The Covid-19 situation across the US has improved considerably over the past month, with the country’s 7-day daily case average falling below 100,000 for the first time since early November. As a result, states around the country have started to loosen their restrictions, with life slowly beginning to go back to normal in some places.
However, experts have warned of the serious nature of the virus variants in circulation around the world, and are worried about the threats they pose should the country loosen restrictions too soon. Here’s more on which states are peeling back restrictions.
Indoor Dining Rules Changing – Information for Travelers
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, many states are starting to loosen the restrictions on indoor dining rules to allow more patrons through the doors. Such restrictions were introduced to try and curb gatherings, thus lessening the chance of the virus spreading from person to person in such establishments. However, with cases falling, many states have decided the time is right to open up.
New York has placed indoor dining back on the menu. Originally prohibited since mid-December, restaurants in the state can now welcome diners back, albeit with certain limitations. Restaurants may only operate at 25% capacity, and can stay open until 11PM. Originally meant to resume on the 14th, Governor Cuomo lifted the ban two days early due to the decline in case numbers in the state.
Minnesota’s Governor also revealed a raft of changes in the state, effective from Monday. Bars and restaurants maintain their 50% indoor maximum capacity, but are now allowed to host up to 250 people, and can open until 11PM.
Quarantine Changes Travelers Should Know About
Some states have changed their mandatory quarantine requirements. New Mexico has dropped its mandatory quarantine requirements for those entering from “high-risk” states, whilst Chicago has added Alaska, North Dakota and Puerto Rico to its list of states that don’t require quarantine for those coming from these locations. Massachusetts has also given the green-light for travelers from North Dakota and Puerto Rico to enter without needing to quarantine.
As cases continue to fall across the country, travelers would be forgiven for beginning to cautiously plan domestic trips, with more and more states are expected to drop their quarantine requirements should the situation continue to improve.
Virus Variants – Not In The Clear Yet
Covid-19 might be falling in the US, but that could all change due to the prevalence of mutated virus strains. The virus variant originally detected in the UK has been found to be doubling every 10 days, spreading rapidly throughout the country as it has done in other countries, such as Ireland, Portugal and Jordan. With a transmission rate that is 30-40% higher than standard Covid-19, the virus is on track to become predominant by March. Whilst it may be heartwarming to see things going back to normal, the danger of the pandemic is not over yet, and it remains to be seen if states loosening their Covid-related restrictions are making the right call.
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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