Yesterday, the EU re-opened its borders to travelers from a number of countries. The U.S. is not among those countries, which leaves U.S. travelers prohibited from entering without quarantining for two weeks. This policy may be reversed in about two weeks, but even if it is reversed, do you really want to take a chance of traveling there and then getting stuck?
Some of the countries that are reopening, in and outside of Europe, are going to test you for COVID-19 upon arrival. What happens if you or someone on your flight tests positive? They’re not going to let you back on a plane to go home, and you’ll have to quarantine—but where and who pays for it? Most travel insurance policies won’t cover it (see more on travel insurance post-COVID-19 here).
So for now, consider traveling locally instead of internationally, even as policies change (remembering to follow local quarantine rules). The CDC even says explicitly that you should avoid international travel. On a dedicated page, it says to the question of “Should I avoid traveling internationally?”:
“Yes. CDC recommends that you avoid all nonessential international travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some healthcare systems are overwhelmed and there may be limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas. Many countries are implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice. Airlines have cancelled many international flights and in-country travel may be unpredictable. If you choose to travel internationally, your travel plans may be disrupted, and you may have to remain outside the United States for an indefinite length of time.”
For more on what you can expect from countries reopening their borders, see this CDC page. For inspiration to help you travel locally, see the stories below:
- 11 Highlights From an Idaho Road Trip
- This Navigation App Is Great for Long Road Trips
- 9 Stops to Make on a Nebraska Road Trip
- 5 New England Road Trip Ideas
- Reno to Tahoe: A Weekend Road Trip Itinerary
- Auto Insurance Guides and Resources
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I had to cancel airline tickets on United Airlines for a trip to New York City in March 2020. Had I used the ticket, I would have been caught in the coronavirus crisis in the city. United Airlines refused to refund the cost of my ticket and instead gave me credit for a new ticket in the future. I am 72 years old with a life long history of asthma. I sent an appeal to United Airlines, but was still refused a refund. What can I do now?