Read This Before You Fly Anywhere
The risks you need to weigh and the precautions you need to take
It’s been five months since I last saw my husband, João. He is currently alone in our apartment in Newark, New Jersey, while I’m staying with my parents in Ourinhos, a small town in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Due to U.S. immigration procedures, we had been in long-distance relationship mode even before Covid-19, but at least the situation was eased by the perspective of him visiting me in Brazil every three months.
Then, the pandemic hit, and his plans of spending Easter in Brazil were abruptly shattered. We suddenly found ourselves heavily quarantined in our respective homes, hoping that this would all be over before summer. Now it’s June, and we have been pondering whether my husband should make his way down to Brazil for a summer vacation. How risky would it be for him to go through the hurdles of airport security, and then board a likely crowded plane to land in São Paulo nine hours later?
João and I are far from being the only ones facing this dilemma. Many people wonder whether they should board a plane and travel this summer. Here are some of the things we’ve learned that might help you make an informed decision.
If you’re traveling internationally, find out where you’re allowed to fly from and to
Brazil has currently the second-highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world, and the numbers are going up fast. President Donald Trump has recently issued a travel ban on most travelers coming from Brazil. This leaves us with yet another preoccupation: If João is, in fact, able to come, will he be able to go back to the United States?
The same question goes for other destinations subject to suspension of entry to the United States, such as China, Iran, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and most other countries in Europe.
If you are not sure whether there are Covid-19-related travel regulations in place for your destination, you can access an interactive map on the website of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Center. Just click on any country to find out about possible restrictions.