April vacation does not start until next week, but many Massachusetts families are getting a head start so they can make coronavirus testing part of their itineraries. School officials are also urging caution, hoping the travel does not lead to a spike in COVID cases.
For the first time in over a year, the Dunn family from Milton is headed to Florida for vacation. They postponed their February trip and feel a lot better now that they are going in April.
“I’m now fully vaccinated and my husband is half vaccinated. We’re ready to just get into the sun and enjoy normal life,” Jaclyn Dunn said.
The Dunn family is not alone. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is expecting a busy week ahead with well over a million people a day crossing through checkpoints nationwide.
At Boston Logan Airport, changes have been made to keep travelers safe. Lines are socially distanced and travelers can now scan their ID and boarding pass instead of handing it to an agent.
The Cook family from Plymouth brought a carryon full of disinfectants just in case. After April vacation was canceled last year due to the pandemic, they said there was no way they were going to miss their trip to Florida this year.
“We were locked in at home. It was cold, it was wet and it was miserable so we can’t wait to get to the sun. These kids deserve it after all they’ve been through this year,” Janine Cook said.
TSA and Logan Airport workers are preparing as families head out of town during vacation week.
School administrators say what’s also important is staying safe if you do plan to travel over the break.
“The virus still exists and we need to be extra vigilant if we are going to keep functioning as we have been functioning,” Dr. Maurice Edouard-Vincent, the superintendent of Medford Public Schools said.
In Medford, the district is sending out memos reminding everyone about the protocols. They test students at school twice a week, but want anyone going out of state to get tested before returning to the school building.
“The one thing I want to stress for families is to follow the travel advisory and understand you do not have to complete the 10-day quarantine if you get tested. But with the UK variant, we want everyone to be careful, continue mask wearing and social distancing,” Toni Wray, the supervisor of health services for Medford Public Services said.
Many families said they booked tests right after they booked flights and will do their best to get away without getting sick.
“We’re still nervous that we’ll get sick,” Dunn said, “but we’re hoping that our precautions will do the trick.”