Planes, trains, and automobiles: Travel ramps up with guidelinesAug 17, 2021 11:16AM ● By Karmel Harper
The Healy family with their tour group in Iceland’s Skaftafell National Park. (Photo courtesy of Ginger Healy)
By Karmel Harper | [email protected]
From much needed rest and relaxation to exploring a new culture to embarking on an adventure, summer is high season for travel and lots of Utahns are getting away in 2021 to make up for the travel restrictions of 2020.
In a very informal Facebook poll in the Herriman Happenings Facebook page, we asked what type of travel Herriman residents have done in the past 6 months. Traveling by car more than 100 miles received the most votes at 101. Traveling by plane within the United States received the second most votes at 89. There were 23 votes for traveling by plane outside of the United States and there was 1 vote for not feeling comfortable traveling at all at this time.
For some Utahns, travel never stopped and some have taken advantage of the travel deals earlier in the year. Jessica Wilhelm of Herriman relocated from Texas to Utah in January 2021. Wilhelm said, “The last six months for us has been a vacation-like experience. One cheap nearby destination was Vegas. Hotels were so cheap due to no shows going on so we stayed at Bellagio for less than $100.” Chuck Norton of Herriman said, “We went on a month-long RVing vacation to the Pacific Northwest. We visited Portland and Seattle and then Coeur d'Alene, ID for the Hiawatha bike trail!”
While road trips were very popular, when flights first opened back up again in late 2020, plane passengers enjoyed half-filled flights and room to spread out, often with entire rows to oneself. Today, airlines are booking to full capacity and airports are just as busy as they were pre-pandemic. However, masks are still required at airports and in airplanes. Destinations such as Hawaii still require a 10-day quarantine for visitors to the islands unless they file for a quarantine exemption by either providing a negative COVID-19 test or uploading their vaccination card to the Safe Travels Hawaii website (travel.hawaii.gov). Even Hawaii residents who travel outside of Hawaii must undergo the same protocol upon their return to Hawaii.
Herriman’s Ginger Healy said, “We love to travel and we are getting our revenge on 2020 for having to cancel our trips.” Healy has recently been to Washington DC, Southern Utah, Alabama, and Iceland. In June 2021, when the Healy family traveled to Iceland, COVID-19 protocols were quite strict. Visitors to Iceland must be fully vaccinated, which the Healy family was, or consent to being tested every few days. Upon arrival in Iceland, they were required to show their proofs of vaccination and be tested as well. They were required to quarantine at their hotel until the test results came a few hours later. Before they traveled home, they were required to test again and show proof at the airport prior to flying home. Healy said, “We had the choice of testing at an Icelandic facility or doing a home test. We bought the home test and tested at our hotel. We received the results and presented them at airport.”
While the travel industry and tourism are ramping back up again, it is recommended that you do your research on travel restrictions and requirements such as COVID-19 tests, vaccination requirements, and mask protocols. While mask wearing in Utah has subsided in general, many tourist destinations still require them, especially in indoor spaces. Knowing expectations, protocols, and restrictions will make for a much more enjoyable trip. Visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html for travel recommendations by destination.