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Is It Safe to Fly Right Now? Here’s What Experts Have to Say

We spoke with medical, aviation, and travel experts to answer the question of whether or not it’s safe to fly during the pandemic. The answer is complicated, full of caveats, and, ultimately, a personal decision.

Katherine Alex Beaven is a Los Angeles-based travel, food and drink, and culture writer. She has written for Lonely Planet, Atlas Obscura, TripSavvy, and others. Alex enjoys taking her cat on adventures, cooking celiac-friendly feasts, and pricing out flights just because.

Last summer, after months of stay-at-home orders and closed borders, cities around the world began the process of reopening, travel restrictions started to soften, and leisure travelers were itching to hit the road again. We saw travelers dip their toes back in with road trips, daylong excursions, and camping getaways, while others headed back into the sky.

As we look toward summer travel this year, you might be wondering: Is it safe to fly right now? According to the medical, mathematical, aviation, and travel experts we spoke with, the answer is complicated and comes with numerous caveats. While it may be safe to fly, that doesn’t mean it’s without risk. Ultimately, flying during the pandemic requires weighing the many variables and deciding how comfortable you feel getting back on a plane. Here’s what the experts have to say.

flight attendant face masks to passengers on an airplane

How clean is the plane?

While specific cleaning procedures and the frequency with which they’re carried out vary by airline, most major carriers are disinfecting planes between flights, giving extra attention to high-touch surfaces and bathrooms. Additionally, airlines like United, JetBlue, Hawaiian, Delta, and Southwest have implemented electrostatic antimicrobial sprays to thoroughly disinfect every nook and cranny of the cabin, either overnight or between certain flights.

However, some fliers we spoke with have noted a slump in enhanced cleaning practices on board over time, particularly in the cabin, citing leftover wrappers, crumbs, or smudges in their seating area, though this depends on the specific airline and flight. Luckily, any lack of visible cleaning is something passengers can rectify on their end by wiping down their personal area as soon as they board. Most airlines offer disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer, though all of the experts we spoke with suggested bringing your own just to be safe.

Many airplanes also use HEPA filters, which completely refresh the cabin air throughout the flight and work to filter out over 99% of airborne viruses, bacteria, and other contagions. However, as reported in an August 2020 National Geographic article, that’s only effective for air that has made it through the filtration system. If you’re sitting next to someone who is shedding the virus and not wearing a mask, you run the risk of inhaling virus particles before they can be filtered through the HEPA system. Plus, some airplane filtration systems do not start running at full capacity until the aircraft is airborne, meaning the air is not being recycled and filtered at the same rate when the plane is taxiing or grounded. That’s why wearing masks as much as possible for the duration of a flight is imperative.

Is it safer to fly domestically or internationally?

Travelers should consider the same factors — safety protocols, seat spacing, aircraft cleanliness, and flight time — for both types of flights. The main differentiating points to look at when deciding whether to fly domestic or international don’t actually have to do with the flights themselves but focus rather on external variables, such as where you’re going, infection levels at your destination, what precautions are in place, if you’ll have access to adequate health care, and any travel restrictions or quarantine rules.

Dr. Winfried Just, a researcher in mathematical epidemiology and professor at Ohio University, and Dr. Georgine Nanos, a board-certified physician specializing in epidemiology, both agreed that a long-haul flight could be riskier, but only because it leaves the door open that much longer for potential exposures. Longer flights mean more people using the bathrooms, more instances of masks being removed (even if just temporarily for eating and drinking), more exposure to anyone nearby who might be shedding the virus, and so on. Since both domestic and international flights can last anywhere between one hour and double-digits, it’s safer to choose destinations with shorter overall flight times.

Flying internationally carries a few pros that many domestic flights do not, namely due to the entry requirements of several overseas destinations. Many times, proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken preflight or an on-site PCR test at the airport is required to board the plane. While pretesting functions as a way to keep any COVID-positive passengers from boarding flights, it’s not a foolproof method.

When it comes to flying during the pandemic, safety is measured on a sliding scale. Dr. Just cautions that “safe is never 100% safe,” since it’s impossible to completely eliminate risk.

