Health experts advise COVID testing and precautions for spring break travel

However, Lea said that number is still about 40 percent below what they’re used to seeing outside of a pandemic. Usually they see 35,000 to 40,000 at this time of the year.

With that in mind though, Lea said to prepare for longer wait times at the airport as you make your way to your getaway trip this spring break. It’s recommended to arrive two hours before flight time for domestic flights and three hours for international.

Lea also encourages people to be mindful of the new ways the airport is adapting to COVID-19 health measures and the options travelers have at the airport.

“We have the acrylic barriers, hand sanitizer dispensers and continue robust cleaning. You have options for touchless parking. We have options to order your food online and then you can get it to go or at your gate,” said Lea.

A big part of travel now is also following health protocols and being informed on travel rules and COVID-19 regulations of your travel destination.

“Follow requirements for face coverings, social distancing, personal hygiene. Those are the things that we want people to know about and to take those precautions,” said Lea.

“Really try to distance yourself. Public transportation will require you to wear a mask, the airports will require you to wear masks so consider having a mask and ample masking supplies to wear and social distance,” said Sherry Johnson, a nurse practitioner and infectious disease specialist for St. Luke’s.

“Preparing for travel now is to be flexible. The rules of travel are changing almost every day,” said Gene LaDoucer, a spokesperson for AAA.

LaDoucer said planning ahead and being prepared for the unexpected is a big part of travel too. Especially when planning international trips, working with a qualified travel agent is highly recommended.

“Travel agents will have a handle on what the requirements are and whether you need shots, whether it be a quarantine period, whether there is insurance required,” said LaDoucer.

“Really consider what you’re doing. Now might not be the time really to go to crowded beaches or places where you’re potentially going to infect yourself or bring covid disease back into our community,” said Johnson.

Johnson emphasized the importance of getting tested for COVID-19 before and after vacation.

“If you’re traveling internationally, you are usually required to have a negative covid test before you board the plane so you will need to show proof of that before you enter the airplane,” said Johnson.

The CDC recommends to get tested one to three days before your flight and when you come back from your trip, get tested again three to five days after you return and isolate at home for seven days.

For those needing guidance from a travel agent, you can reach the Duluth AAA office at (218) 723-8055.  They have a link with additional travel advice here.

To learn more about CDC guidance on travel, click here.

To learn about COVID-19 health measures at MSP Airport, click here.

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