Graphic by Audrey Kercher '23
As the vaccine rolls out all over the country, Americans are beginning to feel more safe returning to daily life. One activity that has been missed during the pandemic is traveling. Although COVID-19 is still heavily impacting America, traveling is becoming a more common occurrence, and the travel guidelines for Connecticut have become less restrictive. Whilst this gives many people more freedom to travel, it also raises concerns about whether the new travel guidelines are as beneficial as the previous, more strict ones.
Despite concerns raised over the new travel guidelines, I think they will have an overall positive impact on Connecticut as they allow for more flexibility and freedom after returning from travel. These new restrictions also prove to be beneficial as they are easier to follow.
“Covid fatigue” is setting in, making people less likely to follow the COVID-19 restrictions and more likely to display risky behaviors by traveling across the country to warmer weather. I have faced some Covid fatigue myself with wanting to go on vacation, and the new guidelines make it easier to get out of town and break the monotonous endless cycle COVID-19 has created.
The new Connecticut travel guidelines as of March 19 state that unvaccinated people can get tested and follow a seven-day quarantine after receiving a negative test, or not take a test and follow a 10-day quarantine after travel.
These updated travel guidelines are not as restrictive and do not heavily interfere with everyday life. More importantly, if the guidelines are easier to follow and more realistic, people are more likely to follow them. More lenient guidelines also provide a more enjoyable travel experience.
The updated guidelines also accommodate fully vaccinated people as they don’t have to quarantine or get tested before or after traveling. Currently, Connecticut is about 37% fully vaccinated according to Connecticut Public Radio, meaning that many people can now travel with minimal restrictions. These new travel guidelines also encourage more people to get vaccinated with the motivation of the freedom that comes with traveling, while also decreasing the amount of COVID-19 cases. With most of my family being fully vaccinated, travel is a lot easier and more efficient due to the few restrictions.
Despite the new guidelines raising concerns over the spread of COVID-19, the rate of infection has not significantly changed. The positivity rate has remained around 2.29% according to Connecticut Health I-Team. The slowly decreasing infection rate shows that the new travel guidelines don’t have a huge impact on COVID-19 statistics. As someone who cares deeply about the pandemic and the impact it has on other people, I would not support these new Covid guidelines if they were hurting our community. However, with all the benefits of the new travel guidelines, there have been no hidden drawbacks such as rising cases thus far.
Overall, the new travel guidelines prove to have a positive impact on COVID-19 by remaining safe and making for a better travel experience during the pandemic. With the upcoming summer vacation and more people venturing out of town, these new Covid guidelines will give more freedom while keeping the Connecticut community safe.