American Airlines plane

Consider safety protocols and enforcement.

There is evidence that wearing a face mask is key to preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, making this one of the easiest ways to help mitigate risk while traveling. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) came out with a statement saying that masks not only protect the wearer, but also people around them.

Following a federal ruling in April 2022, the mask mandate for planes, trains, and airports was voided. U.S. airlines and airports no longer enforce mask-wearing, but the ruling may not apply if you are flying internationally. Although many countries have also lifted their mask rules for travel, you should confirm which rules are in place with your airline before your trip.

Is it safer in business or first class?

For travelers wondering whether it’s worth splurging for a seat in business or first class for added safety, it depends. While the experts agreed that there is likely to be more overall space, especially between passengers in first class, it’s probably not going to make much of a difference, unless you’re in a particularly secluded seat or suite. It’s also worth noting that food and drink service has made its return with meal selections that go beyond snack boxes and drink options that include beer and wine.

Expect changes in flight schedules.

While flights are operating at much higher percentages than a year ago, some airlines are still operating fewer routes. Fewer available flights mean a smaller breadth of options when it comes to choosing what time or day to fly. Ideally, you should aim for nonpeak flight times, but it may just come down to what’s available. As demand rises and airlines test their legs and schedules, domestic flights are more likely to ebb and flow, so expect disruptions, sudden changes, and/or flight consolidations. Depending on demand, the airline may change, cancel, or rebook you.

Is it safe to fly with family or friends?

If you’re traveling with anyone else — be it, family, friends, or a significant other — consider yourselves as one unit. “Family should sit together,” said Dr. Just. “Significant others and close friends, they should sit together — and away from others.” Splitting up or dispersing around the plane only increases the amount of exposure of the unit.

Are there alternative options to commercial flights?

For those who can afford it, private charters offer a safer space, control over the details, and overall less risk than commercial flights. Andy Christie, global private jets director at Air Charter Service, a global charter brokerage service that helps connect travelers with private charter flights, said taking a private charter flight can almost “completely minimize the risk of transmission,” simply by reducing the number of contact points and exposures. Private charters eliminate the need to wait in lines, share a plane with strangers, or even step foot inside a terminal.

The hop-on, short-haul jet service JSX offers a compromise: a private jet experience at near-commercial prices (fares include checked bags, seat assignments, snacks, and drinks, including alcohol). Their flights operate out of private hangars and terminals, and planes have been reconfigured from 50 seats down to 30, giving passengers around 36 inches of seat pitch — or a similar experience to business class seats on a major domestic airline. CEO Alex Wilcox said JSX has also implemented new pandemic-focused safety features and procedures, like enhanced cleaning.

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LaGuardia Airport

What about airports?

When we talk about flying, we also have to assume the risks of being in the airport. Overall, airports are doing their part to create safe, clean spaces for travelers. Henry Harteveldt, a travel analyst and principal at Atmosphere Research, said some precautions include touchless kiosks, frequent cleaning, hand sanitizer stations, self-removal of personal items during security checks, and plexiglass shields in front of traveler-facing employees, from gate agents to shop cashiers.

“Airports are required to follow local laws or guidelines,” explained Harteveldt. “So, if there’s a state or local guideline that says that face coverings are required, you are required as a passenger to keep your face mask on.” He noted there are exceptions, like if you’re eating or drinking, or going through TSA and need to pull down your mask to show identification.

Still, Dr. Nanos urges travelers to make a comparative risk assessment. “Take the same precautions that you would be indoors, whether you’re going to a restaurant or movie theater,” she advised.

Is flying safer now that more people are vaccinated?

Now that vaccines are available throughout the United States, more people may feel comfortable flying again. Bryan Del Monte, an aviation industry expert and president of The Aviation Agency, said, “As more people get vaccinated, flights are undoubtedly going to be safer.” He added, “The vaccinated are less likely to transmit illness, less likely to contract any serious illness, and their vaccination helps negate the challenges of the two biggest factors in getting people sick on an aircraft: duration of exposure and proximity. Thus, as vaccination rates increase, I would conclude that airline travel becomes less and less likely a significant source of COVID-19 transmission.” Note that booster shots are also now readily available which help strengthen the protection your vaccine provides. You can get your booster shots five months after your second dose of the vaccine.

