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New CDC Travel Requirement for entry to USA from international travel

image of items needed to travel during pandemic--mask, sanitizer, passport, and negative covid test

image of items needed to travel during pandemic--mask, sanitizer, passport, and negative covid test

On Tuesday, 1/12, the US CDC announced that it was adding a mandatory COVID-19 test requirement for all inbound international travelers, regardless of where they are coming from. Starting on Jan. 26, all air passengers will have to get a viral test within three days of their flight to the U.S. and bring documentation of either the test (can be electronic) or documentation that they were infected and recovered, to their airline. Airlines, according to the CDC rules, must then confirm the negative test for all passengers before boarding, and any passenger without the documentation must be denied boarding. While this is the strictest requirement US has issued since the pandemic started, it generally puts the country in line with a lot of European countries who have seen recent case surges and implemented the same requirement.

I have been working on some travel requests for Mexico and Costa Rica for example, as they do not require any testing before traveling.  Now, with this requirement, it puts another roadblock to travel. Where will travelers go get tested? Will they get test results back in time?  What if they tested positive?  Where will they quarantine and how will the cost be paid for? Those were just some of the questions that were jamming travel forums and started a wave of panic phone calls.  But it’s not the end to it all.

Within 48hrs, many of the resorts in Mexico and Caribbean have come up with plans to help travelers get tested in the resort.  Antigen tests are usually free, and the PCR tests are offered free at some resorts or reduced rates at others.  AND… some have dedicated space for quarantines. Some resorts even offer you extended free stay if you tested positive.  Bottom line: If you are ready to travel, there is nothing that can stop you.

Traveling in this new day and age is not the same as the past anymore.  There are constantly changing travel requirements.  We may soon see mask mandates for air travel by the Biden Administration.  Each country has their own travel requirements to protect their citizens.  Some require a test to enter. Some require you to re-test a few days after arrival.  Some require you only stay in certain quarantine resorts, or use certain approved tour providers.  Yet others, many others, require you to have specific travel insurance that will cover expenses for flying home on a medical jet or expenses to stay in destination if you need hospital care or extended hotel stay.  And now, US wants you to get tested when entering.

All I can say is, Please, do yourself a favor and use a travel advisor to plan your next family vacation.  Let us help you navigate all of these overwhelming and confusing travel requirements. It doesn’t have to be with me. But if you work with me, I have partnerships with travel consortium which provides a daily updated dashboard for me to review which country requires what to enter and leave.  I have travel suppliers who not only put together travel packages or custom itinerary for you, but also be available to provide assistance 24×7 in destination should you can’t reach me.  It will not only save you time, it will also make sure that someone is watching out for you and be there to guide you if something just changes suddenly.

So, be brave.  It’s ok to keep planning your vacations.  And if you missed my last newsletter about why NOW is the time to plan 2021 and even 2022 vacations, you can find it on my blog or use this link: https://www.bravobeachvacations.com/why-you-should-start-planning-2021-and-2022-vacations-now/

2021 travel planning with airplane, book, sunglasses and palm trees

 

 

 

 

 

Or, you can also plan some domestic travel and put some happiness back to your calendar.  There are so much to see! Oh and let me remind you, Hawaii does not require another test on return to mainland.  It does require you to get a negative Covid test to travel to Hawaii, but not depart Hawaii! However, it is starting a new Mandatory Contact Tracing requirement if you are visiting Maui.  And for more information about Hawaii, don’t forget to check out our Hawaii travel guide.  We try our best to keep it updated.  You can get it free on the right side bar.

where are US travelers visiting this Fall?

a flower lei on a beach in Hawaii

Many of my clients have been reaching out lately.  I think so many of us is so tired of this virus and just need an escape somewhere!  You might have seen social media posts of friends or others traveling and exploring new places.  You have seen news articles and media sharing actually how safe it is to travel.  Maybe you’re still on the fence though because you are just not ready to travel yet.  And it is ok.  but if you are curious where everyone is comfortable traveling to, I’ll share that my top 3 requests are : Hawaii, Mexico, and private home rental within driving distance.

This past few weeks has been all about Hawaii for me! Not only am I filling more requests for traveling to Hawaii, I feel I’m also becoming an expert of Covid-testing for Hawaii! As of Oct 15th, Hawaii has been allowing visitors to bypass the 14 days quarantine with a negative covid-test pre-arrival. It has been a slight challenge with many visitors. Changes happen weekly but mostly in the right way and to keep island residents and visitors safe. I think that’s great! And, I’m here to help you with it all!

I attended a 2 day Hawaii Virtual Conference last week with all the islands, hotels, and tour suppliers.
Normally, we would meet in San Jose with some lovely immersive island music and dance experience. But a zoom will have to do this year. I still get to hear all the New Updates for all the islands so that will be helpful in planning your future getaways. I’m excited for what’s in store for you when you feel ready to travel again.

Just to quickly summarize, beginning 11/24/20, in order to not have to quarantine in a hotel room for 14days upon arrival to the islands, all travelers MUST take a Covid test within 72hrs of their flight departure, and MUST have a negative Covid-test result BEFORE they board their flight.  They cannot wait for results while they quarantine anymore.  Everyone will have to quarantine 14 days or the duration of your intended stay if you do not have a proof of  negative Covid-test before you take off.    You must also be tested by a specific list of test partners that is approved by the State of Hawaii, or again, your results will not be validated.

There are a couple more requirements that I can share with you when you’re ready to plan.

Hawaii has been welcoming visitors from US and Japan, and will be welcoming Canadian visitors mid Dec with a similar testing Safe Travels protocol.

I’ve also created a simple guide.  Click on the image and check it out.  It has a quick overview of all the islands, and different ways to see and experience the islands,  plus, a few pages dedicated to traveling to Hawaii during the pandemic.   I hope you find this resource helpful.  And that you can use it to plan your next Hawaii family vacation!

woman performing a hula dance
Let me also share this lovely video of Hawaii with you. It’s a beautiful story of the legacy of Hula dance. Or you might enjoy this article: Building a Hula Legacy. Enjoy! Keep dreaming of your next family vacation in the beautiful islands.