The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    CDC updates travel restrictions, sending mixed messages


    The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has been releasing many updates throughout the pandemic, but the newest update says that fully vaccinated people can travel internationally or domestically through air, as long as they wear a mask. 

    That means that If you’ve had your COVID-19 vaccination, you can skip any type of COVID related tests or self quarantine when traveling, as long as the country you’re traveling to allows it also. 

    This news comes as a huge relief for some, as prior to this update you had to show proof of negative tests when traveling. 

    However, according to Politico, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said, “that Americans should still try to avoid travel…However, traveling is lower-risk for fully vaccinated individuals.” 

    Some countries such as Iceland have implemented strict travel laws in response to the pandemic. In Iceland, you’re only allowed to travel there if you’ve been fully vaccinated from the COVID-19 virus. And once you arrive in Iceland, you’re only allowed to visit and view certain select landmarks.

    When Sonoma State University (SSU) student Kristen Monteverde was asked about any plans for traveling soon, she said, “I’m going to be traveling once I get vaccinated.” She went on to say, “I’ll be sure to wear a mask and bring plenty of hand sanitizer when I do decide to travel.” 

    Public Health experts have been reporting on the decline in COVID-19 related cases in Sonoma County for around two weeks. As many people are looking for guidance from federal officials, many are still uncertain about travelling due to restrictions and family commitments. 

    SSU staff member Eliza Hemenway said, “I have no current plans to travel, but that has more to do with my work and family commitments versus Covid restrictions.”

    With restrictions and travel guidelines constantly changing depending on your county, Eliza also said, “With changing restrictions it makes it difficult to plan out, so I think shorter, closer to home trips make more sense from a practical standpoint.”

    When travelling, you have to adhere by your own county guidelines, and by the counties guidelines that you’re travelling to. COVID-19 testing is usually mandatory for individuals when travelling by airline in order to skip the two week quarantine some states require.  

    When traveling to certain states, you must show mandatory proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your departure and landing. With the testing having to take place within 72 hours, people are finding it difficult to plan everything according to the mandatory testing time. 

    Companies in the tourism industry are still taking financial hits. CNBC said, “Airlines, hotel companies and others in the tourism industry have urged government authorities to work toward lifting travel restrictions, such as a more than yearlong entry ban on most noncitizens from Europe into the U.S. and vice versa. They also called for government officials to set standards for digital health passports as more people are vaccinated.”

    As Coronavirus cases across the country are slowly decreasing, Sonoma County COVID-19 cases are also dwindling down. The latest report by the Health Department states that around 4 new cases are popping up daily per 100,000 people in Sonoma County. 

    As residents of Sonoma County are still in the red tier for COVID-19, they’re hoping to be in the orange tier sooner than later. In order for counties to be officially in the orange tier, they have to have a number of under 6 cases per 100,000 people. The cases in the county also have to be decreasing for two weeks straight in order for the tiers to move. Sonoma County has been dropping in COVID-19 related cases since late March. With most surrounding counties already in the orange tier, Sonoma County businesses are gearing up for the change. 

    The wine industry in Sonoma County came to a sudden and harsh halt when the virus was first spread throughout the country. And that wasn’t the only thing putting their business to a stop, The Los Angeles Times wrote, “…the pandemic wasn’t the only cataclysm to befall the regions winemakers during last year. Massive wildfires, heavy smoke and 100-degree-plus summer days also took a toll.”

    With CDC travel guidelines opening up, there almost certainly will be a demand and expectation that wineries will be opening up and having normal tasting options. California has announced that they will get rid of the colored tier system by June 15 and the entire state will be reopened to pre-pandemic standards. 

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