It is important to note with new variants, spreading COVID-19 can happen whether or not you are vaccinated. Per the CDC, wearing a well-fitting mask while you travel can help protect you and others.

Is it safe to fly if you have pre-existing conditions or are in the at-risk category?

Unfortunately, rules and risks shift when it comes to travelers with pre-existing conditions or those who are in the vulnerable category for the novel coronavirus. “COVID-19 is not over,” said Dr. Just. “So, think about it in these terms: If you are in that category and you want to take a risk, consider how important it is for you.” Dr. Nanos echoed this advice, saying, “It’s probably best for those people to kind of lay low for a little while, but again, it’s that level of personal risk that everyone is willing to assume.”

What about flying during the holiday season or summer vacation?

For the most part, assessing the risks of flying during the holidays or summer vacation season isn’t much different than any other time. However, these are traditionally high volume travel periods, and statistically, there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases after long weekends and holidays.

Understand the studies.

There have been multiple studies conducted on the safety of flying during the pandemic — and while some academic studies tout relative safety, other reports of airplane super-spreader events indicate that it is possible for the virus to spread on flights.

The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle. Each flight will present its own variables and level of risk. In September 2020, after tracing 1,600 flights in which someone on board may have had COVID-19, the CDC reported to CNN that nearly 11,000 people were possibly infected from taking flights connected to these cases. The truth is, the lack of contact tracing and the virus’ long incubation period make it tough to undoubtedly link cases to flights.

Reduce your overall risk.

The number one thing is to recognize your responsibility. When determining whether or not to fly, consider your fellow passengers. “Start by wearing a face covering,” said Harteveldt. “It’s a critical step travelers can take to reduce their potential to spread the virus. Remember, you may have the virus and be asymptomatic.” His sentiment was echoed by nearly everyone we spoke with. Harteveldt also recommends taking advantage of any and all mobile apps or contactless versions of the process, like using your own personal device to stream in-flight entertainment, avoiding checking bags, and planning your trip so you spend as little time as possible in the airport.

Dr. Just urges travelers to opt for direct flights whenever possible. “It is much safer to take one flight,” he said. “If you’re taking several legs, you will sit next to several passengers.” Direct flights mean fewer airports and exposures overall. In addition to wearing a mask, he also advocates for speaking up “for your own interest and the interest of your fellow passengers” whenever you see someone who is not wearing a mask. Kelly notes that you can also enlist the help of a flight attendant if you don’t feel comfortable calling someone out on your own.

Kelly also recommends that travelers reduce their risk by driving themselves to the airport, wearing sunglasses for the duration of the flight to help prevent touching their face, investing in a face covering that will not easily fall down or slip, and packing their own snacks since in-flight service and airport vendors may be minimal.

Other expert tips include opening the in-flight air vent to help circulate the air around you, bringing your own stash of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes and wiping down your entire seating area, packing your own blanket and pillow (provided you wash them between uses), and immediately sanitizing your hands every time you touch any surfaces or possible contaminants.

“If you want to wear a contraption or scrub down your seat, I would say that judgment is no longer there,” said Kelly. “Self-admittedly, I was not a big seat scrubber — not that I judged people who did — but now it’s the norm. So have at it, and don’t feel bad about having your own cleaning processes or your own food on the plane.”

Is It Safe to Fly Right Now? Here’s What Experts Have to Say

We spoke with medical, aviation, and travel experts to answer the question of whether or not it’s safe to fly during the pandemic. The answer is complicated, full of caveats, and, ultimately, a personal decision.

Katherine Alex Beaven is a Los Angeles-based travel, food and drink, and culture writer. She has written for Lonely Planet, Atlas Obscura, TripSavvy, and others. Alex enjoys taking her cat on adventures, cooking celiac-friendly feasts, and pricing out flights just because.

