I'm sure many of you watched Trump's press briefing last night or read about it online. Trump released the official federal guidelines to restarting the US economy. These guidelines are to be implemented on a state level and decided by governors how & when to implement. These guidelines were not as gung-ho as I was worriedly expecting. In some ways I'm very relieved to read the guidelines and what they all entail. But I'm here to discuss just the travel related part of these guidelines, as many of you may have questions or are uncertain how they apply to travel.
So I'm going to focus on these in Phases, just like the guidelines do.
In Phase 1: Limit 'non-essential' travel, and abiding by CDC guidelines upon return from travel.
What this means is even in Phase 1 travel is allowed. They request you try to limit your travel as much as possibly to prevent the chance of spread of COVID-19. This does not mean travel is banned. So if your planning a once in a year international trip, you are not prevented from doing so. However upon return back to US, the guidelines state following CDC requirements at that time. Which could be something along the lines of self isolating at home for 14 days, or maybe having a test done or something similar. It's unknown what requirements will be in place when you return, & those guidelines could vary as well state to state.
In Phase 2 & 3: All Travel is allowed, and no CDC guidelines are required upon return.
So in Phase 2 & 3, you can plan to travel as you normally would, and as much as you would want.
When you return you would not have to submit to follow any CDC requirements.
Every state is going to be listed as in a 'Phase', governors can even go as far as declaring certain counties or jurisdictions as being in certain Phases. Example of this could be in PA, where we could see the Philly region be in Phase 1, while Pittsburgh is in Phase 2. Or the entire state could simply be declared in a Phase.
Other elements that will effect if you can travel will have to do with that state/countries policies and requirements. So for example right now the EU is not permitting Foreign Nationals to entire any country at this time. Meaning even if your state is in Phase 1,2,3 if you can't enter the country (France) let's say, then you cannot travel there.
As well it will depend on flights. How many flight options will you have, how often, and where are they flying to? You may have to be a little more lenient & flexible with your flights/dates. As Carriers are going to operate at a very reduced schedule for several months. Many flights will be cancelled and you'll be rerouted as need be to achieve your itinerary, or completely cancelled if no other options exist on that carrier.
It could even go as far as other countries reacting to our state Phases. Let's say in June, PA is in Phase 2, but NY is in Phase 1. Then perhaps for example the EU, could prohibit arrivals from Phase 1 state residents, but be ok with Phase 2. Honestly I do not see it going this far, but it is absolutely possible for foreign governments to implement something like this. Other countries may require a test, or waiver or doctors official note in order to let you enter.
Just yesterday one of the worlds best airlines Emirates was preforming COVID-19 blood tests at check in. It took 10 minutes, all travelers were required to take it, and wait results. If you tested positive you were denied boarding immediately and had to cancel and reschedule your departure.
Very interesting. If every airline could do this, wow, wouldn't that be interesting.
But let's talk about these Phases some more. Phase 1, in order for a state/city to qualify requires at least 14 days in a row of downward trajectory in both syndromic & documented cases, as well as that state must have a robust testing program in place and be able to treat all cases. Phase 2 adds an addition 14 days. Making it 28 days of consist downward trajectory (basically a month), and Phase 3 adds another 14 days. Making it a month and a half.
News came yesterday of a new approved test that could be self applied at home using a special nasal swab (No you cannot use Q-tips). It was discussed yesterday that this test could be produced very quickly, in mass quantities, inexpensively, sold at Pharmacies across the country. If you were to take this self test at home and be positive, then you can self isolate immediately for 14 days, and schedule a doctor appointment to verify the test or go to a drive up testing facility. If negative but you are still uncertain then again you can go out to a drive up testing site or try and schedule a doctor appointment.
Most countries have bans on Foreign Nationals entering right now, including the entire EU. For summer travel to Europe to resume the EU would have to remove the ban and allow entry to all countries. Then each county will have to open it's cultural sites, museums, dining and shopping so tourist can start visiting again. No one wants to go to Paris if you can't visit the Louvre or go up the Tour Eiffel.
While the industry waits to see what develops next, I'm here planning new trips for my clientele.
Keep ya updated soon! Ciao!
Avenue Two Travel
Luxury Travel Advisor