Planning has always been important to those who love to travel. It’s quite common for these people to make checklists to follow before the date of the trip; however, as we face a new world in which constant changes in regulations for travelers are being made depending on the destination, now is the perfect time to update that checklist.
Below we share some points that you should consider if you are going to travel in these times. As always, we recommend that prior to your trip, you contact the airline for updated information.
1. Know the status of COVID-19 infections in the destination you plan to visit
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that before traveling, you verify the status of infections in the country you are going to visit. To do so, access the webpage that the CDC has created for that purpose: http://bit.ly/3qD1Bw5.
2. Check the travel requirements of the country you are planning to visit
Throughout the COVID-19 emergency, countries have constantly modified the requirements for arriving travelers from other destinations. At least one or two weeks before traveling, it’s important that you check the official website of the country or city you are going to visit to see what restrictions they have. If you are going to travel to the United States, the CDC has a tool to inform you of the restrictions and Covid status in the states and territories. Access this tool here: http://bit.ly/3cCvs2T.
3. Check the items that you are going to take and make sure they comply with the regulations
The Transport Security Administration (TSA) establishes the regulations regarding what we can carry in our hand bags or checked luggage. Before traveling, we recommend reviewing the TSA baggage regulations at: https://bit.ly/37mM4dj. Due to the pandemic, they have made some adjustments to the requirements, so it is important to confirm prior to your trip to make sure your luggage complies.
4. Have a Plan B in case of contagion
In an interview with SJU Insider, Miriam Ramos, epidemiologist of the Health Department in charge of the Airport Epidemiological Surveillance System, stated that the system personnel have identified flights with potential contagion and travelers have been instructed to stay longer in the destination that they are until they have taken a COVID-19 PCR test. Many times, we don’t plan for this type of situation, but it is important that you have a plan in place in case the country where you are or the federal government of Puerto Rico’s regulations, cause you to extend your stay for a period of time due to contagion or suspected contagion.
5. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Due to the pandemic, the availability of protective equipment — such as masks, gloves, disinfectant, and others — has been intermittent. Before traveling, it’s important that you make sure you have several masks, disinfectant and other personal protection items that may be scarce in the destination you are going to.
6. Consider purchasing travel insurance
Another consequence of the pandemic in the travel industry is unforeseen changes and the way airlines and travel agencies handle these types of situations. Although there are some companies that are relaxing regulations regarding cancellations and itinerary adjustments, you should consider purchasing travel insurance that would cover certain expenses just in case.
7. Arrive at the airport terminal on time
We generally recommend that travelers arrive about two hours before their flight departure so that they can complete the boarding process smoothly. Currently, pandemic prevention protocols may mean an additional delay in this process. Therefore, we continue to urge our airport community to arrive at least two hours before the flight. In fact, if the airline allows you to check-in electronically, do so.
For us at the SJU Airport, it’s important that your visit to our facilities is as safe, pleasant and satisfactory as possible. Therefore, we stand by our commitment to keep our community informed about the processes and protocols that have been emplaced. Even so, it’s important that prior to the flight, you contact your airline or travel agency to clarify any additional questions and/or obtain updated information about your trip.