The global health crisis has completely changed the way we travel this year. There are a ton of things to consider now that the world is adapting to new health and safety regulations.
Overall, these regulations have remained relatively constant in the last two months. Transportation and lodging companies have become accustomed to the new rules in place, like mandatory face masks and increased sanitation. Companies have also implemented new travel policies to accommodate the CDC health advisories as well as budget cuts and shortages. It’s important to keep track of all the new policies so when it’s time to travel, you know what to expect and how to prepare for it.
Mask regulations may vary state-by-state. While some states have lifted certain mandates, it’s up to each company whether they want to strictly enforce the use of masks or not. Airports, airlines, and theme parks like Disney World are enforcing the use of masks in any public place. The only time visitors are able to remove the mask is when actively eating or drinking. (That means, take a bite and replace your mask immediately.) In Disney World this is taken a step further by requiring guests to remain stationary while eating or drinking at all times.
Airlines are taking the rule very seriously and reminding passengers to pull their masks completely over their mouths and noses while onboard. While most of us are growing accustomed to wearing masks when out and about for short period of time, our big tip here is to prepare for long hours wearing a mask. Try practicing with long walks while wearing a face-covering to help you adapt. This will also help you prepare for wearing a mask inside Disney World!
COVID Tests and State Quarantines
Some states are mandating 14-day quarantines when traveling to or from certain locations. In response to the mandates, airports have added testing facilities for travelers who are visiting to or from the regulated states.
The nasal swabs and rapid tests allow visitors to bypass mandatory quarantines if the test is negative. In August, Florida lifted the 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors traveling from New York. That said, your state may still have quarantine mandates when traveling from Florida or other travel routes you may encounter. This means you have to consider taking time off for your vacation and make plans to deal with the possible two-week quarantine.
More testing units allow travelers to plan for shorter visits; something necessary for many people when planning a trip to Disney World. It’s important to check with your state requirements and whether an airline near you offers tests.
Airline Regulations and Changes
We touched on airlines and travel restrictions, but there’s still a lot to consider when traveling by air in 2020. Seating arrangements and the overall flying experience has changed drastically. For instance, most airlines have been limiting food and other amenity services in order to ensure that people keep their masks on while on the flight.
Seating is also something you should consider when choosing an airline as each one handles arrangements differently. Some airlines, like Alaska and Delta, are blocking off middle seats to keep a distance between passengers. Also, some airlines are issuing advisories to travels before they board the plane. The advisory lets passengers know whether the plane will be full and offers them the option to change their flight.
Flights are not quite as busy as they were prior to March, but things have been picking up quickly in the last few months. Booking in advance will help you get fairly cheap flights right now. Of course, if you book that cheap flight, you have to consider many other factors like the possibility of increased cases and therefore, more lockdowns and quarantine mandates. You also may experience a large number of cancelations or changed flights depending on the airline.
This brings us to the final things to consider: cancellation policies. Research airline cancellation policies and the policy expiration date before booking your flight. Many are offering flexible cancellations and eliminating change fees, but the new policies could be temporary and available for a limited amount of time. Don’t book expecting to be able to cancel if you haven’t actually verified that you can.
Travel policies are seemingly changing week by week and will continue to adapt while events unfold. Try and remain flexible when making plans and prepare for possible changes. (Fewer planes are flying, which means your scheduled flight is way more subject to change!)
The best thing you can do is to consider what makes you feel most comfortable and adjust accordingly. As always, we’ll continue to update you with major travel changes and how it affects visiting Disney destinations in the future!
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