clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How to know if you should cancel your travel plans because of the delta variant

The coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing. So should you cancel your travel plans?

Travelers at the new Salt Lake City International Airport
Travelers make their way through the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at the new Salt Lake City International Airport in Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

The summer is in full swing, and there’s a good chance you’ve booked some travel plans after more than a year of staying inside.

That said, the delta variant of the novel coronavirus is here. The lambda variant is hanging around, and the epsilon variant is lingering in the background. Basically, we’re in odd territory of the pandemic where millions of people are vaccinated but variants are emerging, potentially threatening the work of the vaccine.

So there’s a chance you’ll want to cancel your travel plans because of the delta variant. We’ve decided to break down all the questions you might have about travel and how you might change your plans because of the variants out there.

Should you travel at all?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people should be fully vaccinated before visiting other countries and other locations within the U.S. since it offers the best protection against coronavirus transmission.

  • “Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers might be at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading some COVID-19 variants,” the CDC said.

Consider the transmission rate at your destination

The CDC has a map that shows where the coronavirus is spreading, showing which states have moderate, high and substantial transmission rates. Consider this map when you are traveling because you will know how likely it is that the area is seeing a COVID-19 surge.

Can you get a refund on travel tickets?

It really depends on where you booked your flight. For example, American Airlines does not charge any fees for cancellations or changes right now, per The Points Guy, an airlines news website. Delta doesn’t charge fees, either, for changes. These airlines do require you to pay the difference for some flights, though.

The Transportation Security Administration Precheck security lane at the new Salt Lake City International Airport
Lincoln Franke makes his way through the Transportation Security Administration Precheck security lane at the new Salt Lake City International Airport in Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Are there places where you can’t travel?

The CDC has a “very high” COVID-19 risk level list, which details countries where you should avoid traveling to right now in the face of the pandemic.

What apps and websites should you use?

There are a number of apps and websites you can use to help you make plans for when you travel, as the Deseret News has explained before. The apps allow you to see any quarantine requirements for your visit, or where locations remain closed to travelers. For example, Travel Planner app even has details about crowd size limits and mask mandates.

The U.S. Department of State website also offers specific country information about travel. It lists where you might need a negative COVID-19 test result before entering that country, or even if U.S. citizens are allowed to enter at all.

There’s also the TripIt app, which is a one-stop-shop for all travel details during the pandemic. It explains what you’ll need to know about specific locations restrictions and policies during the pandemic.