I have been reading articles in the last week or so, on the travel current state of affairs and frankly, it annoys me that, while under the guise of protecting the population, the US State Department makes most of the world, a travel alert of the highest caliber and realistically, they don’t give “real” reasons why and yes, there are exceptions. So why are a majority at a level 4 threat and others at level 3. They claim they have changed to reflect the CDC, but the CDC says that those who are fully vaccinated are safe to travel. So, if we travel overseas as a fully vaccinated traveler, to a country that is currently allowing Americans in, still, when returning home, must have a Covid test with a negative result.
In my opinion, there are countries that need to be avoided due to the potential for terrorism and where Covid is out of control like India or Brazil. Even in The Netherlands, when I read the threat level was raised to 4, it noted the potential for violence due to demonstrations, but also Covid. In these cases, it makes sense to raise the threat level, but to raise the level to the highest level or second highest level for most of the world, having a broad brushstroke is irresponsible. All of this is very confusing to the traveling public and therefore more challenging to the professional travel advisor to sort through all the details, albeit worthwhile to assure, that the client makes the best decision for themselves, based on accurate and more importantly detailed information, not just a blanket statement.
More and more countries are opening with certain restrictions, be it a negative Covid test, being fully vaccinated or having recovered from Covid. Even the European Union as a bloc is in the process of opening by summer with any luck and cooperation. Yet, our own government is telling us not to travel overseas to almost anywhere with their travel alerts. These actions will add more issue to an industry that has been devastated by the pandemic, through no fault of our own, with little government assistance over the past year plus. By the way, thank you to the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) of which I am a member for their commentary on these government actions and continuing to promote what the travel advisor does and the value by helping sift through this crisis and making sure that their valued clients are taken care of.
I want to promote travel and I want to travel again and believe we can do it safely. We need to move forward and not stagnate. Travel is a major part of the US economy and the longer these rules are in place, the longer it is going to take to recover. Lives and livelihoods have been catastrophically affected. I want everyone to be safe, but I also want Americans to be able to make up their own minds and not be controlled by the action of the government, so please give complete and accurate information, not just a headline.
As always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you read this. Your support of this small business is truly appreciated!!!
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