Travel destinations

Tropical travel destinations reopen, local experts give COVID-19 advice

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – With vaccinations increasing and tropical travel destinations reopening, it seems like now is the perfect time to take a family vacation or book a getaway.

According to the Springfield-Greene County Department of Health, there have been groundbreaking cases where vaccinated people test positive for COVID-19.

“The vaccine is not 100% effective, and very rarely are vaccines usually 100% effective,” said Aaron Schekorra, Greene County Public Health Administrator. “We are not surprised to see fully vaccinated people testing positive for COVID-19. “

According to the health department, a large majority of COVID-19 cases among those vaccinated are not as severe and are most likely due to variants present in Greene County. Health officials and the Centers for Disease Control recommend whether you are going to travel domestically or internationally that you get tested days before and days after your trip.

A Springfield travel agency called Adelman Vacations in Springfield reports cases where guests test positive before their vacation or during their stay.

“When people test positive, they are really disappointed. I think we would all be, we’ve all been home for over a year. When you have that vacation plan with your family you’re disappointed, but for the most part we’re able to book them again and it’s a seamless process, ”said Shelly Williams with Adelman Vacations.

When booking through travel agencies, it’s safer to get a refund and insurance coverage even if you test positive, according to Adelman.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OCES COVID-19 page, there has been an increase in cases in these regions changing some regulations.

“Due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the Eastern Caribbean, many countries have stepped up measures to combat the spread of the virus. Many countries require pre-COVID testing with valid negative test results before arrival, testing on arrival and retesting after a certain number of days, ”the United States Embassy said.

Some countries and states will require forms to be completed prior to travel.

A popular destination in the United States that requires these protocols is Hawaii. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, “The State of Hawaii’s Safe Travels online program is mandatory for all travelers. The form, which collects the required health and travel information, is essential to protect the health of residents and visitors. As of January 26, all airline passengers are required to provide a negative COVID-19 viral test performed within three calendar days of travel.

“If you are not fully vaccinated, we recommend that you do not travel. As for those that are, we simply advise you to follow the rules and regulations put in place by the travel facilities, accommodations and places you visit, which includes the mask which will always be required on airlines, trains, and buses, ”Schekorra said.

The type of COVID-19 test you need to take is a PNR test, which can be found at free testing sites here in Greene County. Home testing will not be acceptable for air travel according to the Greene County Department of Health.

Health officials also note that once vaccinated you are not fully immunized within one to two days after your second dose and it takes two full weeks to be effective and be considered fully immunized.

“Be careful with children under 12 where vaccination is not possible. There are still poor health outcomes and long term effects that could affect children, ”Schekorra said.

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