Community / The Nation and the World

COVID policies continue to restrict international travel

Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, travel restrictions and quarantines have been implemented to mitigate the spread of the virus. Now, policies are easing internationally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States currently has no mandatory quarantine requirements for domestic and international travel. 

However, there are other precautions by the United States that have been taken to prevent the spread of COVID. All non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. immigrants must have proof of vaccination to enter the country by air. In special circumstances where passengers are not fully vaccinated, they must sign an attestation confirming the absence of symptoms. For residents of the United States, negative COVID viral tests are encouraged before traveling by plane and are recommended to be taken within three days of departure. Mask mandates are no longer enforced on public transportation as a result of a court order effective on April 18, 2022. However, the CDC is still strongly recommending the usage of masks to ensure public safety. More information on the guidelines for travel can be found on the CDC website.

According to the travel website Kayak, 16 countries are closed to travel from the United States regardless of vaccination status. These countries do not allow travelers to enter, except for the case of returning citizens and other special circumstances. These countries are Cameroon, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu, Yemen, China, Libya, Mayotte, North Korea, Wallis and Futuna, Eswatini, Macau, Montserrat, Turkmenistan, and Western Sahara. 

These restrictions on traveling have had an impact on the Dana Hall community, specifically the international students who board at the school. Donna Corrigan, Dean of Residential Life and International Student Advisor, commented, “In 2020 when the pandemic first hit, a number of the international students were not able to go home, so many of them had to spend the summer here in the U.S. When students returned to school they spent another year on campus because there were so many restrictions and regulations on quarantines. By the time students traveled home, there was a 14-day quarantine period, so they would get there, quarantine for the whole time, and then have to come back. It really wasn’t an option for students to go home and spend their vacation with family.” Instead, international students would stay with their emergency contacts in the United States, or any friends, relatives, or local families that they could spend breaks with. 

Ms. Corrigan continued, “This year, restrictions have eased but the one country that is still greatly impacted are our students from China.… Government regulations and quarantine requirements in China can vary significantly, which continues to impact our students in different ways.” These restrictions include a health screening procedure at airports and a minimum of a 10-day quarantine at either a government-selected facility or a hotel at the traveler’s own expense. As such requirements continue to lighten, this year, international students may be able to visit families over vacations. As these policies are government-issued, Dana Hall does not have control over arrangements, so plans may be adjusted in response to how restrictions change. 

Image Source: International Air Transport Association

Comments are closed.