The last COVID travel restriction has finally dropped
Is travel back to normal?
In this Unearth Women newsletter: the travel news you need to know today. With your paid subscriptions we support non-profits, including the Lilith Fund, World Central Kitchen, Refugio Animal Holbox, Womankind, Girls Write Now, Women for Women, Heart of Dinner, and Black Mamas Matter. If you’ve found your way here but are not yet subscribed, let me help you with that:
On Monday, I am jetting off to Curaçao for a work press trip, in which travel journalists and editors are invited to experience a destination at the expense of the local tourism board. Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela. Known for its pristine beaches and pastel-colored colonial architecture, I am headed to this island to experience a glimpse of its culture and cuisine.
The other day, I found myself looking at Sherpa to gauge the latest entry/exit restrictions for Curaçao. As has been the case throughout the COVID pandemic, navigating ever-evolving COVID requirements has been tricky. But, in recent months, these restrictions have started to fall away. One by one, countries have removed the entry requirement for a negative COVID test, even doing away with the need to show proof of vaccination. Mandates soon followed suit, as masks became obsolete in restaurants, movie theaters, concert halls, and even on airplanes.
With the removal of each requirement, the reality that this pandemic is moving behind us is setting in. Could it be that travel is really going back to normal? The last bastion of the pandemic that remained, was the need for international travelers to show proof of a negative COVID test upon entering the states. With mask mandates dropped, proof of vaccination no longer required, and outgoing COVID tests not needed — the travel industry implored the CDC to get rid of this last restriction, arguing the science and data deemed it unnecessary.
Yesterday, I began to wonder whether or not I would need to take a COVID test on my way back from Curaçao. How would I find a local clinic? How much would it cost? Why couldn’t I just show proof of vaccination instead? If I did test positive, God forbid, would I be quarantined on the island for two weeks or just until I tested negative again? As the questions rolled in, I remembered why I haven’t been traveling as often as I did in pre-pandemic days: it’s just gotten too complicated.
Today, news broke that the CDC will lift its requirement for travelers to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the US. This, perhaps, finally marks the end of COVID travel restrictions and (hopefully) the return of trip planning without the need to navigate pandemic requirements.
Summer reads, summer reads, and more summer reads
Read this article from CNN about the return of travel…and its influencers. Then read this article from Unearth Women about where travel influencers should go from here. Pick up a copy of this book, which I’m currently reading, or find your next beach read here. Watch the trailer for Where the Crawdads Sing, which I’ve now seen maybe 100x? If you haven’t read the book, literally stop everything and go buy it now. Finally, go get a copy of Wanderess (shameless plug), since travel is officially BACK, baby, and you’ll want to start feeling that wanderlust.