If you plan to travel over the next few months, but the rise of COVID-19 and the Delta variant has you wondering if it is safe, you are not alone.
As travel restrictions have loosened, many who were tired of being cooped up for some long saw COVID-19 positivity rates drop began to book vacations — especially to Disney World and Disneyland. Florida and California had high positivity rates during the height of the pandemic. Still, as vaccination rollout became available, numbers dropped, capacity at theme parks began to expand, and tourism began to find an upwards trajectory once again.
Now, many Guests who booked a vacation a few months ago are faced with the dangers of the Delta variant, which is the cause of increased COVID numbers in Florida. Although Disney World and Disneyland do mandate masks while indoors, within certain queues, and on all attractions, social distancing is gone, and as we noted, capacity has increased. Some Guests may be completely fine with this; however, some may be nervous about traveling.
USA Today spoke with multiple experts in the medical field who gave their unbiased opinion on travel during this time, and a lot of their answer in terms of safety has to do both with personal comfort and your vaccination status. Richard Webby, who helps lead St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Department, “The delta variant is a different beast. This virus is everywhere. … As far as (whether or not it’s safe to) travel, it depends on what you’re trying to do.”
As the United States is hitting over 130,000 positive cases daily, we are once again seeing the high numbers that were around in February Webby stated:
“If you’re vaccinated and fully immunized against this virus, then it poses a slight increased risk to you,” Webby said. But among the unvaccinated population, “this virus is going to cause more cases; it’s going to spread more easily and more rapidly. … If you’re not vaccinated, now is not a good time to travel.”
Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist who has worked as an investigator for some of the COVID-19 vaccine trials, said, “You may want to defer travel if an area is having a spike or surge.” Unfortunately, Florida is one of those hotspots Dr. Purvi Parikh is referring to. If we take a look at a hotspot map provided by The New York Times, it is clear that California’s numbers are dramatically better than Florida’s.
The experts continue to explain that those who are unvaccinated should not be traveling for multiple reasons. One is that they are at a greater risk of being sick, and two if you are in a hot spot area that already has their hospital beds filled with local patients, it may be harder to receive the same immediate medical care you would have at home.
In the end, however, the choice is truly up to the individual traveling. We have seen an increase in canceled Disney World vacations as of late, which you can read more about here.
What do you think about traveling as the Delta variant continues to surge?