follow to prepare before travel, during travel, and after you have traveled. Before you travel, it is important to get a Covid-19 test 1-3 days to ensure you are negative. During your travel time, you obviously have to wear a mask in all public places and keep safe from people in those areas. After you have traveled, you either have to quarantine for the directed days in your state or test negative for Covid-19 before you leave your home. 

Airport Before Covid-19: This shows a terminal filled with airplanes to take off before Covid-19. Photo Courtesy: Jessica Chamberlain, July 20, 2019

   Many people had to cancel or reschedule their traveling plans and vacations due to Covid-19. Traveling has become a very different situation to deal with and a lot of people are scared to travel and choose not to. This has decreased travel passengers extremely when it comes to traveling by plane or even by train. 

     Due to the lack of travelers due to Covid-19, the travel industry has plummeted significantly. 

     Ginger Brown, an employee for American Express Global Business Travel says, “The travel industry has been decimated by Covid-19. Due to all the customer driven refunds in 2020, we ended the year negative in revenue. Due to the length of the pandemic we were forced to reduce expenses causing a reduction in the workforce by more than 50%.  In 2019 we had $34.1B in sales and in 2020 we only had $1.7B.”

     As traveling protocols change from state to state, preparing ahead of time helps make the new traveling transitional experience smooth.

     Foran High school teacher Todd Williams says, “I have always traveled within the rules.  Researching online & calling destinations ahead of time is a must. My traveling took a slight hit last summer but not too much. I want to keep myself, my family, and those people I come into contact with at Foran safe.”

     By well preparing, researching, and following the guidelines, traveling can be a safe experience during the Covid-19 pandemic for all.