Last summer, after months of stay-at-home orders and closed borders, cities around the world began the process of reopening, travel restrictions started to soften, and leisure travelers were itching to hit the road again. We saw travelers dip their toes back in with road trips, daylong excursions, and camping getaways, while others headed back into the sky.

As we look toward summer travel this year, you might be wondering: Is it safe to fly right now? According to the medical, mathematical, aviation, and travel experts we spoke with, the answer is complicated and comes with numerous caveats. While it may be safe to fly, that doesn’t mean it’s without risk. Ultimately, flying during the pandemic requires weighing the many variables and deciding how comfortable you feel getting back on a plane. Here’s what the experts have to say.

flight attendant face masks to passengers on an airplane

How clean is the plane?

While specific cleaning procedures and the frequency with which they’re carried out vary by airline, most major carriers are disinfecting planes between flights, giving extra attention to high-touch surfaces and bathrooms. Additionally, airlines like United, JetBlue, Hawaiian, Delta, and Southwest have implemented electrostatic antimicrobial sprays to thoroughly disinfect every nook and cranny of the cabin, either overnight or between certain flights.

However, some fliers we spoke with have noted a slump in enhanced cleaning practices on board over time, particularly in the cabin, citing leftover wrappers, crumbs, or smudges in their seating area, though this depends on the specific airline and flight. Luckily, any lack of visible cleaning is something passengers can rectify on their end by wiping down their personal area as soon as they board. Most airlines offer disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer, though all of the experts we spoke with suggested bringing your own just to be safe.

Many airplanes also use HEPA filters, which completely refresh the cabin air throughout the flight and work to filter out over 99% of airborne viruses, bacteria, and other contagions. However, as reported in an August 2020 National Geographic article, that’s only effective for air that has made it through the filtration system. If you’re sitting next to someone who is shedding the virus and not wearing a mask, you run the risk of inhaling virus particles before they can be filtered through the HEPA system. Plus, some airplane filtration systems do not start running at full capacity until the aircraft is airborne, meaning the air is not being recycled and filtered at the same rate when the plane is taxiing or grounded. That’s why wearing masks as much as possible for the duration of a flight is imperative.

Is it safer to fly domestically or internationally?

Travelers should consider the same factors — safety protocols, seat spacing, aircraft cleanliness, and flight time — for both types of flights. The main differentiating points to look at when deciding whether to fly domestic or international don’t actually have to do with the flights themselves but focus rather on external variables, such as where you’re going, infection levels at your destination, what precautions are in place, if you’ll have access to adequate health care, and any travel restrictions or quarantine rules.

Dr. Winfried Just, a researcher in mathematical epidemiology and professor at Ohio University, and Dr. Georgine Nanos, a board-certified physician specializing in epidemiology, both agreed that a long-haul flight could be riskier, but only because it leaves the door open that much longer for potential exposures. Longer flights mean more people using the bathrooms, more instances of masks being removed (even if just temporarily for eating and drinking), more exposure to anyone nearby who might be shedding the virus, and so on. Since both domestic and international flights can last anywhere between one hour and double-digits, it’s safer to choose destinations with shorter overall flight times.

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Flying internationally carries a few pros that many domestic flights do not, namely due to the entry requirements of several overseas destinations. Many times, proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken preflight or an on-site PCR test at the airport is required to board the plane. While pretesting functions as a way to keep any COVID-positive passengers from boarding flights, it’s not a foolproof method.

When it comes to flying during the pandemic, safety is measured on a sliding scale. Dr. Just cautions that “safe is never 100% safe,” since it’s impossible to completely eliminate risk.

American Airlines plane

Consider safety protocols and enforcement.

There is evidence that wearing a face mask is key to preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, making this one of the easiest ways to help mitigate risk while traveling. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) came out with a statement saying that masks not only protect the wearer, but also people around them.

Following a federal ruling in April 2022, the mask mandate for planes, trains, and airports was voided. U.S. airlines and airports no longer enforce mask-wearing, but the ruling may not apply if you are flying internationally. Although many countries have also lifted their mask rules for travel, you should confirm which rules are in place with your airline before your trip.

