While many travelers in the United States are planning a last summer getaway over the busy labor day weekend, the Centers For Disease And Control (CDC) is asking unvaccinated travelers to stay at home due to rising Covid-19 cases.
CDC Recommends Against Traveling Labor Day Weekend
The United States is now surpassing an average of 160,000 new Covid-19 cases a day due to the highly transmissible Delta variant. The rise is concerning officials and health experts, who are recommending that unvaccinated travelers avoid travel this labor day weekend.
“First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing on Tuesday.
“As people across the country prepare for Labor Day weekend, it’s critical that being vaccinated is part of their pre-holiday checklist,” said Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 Response coordinator.
Health experts say that vaccination is the best way to protect against the spread of Covid-19, and many have attribute the recent spike in cases to the large portion of Americans who are unvaccinated.
38.6% of eligible Americans are not yet fully vaccinated, according to data from the CDC.
Walensky said that those who are fully vaccinated can travel with precautions, but current transmission rates mean they too need to take Covid-19 risk into consideration when deciding whether or not to travel.
“Although given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take … these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling,” Walensky said.
The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated Americans still wear face masks while traveling, which is required for domestic transport after the mask mandate was extended into 2022.
The CDC’s travel recommendations apply to both domestic and international trips. This week, the U.S. updated its travel advisory for Canada and several other countries.
Domestic destinations are still dominating, with 86% of Americans traveling domestically according to TripAdvisor.
Many Americans Are Still Expected To Travel
The TSA said it screened 1.345 million airline passengers on Tuesday, which is the lowest daily number since May. However, the numbers of Americans traveling on labor day weekend last year were the highest since the pandemic began.
While this year may not be as high, many Americans are still expected to travel over the weekend.
“As summer comes to a close, travel volumes around Labor Day are expected to remain high,” says AAA spokesperson Julie Hall.
Just how high the number will remain to be seen, as many travelers are keeping their travel plans flexible due to the Delta variant.
A recent TripAdvisor survey showed that 31% of Americans have plans to travel over labor day weekend, but 22% are still undecided.
Both TripAdvisor and Orbitz have seen trend in last-minute bookings recently. TripAdvisor reports that 70% of the trips booked on the travel platform during the first week of August were for travel within 3 weeks, along with a rise in search terms like “free cancellation,” “pay at stay,” and “travel safe”
“With a resurgence of COVID-19 cases attributed to the Delta variant, it’s important to remain informed and be flexible as policies and guidelines continue to evolve,” Hall says.
“For the most part, people who were planning to travel are still taking their trips, while being mindful to take precautions to protect themselves and others.”
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories