Stop Spring Breaking

International and national travel for Spring Break is discouraged by the CDC.

Spring+break+runs+from+March+15+to+March+19+this+year%2C+but+the+CDC+is+encouraging+people+not+to+travel.++

Madeline Hammett

Spring break runs from March 15 to March 19 this year, but the CDC is encouraging people not to travel.

Madeline Hammett, Print Co-Editor-In-Chief

With spring break approaching and COVID-19 protocols changing daily, high schoolers are trying to decide whether leaving the country for spring break is possible in 2021. For high school seniors especially, the infamous “senior spring break” hangs in the balance as students decide whether to stay home, travel in the states, or travel internationally. The CDC has what seems like ever changing protocols on travel leaving teens and their friends in disagreements on what should be done for spring break to stay safe and COVID-19 friendly. The looming question overhead remains: Is it ethical to leave the country for spring break?

The reality is, when ethics are brought into question, those traveling in the United States and out of the United States are equally guilty of violating so-called COVID-19 ethics.”

International travel has its perks and downfalls. Many countries require negative COVID-19 tests to enter and exit. That means that traveling out of the country risks getting stuck in another country for two weeks or until a negative test can be taken. If things take a turn for the worst, dealing with international hospitals and insurance can be a nightmare. Fortunately, many resorts and hotels, like Melia Hotels International offer a free two week stay if a positive test is taken upon departure from the resort. The CDC released a new international travel guideline that reads “All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.” This means that, to an extent, international travel may be safer than national travel because of the negative COVID-19 test required to reenter the United States. The CDC also recommends acquiring a negative test before travel. Many countries, like the popular spring break destination of Mexico, require a negative test before entering as well. Negative tests are mandatory for international travel giving little leeway to transmission of COVID-19 when traveling. This leaves international travel with a double negative test upon entry and exit of the country visited and allots a few more safety points to international travel.

Travel within the United States is a doozy. Many teenagers have disputed the safety of national travel when, in reality, it can be more dangerous if optional protocols are not taken. Due to negative testing in most states for entry being optional rather than required, traveling nationally while infected or encountering someone who is infected is likely. The CDC recommends a seven day quarantine after returning from national or international travel even with a negative test. This leaves national travel just as risky, if not more, than international travel. National travel also does not help with quarantine times. Whether schools call for it or not, the CDC does ask for a seven day quarantine after returning home from any type of travel, including travel within the United States, even if a negative test can be proven. Many local state governments have put in place their own set of recommendations and restrictions for travel that should be abided by as well. 

The reality is, when ethics are brought into question, those traveling in the United States and out of the United States are equally guilty of violating so-called COVID-19 ethics. The CDC says “Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time.” If teenagers were wanting to abide by these rules, travel wouldn’t occur. Blame shouldn’t fall on who is more guilty of being dangerous, but rather, who is staying home is the safest. Despite all of this, plans remain intact, especially for seniors, to travel and regain some sort of normalcy to an otherwise COVID-19 bombarded year.

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