Is it safer in business or first class?

For travelers wondering whether it’s worth splurging for a seat in business or first class for added safety, it depends. While the experts agreed that there is likely to be more overall space, especially between passengers in first class, it’s probably not going to make much of a difference, unless you’re in a particularly secluded seat or suite. It’s also worth noting that food and drink service has made its return with meal selections that go beyond snack boxes and drink options that include beer and wine.

Expect changes in flight schedules.

While flights are operating at much higher percentages than a year ago, some airlines are still operating fewer routes. Fewer available flights mean a smaller breadth of options when it comes to choosing what time or day to fly. Ideally, you should aim for nonpeak flight times, but it may just come down to what’s available. As demand rises and airlines test their legs and schedules, domestic flights are more likely to ebb and flow, so expect disruptions, sudden changes, and/or flight consolidations. Depending on demand, the airline may change, cancel, or rebook you.

Is it safe to fly with family or friends?

If you’re traveling with anyone else — be it, family, friends, or a significant other — consider yourselves as one unit. “Family should sit together,” said Dr. Just. “Significant others and close friends, they should sit together — and away from others.” Splitting up or dispersing around the plane only increases the amount of exposure of the unit.

Are there alternative options to commercial flights?

For those who can afford it, private charters offer a safer space, control over the details, and overall less risk than commercial flights. Andy Christie, global private jets director at Air Charter Service, a global charter brokerage service that helps connect travelers with private charter flights, said taking a private charter flight can almost “completely minimize the risk of transmission,” simply by reducing the number of contact points and exposures. Private charters eliminate the need to wait in lines, share a plane with strangers, or even step foot inside a terminal.

The hop-on, short-haul jet service JSX offers a compromise: a private jet experience at near-commercial prices (fares include checked bags, seat assignments, snacks, and drinks, including alcohol). Their flights operate out of private hangars and terminals, and planes have been reconfigured from 50 seats down to 30, giving passengers around 36 inches of seat pitch — or a similar experience to business class seats on a major domestic airline. CEO Alex Wilcox said JSX has also implemented new pandemic-focused safety features and procedures, like enhanced cleaning.

LaGuardia Airport

What about airports?

When we talk about flying, we also have to assume the risks of being in the airport. Overall, airports are doing their part to create safe, clean spaces for travelers. Henry Harteveldt, a travel analyst and principal at Atmosphere Research, said some precautions include touchless kiosks, frequent cleaning, hand sanitizer stations, self-removal of personal items during security checks, and plexiglass shields in front of traveler-facing employees, from gate agents to shop cashiers.

“Airports are required to follow local laws or guidelines,” explained Harteveldt. “So, if there’s a state or local guideline that says that face coverings are required, you are required as a passenger to keep your face mask on.” He noted there are exceptions, like if you’re eating or drinking, or going through TSA and need to pull down your mask to show identification.

Still, Dr. Nanos urges travelers to make a comparative risk assessment. “Take the same precautions that you would be indoors, whether you’re going to a restaurant or movie theater,” she advised.

Is flying safer now that more people are vaccinated?

Now that vaccines are available throughout the United States, more people may feel comfortable flying again. Bryan Del Monte, an aviation industry expert and president of The Aviation Agency, said, “As more people get vaccinated, flights are undoubtedly going to be safer.” He added, “The vaccinated are less likely to transmit illness, less likely to contract any serious illness, and their vaccination helps negate the challenges of the two biggest factors in getting people sick on an aircraft: duration of exposure and proximity. Thus, as vaccination rates increase, I would conclude that airline travel becomes less and less likely a significant source of COVID-19 transmission.” Note that booster shots are also now readily available which help strengthen the protection your vaccine provides. You can get your booster shots five months after your second dose of the vaccine.

It is important to note with new variants, spreading COVID-19 can happen whether or not you are vaccinated. Per the CDC, wearing a well-fitting mask while you travel can help protect you and others.

Is it safe to fly if you have pre-existing conditions or are in the at-risk category?

Unfortunately, rules and risks shift when it comes to travelers with pre-existing conditions or those who are in the vulnerable category for the novel coronavirus. “COVID-19 is not over,” said Dr. Just. “So, think about it in these terms: If you are in that category and you want to take a risk, consider how important it is for you.” Dr. Nanos echoed this advice, saying, “It’s probably best for those people to kind of lay low for a little while, but again, it’s that level of personal risk that everyone is willing to assume.”

What about flying during the holiday season or summer vacation?

For the most part, assessing the risks of flying during the holidays or summer vacation season isn’t much different than any other time. However, these are traditionally high volume travel periods, and statistically, there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases after long weekends and holidays.

Understand the studies.

There have been multiple studies conducted on the safety of flying during the pandemic — and while some academic studies tout relative safety, other reports of airplane super-spreader events indicate that it is possible for the virus to spread on flights.

The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle. Each flight will present its own variables and level of risk. In September 2020, after tracing 1,600 flights in which someone on board may have had COVID-19, the CDC reported to CNN that nearly 11,000 people were possibly infected from taking flights connected to these cases. The truth is, the lack of contact tracing and the virus’ long incubation period make it tough to undoubtedly link cases to flights.

Reduce your overall risk.

The number one thing is to recognize your responsibility. When determining whether or not to fly, consider your fellow passengers. “Start by wearing a face covering,” said Harteveldt. “It’s a critical step travelers can take to reduce their potential to spread the virus. Remember, you may have the virus and be asymptomatic.” His sentiment was echoed by nearly everyone we spoke with. Harteveldt also recommends taking advantage of any and all mobile apps or contactless versions of the process, like using your own personal device to stream in-flight entertainment, avoiding checking bags, and planning your trip so you spend as little time as possible in the airport.

Dr. Just urges travelers to opt for direct flights whenever possible. “It is much safer to take one flight,” he said. “If you’re taking several legs, you will sit next to several passengers.” Direct flights mean fewer airports and exposures overall. In addition to wearing a mask, he also advocates for speaking up “for your own interest and the interest of your fellow passengers” whenever you see someone who is not wearing a mask. Kelly notes that you can also enlist the help of a flight attendant if you don’t feel comfortable calling someone out on your own.

Kelly also recommends that travelers reduce their risk by driving themselves to the airport, wearing sunglasses for the duration of the flight to help prevent touching their face, investing in a face covering that will not easily fall down or slip, and packing their own snacks since in-flight service and airport vendors may be minimal.

Other expert tips include opening the in-flight air vent to help circulate the air around you, bringing your own stash of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes and wiping down your entire seating area, packing your own blanket and pillow (provided you wash them between uses), and immediately sanitizing your hands every time you touch any surfaces or possible contaminants.

“If you want to wear a contraption or scrub down your seat, I would say that judgment is no longer there,” said Kelly. “Self-admittedly, I was not a big seat scrubber — not that I judged people who did — but now it’s the norm. So have at it, and don’t feel bad about having your own cleaning processes or your own food on the plane.”

Is it Safe to Travel to FLORIDA Right Now? (November Update)

Florida-safe-to-visit

Florida cities are not the safest in the country, with certain communities being safer than others. All major Florida cities have both attractive and crime-ridden disadvantaged areas. Smaller towns are also generally safe to visit.

Follow the standard precautions when visiting any new place, and you will have a trouble-free trip to Florida.

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Is it safe to travel to Miami now?

Miami is generally a safe place to visit. Despite its reputation for crime of all kinds, it is as safe as any other Western megacity. The main tourist destinations, especially the far north, have undergone gentrification.

This suggests that muggings may occur at night in dodgy places.

Pickpocketing and purse snatching are the most common petty crimes in Miami, especially on Miami Beach and in the crowded streets of downtown.

Be careful and use common sense. Hold on to your purses and be mindful of how you carry them.

Is it safe to travel to Orlando now?

Orlando is generally considered a safe place to visit. Tourists should stay away from some neighborhoods in Orlando that have higher crime rates. Orlando visitors should be wary of petty crimes and parking ticket scams.

