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Mecklenburg County Public Health advises against Spring Break travel

MCPH says traveling to major destinations may not only risk exposure to COVID-19, but travelers could face quarantines and border closings
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More than a year after the world locked down to curb a pandemic, we're now back to spring. This year, however, public health leaders are advising against Spring Break travel even with the end of COVID-19 in sight.

Mecklenburg County Public Health issued an advisory on Friday that cautioned against holiday travel. MCPH acknowledged the obvious health risks previously discussed with travel during the pandemic, such as increased contact with possibly infected travelers, the likelihood of spreading the virus while asymptomatic, and the inability to socially distance in crowded quarters. Another key point outlined by MCPH was the chance travel anywhere could be suspended; quarantines and even border closures could happen at any time, leaving travelers stranded or otherwise kept out of the U.S. or away from home for an extended time.

MCPH says pandemics can change quickly and unpredictably. Travelers can keep up with the Centers for Disease Control's travel advice online. There are also cases where travel may be necessary. If possible, MCPH says travelers should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before traveling. You can set an appointment or join a waitlist in Mecklenburg County at this link. Additionally, getting tested 1-3 days before traveling is recommended, and you shouldn't travel if you test positive. 

Prior to leaving for your destination, make sure there aren't any travel restrictions; state, local, and territorial governments may have restrictions like testing requirements or stay-at-home orders along with quarantine requirements upon arrival. Airlines may require health information, testing, or other documents before departing, so check with them before showing up to the airport. International travelers will need to get tested more than three days before flying into the U.S. and must show the negative result to the airline before boarding, or show proof of recovery (in this case, a positive viral COVID test and a letter from a public health official or healthcare provider clearing you to travel). More details can be found here.

Travelers are encouraged to practice the 3Ws: wear a face covering, wait six feet apart, and wash hands often.

For more details on COVID-19 testing or vaccines, you can call the MCPH hotline at 980-314-9400. Transportation to vaccine appointments can be arranged with the Mecklenburg County Transportation System at 980-314-9400.