BOSTON — As we move into Step 1 of Phase IV, the state’s new travel advisory still urges anyone entering Massachusetts to quarantine for 10 days if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more.
Exceptions include a negative test result within 72 hours, critical workers, and add a new one to the list, travelers who have been fully vaccinated for at least 2 weeks.
Crystal Travel & Tours says with fewer restrictions, they’re getting five times as many inquiries.
“People’s confidence levels have increased as I think people have seen more vaccinations the vaccination rates going up,” said Sean Kelly of Crystal Travel & Tours. “People are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak so we’ve definitely seen an increase in inquiries even last week.”
However, recent state data shows our daily average rising from 1.79% on March 10th to nearly 2 percent six days later. Doctors want to warn travelers, moving too fast too soon can easily set us back to phase 3.
“Let’s look at Europe. Let’s look at Italy,” said infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center Sabrina Assoumou. “Italy has almost gone back on lockdown again because the virus is spreading there again. We’re on the right track and I want people to feel encouraged that you know, we’re going to get to the new normal but it’s not the time to travel, unfortunately. Hang on. We have emerging data that the vaccine appears to be preventing us from transmitting. So this is all really great news that’s coming out of Israel, but unfortunately, you know, we’re not at the point where we can open up fully.”
Dr. Assoumou says that data is still early and only includes the Pfizer vaccine. That’s part of the reason she says even those vaccinated should not be traveling just yet. But, not everyone listens to their doctor.
“Florida is big, places like the Dominican Republic, we get a lot of inquiries coming in as well,” said Kelly. “We’ve seen a lot of interest in the sunny destinations in the US places like Florida. Mexico has been very popular. They’ve had a very proactive policy for attracting American tourists. Europe has been a little bit slower because they’re not doing as well as the public would like to see. We see at least five times what we’ve seen over the previous two weeks. It’s been kind of slow as you can imagine over the preceding months with a lot of the doom and gloom news that’s been going around.”
“Seeing that people are in a better place is encouraging and it’s good, but I want to remind everybody that we’re not there yet,” said Assoumou. “I would encourage everyone to follow the CDC recommendations. And right now the CDC is not recommending traveling. We can do things locally. We could drive to places and still get some time away and be able to spend some family time, but it’s not time.”
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