Orlando is divided into numerous neighborhoods and suburbs. West of downtown Orlando, in the neighborhoods of Pine Hills, Malibu Groves, Carver Shores, Signal Hill, Lake Sunset, Roosevelt Park and Washington Shores, are the problematic neighborhoods with the highest violent crime rates. However, there are numerous safe lodging options in Orlando. The weather is often cited by visitors as the most dangerous part of their trip to Orlando.

Hurricane Season in Florida

During the six-month Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 to November 30, the threat of hurricanes is very real for Florida.

If you want to be as safe as possible from hurricanes and still enjoy the pleasures of visiting Florida, the interior of Florida on the northern border with Georgia is the best place to visit. It is the least hurricane-prone area in Florida.

November 3 – Tourism in Florida on its way to recovery after Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm, destroyed the region from Naples to Fort Myers to Port Charlotte to Sarasota on September 28, severely hurting tourism in Southwest Florida.

Economic recovery initiatives are already picking up steam in the area of Florida’s Gulf Coast, which is renowned for its gorgeous, serene beaches, boating, marine life, and more.

Donations can be made to the Support Fort Myers Hospitality Workers Relief Fund in order to help residents who have been affected and displaced as a result of Hurricane Ian. All donations will be given to employees of the hospitality industry in the following communities: Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Pine Island, Matlacha, Boca Grande, and the outer islands; Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Alva, Buckingham, and Lehigh Acres.

Why visit Florida in COVID times?

First and foremost – Florida has no entry restrictions!

Florida is an internationally recognized destination due to its Theme Parks and tropical weather. Travelers who love going to theme parks will never go wrong with Florida. In COVID times, when traveling has to some extent become a hustle, especially for people traveling with kids, Florida stood as one of the best destinations in 2021.

We have to be careful with the new Omicron variant. However, once the situation becomes stable again, Florida will probably once again become one of the most popular travel destinations also in 2022, especially among American citizens.

UPDATES ARCHIVES

January 10 – Florida reporting record numbers of daily COVID-19 infections

Florida reported more than 126,000 new COVID-19 infections over the weekend – the highest multi-day increase since the beginning of the pandemic. The state reported 77,156 new cases on Saturday and 49,548 on Sunday.

The spike is attributed not only to the rapidly spreading Omicron strain but also to increased testing.

On the other hand, hospitalizations remain below their peak. Over the weekend, 9,888 coronavirus patients were hospitalized in Florida. Whereas in summer 2021, there would be over 17,000 new hospital admissions every day.

December 13 – Coronavirus cases in Florida rising faster than in any other state

COVID-19 cases in the sunshine state have recently been rising faster than in any other state in the U.S. Also, three Omicron cases were confirmed in Florida last week.

According to the latest data from The New York Times, Florida recorded a 185 percent increase in daily coronavirus cases over the past two weeks, compared to the national increase that is now around 43 percent. On average, Florida is reporting nearly 2,000 new coronavirus infections a day.

On the other hand, around 1,404 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 each day. This figure has increased by six percent over the past fourteen days.

November 18 – Florida to pass bills limiting COVID-19 vaccine mandates

On Wednesday, November 17, Florida Republicans passed four bills that would protect workers who do not wish to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

If he signs the documents, Florida will become the first state that can fine companies who require the vaccine for employment. However, most companies do require COVID-19 vaccines, but employees can opt out for health or religious reasons.

DeSantis is expected to sign the bills in the upcoming days.

October 5 – COVID-19 cases in Florida finally dropping

For the week of September 24 to 30, the positivity rate in Florida has dropped to 6.5%, the lowest number since June.

In the past week, around 4,600 new infections daily were registered in the county. While during August, there were more than 21,000 new cases per day reported in Florida on average.

Through September and October, the number of hospitalizations has also been dropping. In the last week of September, they decreased by around 27%.

ℹ Florida COVID-19 Update for October 1, 2021

Total Confirmed Hospitalizations: 5,146 pic.twitter.com/g3UyfmsZO6

— Florida Hospital Association (@FLHospitalAssn) October 1, 2021

September 6 – Florida tourism continues to bloom despite high number of COVID-19 cases

Despite the spike in COVID-19 cases, tourism in Southwest Florida continues to rise. Actually, Lee and Collier Counties have had a record-breaking year in tourism.

Brian Hamman, Lee County commissioner, indicated that August 2021 numbers had been the best August numbers in the history of tourism tracking in the region. Other months have not been behind either. ‘In fact every month this year has been better than it was even in 2019.’ he said.

Usually, tourism tends to slow down by the end of summer in Florida. This year, the season is not over yet. Hotels there are still fully occupied, and they are starting to get booked for winter, too.

According to Hamman, people want to enjoy a bit of time off. But are scared of the international travel restrictions. Therefore, they choose somewhere they know, like Florida, for example.

August 24 – Pediatric cases make up to 20% of new COVID-19 infections in Orange County, Fla.

According to Alvina Chu, an epidemiologist with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, pediatric cases make up to 20% of new coronavirus infections in the county.

The trend seems to be shifting. While the positivity rate in the 25 to 44 age group remains high, children aged between 5 to 14 years old now contribute the most to the newest COVID-19 cases.

Based on data from HHS.gov, as of Monday, August 22, there were 257 pediatric cases across Florida, 176 of which were hospitalized.

The predominant strain is the highly contagious Delta variant which affects all age groups. The median is 34 years.

August 9 – Hospitalizations skyrocketing in Florida as DeSantis defend unvaccinated citizens

The number of current COVID hospitalizations is “unlike anything the state has seen before,” said the head of Florida’s largest hospital association earlier today.

Even in the face of irrefutable evidence, Gov. Ron DeSantis will maintain his “no-mandate” mandate which means that zero coordinated actions will be taken to control the spread.

He also added that the media is just being “judgmental,” against those who are unvaccinated.

However, DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw recognized that only 6% of hospitalized people are vaccinated.

“We recognize that cases and hospitalizations have shifted to a younger demographic because we have been so successful with vaccinating seniors,” said Pushaw.

July 15 – COVID-19 cases in Florida on the rise while Gov. DeSaints forbids companies to safely resume activities

The Department of Health of Florida has reported an unusual increase in COVID-19 activity over the last week.

Over the last 7 days, the state counted 23,747 new cases with a positivity rate of 7.8%. The trend was at about 4% positivity in the past weeks. Also, Florida reported 172 new deaths.

Even considering the figures, Gov. Rob DeSantis continues to refuse to allow companies to require customers of “risky activities” to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

As reported by The Washing Post, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has sued Florida’s surgeon general, accusing the state of preventing the company from “safely and soundly” restarting operations.

June 29 – Florida to resume cruise ships with both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers next week

Cruise ships are set to safely resume operations next week in Florida.

Local mayors of South Florida had sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking him to reconsider his refusal to ask cruise travelers to present a vaccine certificate, but their claim was not heard.

“There aren’t restrictions either way, whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated that shouldn’t limit your ability to participate,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told reporters.

This does not mean cruises won’t be safe. Unvaccinated travelers will need to bring a negative COVID-19 test, get retested in the embarkation hall prior to boarding. Furthermore, some cruise venues will be “for vaccinated people only.”

June 14 – Florida to lift all COVID-19 related restrictions on July 1

Effective July 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis will lift all COVID-19-related restrictions across the state. So far, only 48.8% of the population has received at least one jab of a vaccine, which is insufficient to reach herd immunity according to the CDC.

According to the governor, “If we have widespread vaccinations that are over 99% effective, what’s the evidence basis for somebody to wear a mask now?”

Over the course of the pandemic, he has refused to follow most of the epidemiology guidelines because he did not want to “take the same approach as other lockdown governors.”

With this new executive order, DeSantis will make sure that “local governments cannot arbitrarily close [our] schools or businesses.” Additionally, he barred businesses from requiring employees to provide proof of being vaccinated.

Source https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/is-it-safe-to-fly

Source https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/is-it-safe-to-fly

Source https://www.travelinglifestyle.net/is-it-safe-to-visit-florida-during-covid-19/

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