Amtrak unveils new high-speed, low-carbon trains with sleek extras
Comfortable, low carbon transport is the name of the game over at Amtrak. At least in the Acela line. The rail company recently unveiled its new-look, high-speed Acela train for passengers living along the northeast corridor and it comes with sleek new extras including 25% more seats, more legroom, as well as more spacious restrooms and larger storage compartments for luggage.
Its upgraded cafe car will have more dining and beverage options, including a greater selection of meals and craft beers, and will come with more eco-friendly packaging. Those who need to get some work done on the road will be able to plug their laptops and phones into personal outlets and USB ports at every seat, while taking advantage of the complimentary Wi-Fi on board. There are also adjustable reading lights at every seat.
Accessibility has been improved too for passengers with disabilities, allowing them to move more easily throughout the trains. There's also built-in technology that will inform passengers of their location, travel speed and any announcements from the conductor. What's more, the trains will speed up northeast travel by running at 160 miles per hour – that's 10 miles per hour faster than current models. And thanks to their lightweight design, they'll reduce carbon output by about 40% per customer.
Set to hit the tracks in 2021, the new fleet will travel along the current Acela line between Boston and Washington, DC.
What countries can US travelers visit right now?
Editor's Note: This list was updated on October 20, 2020. Please check specific country sites for the most updated information before booking travel. In August, the department returned to its previous system of "country-specific levels of travel advice", which means it's back to rating individual countries from levels 1-4 based on their current health and security situations. The decision was made in line with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and advisories are updated regularly as situations evolve quickly. But despite the removal of the sweeping travel ban, the department warns: "we continue to recommend U.S. citizens exercise caution when traveling abroad due to the unpredictable nature of the pandemic." Canada and much of Europe, Asia and Oceania are pretty much off-limits to US travelers. But in recent weeks some countries have begun to relax their border restrictions and are now allowing US citizens to enter provided they follow the public health guidelines of the local authorities. Travelers are also encouraged to download the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive travel and emergency alerts. If you do plan to travel, below is a list of where you can go now. But it's important to note this is not a complete list and rules are quickly changing. Albania US travelers can visit Albania without the need to quarantine or prevent a negative COVID-19 test result, but they will be required to submit to health screening at the airport. "Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice," the state department warns. Anguilla Travelers must pre-register their visit on the country's tourism board website and present proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken no more than five days before travel. The British Overseas Territory is currently accepting online applications for visitors who would like to work remotely with new visa programs. See more here. Antigua and Barbuda US travelers must "present a negative Covid-19-RT-PCR (real time polymerase chain reaction) test result, taken within seven days of their flight." See more here. Armenia Armenia is open to US travelers who take a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival or self-isolate for 14 days. Aruba Aruba is open to US travelers but they must be tested at the airport and provide requisite insurance coverage. Starting from September 24, travelers from Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Virginia, states deemed high-risk, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 result from a test taken between 12 and 72 hours before flying. The list of states who have to undergo enhanced testing is updated regularly. Aruba has also introduced the "One Happy Workation" program, which allows visitors to stay for a maximum of 90 days, and offers a series of deals and discounted rates at local accommodations. The Bahamas US visitors must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. They also must adhere to the country's safety protocols which include presenting a "COVID-19-PCR Negative (Swab) Test" taken no more than 10 days prior to the date of arrival. See more here. Bangladesh Bangladesh is open to US travelers but they must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 72 hours before travel and self-isolate for 14 days, even with a negative test result. Coast of the Carribean Sea in Bridgetown ©Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock Barbados See Barbados' requirements here. Belarus Despite widespread mass demonstrations, US citizens can visit Belarus without any restrictions. Health screenings are in place at airports. Bermuda See Bermuda's requirements here. Cambodia Cambodia is open to visitors provided they pay a $3000 deposit by cash or credit card for “COVID-19 service charges” at the airport upon arrival, and have $50,000 of travel insurance cover. Colombia International flights between Colombia and the US resumed on Monday with incoming passengers required to present a negative COVID-19 test result. Costa Rica Costa Rica initially opened to residents from just eight US states in September but will increase that to all US residents by Novmber. Tourists must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours before their trip. See full requirements here. Croatia is one of the few countries in Europe that is open to US travelers ©Marcin Krzyzak/Shutterstock Croatia US travelers can visit Croatia, provided they they hold evidence of paid accommodation in the country. Travelers must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 48 hours of arriving in Croatia. If they don't have that, they must undergo a mandatory quarantine/self-isolation period of 14 days upon arrival in the country. Curaçao Th Dutch Caribbean island will open to residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from November, with more states to follow. Tourists from these states must present their driver's licence or state ID at the borders as proof of residence and present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result. See full requirements here. Dominica See Dominica's requirements here. Dominican Republic In August, the Dominican Republic introduced free COVID-19 insurance for travelers, including US citizens, and dropped mass testing at the borders. See more here. Ecuador US travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 10 days ahead of travel, or get tested upon arrival and quarantine while awaiting results. If traveling on to the The Galápagos Islands, travelers must take another COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours of arriving into Ecuador. Egypt Travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no later than 72 hours before arrival. Travelers must present paper copies of the test result, digital copies will not be accepted. Temples, archaeological sites, and museums are open to tourists. Ethiopia All visitors must present a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding their flight in addition to completing a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival. French Polynesia Travellers must have a COVID-19 test 72 hours before the departure to French Polynesia, and international travel insurance is compulsory for every non-resident visitor Ghana US citizens must present a negative COVID-19 test result from a test conducted no more than 72 hours before travel. Health screenings are in place in airports, and travelers must also undergo a second COVID-19 test upon arrival at a cost of $150 per person. The fee must be paid online and passengers must present proof of payment prior to boarding, according to the US Embassy. Grenada The Spice Island is open to US tourists but has some requirements: visitors must present a recent negative COVID-19 test result; book a minimum of four-day reservation at approved accommodation for observation and quarantine, and undergo a second test after quarantine to travel the island. See more here. Great Sphinx of Giza with the Great Pyramid of Giza. ©Anton Belo/Shutterstock Haiti All international visitors to the country must declare their COVID-19 status via an incoming flight form, will get temperature screened upon arrival and are required to quarantine for 14 days. Honduras Incoming travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. Ireland US travelers can visit the country but nonessential travelers are asked to quarantine for 14 days and fill in a form indicating where they will stay for the duration of that time. The US Embassy in Ireland notes travelers should "restrict their movements" and "be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice." Due to a surge in coronavirus cases, Dublin is on Level Three of the country's five-level COVID-19 plan until October 9: restaurants and pubs are closed except for takeaway and outdoor service; museums, galleries and libraries are closed and nonessential travel is banned in the capital. The full details of the additional restrictions are available here Jamaica See Jamaica's requirements here. Kenya Travelers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken no later than 96 hours before arrival and undergo health screening. A nightly curfew is in place from 9pm until 4am and there are restrictions on interstate travel. Water bungalows at Maldives ©haveseen/Shutterstock Maldives Incoming travelers present a with a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of arrival. Montenegro US citizens must present a negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours on arrival, or a positive antibody test result and undergo health screening at the airport. According to the US Embassy in Montenegro, travelers must not have stopped, nor transited through, countries that are not permitted to enter Montenegro within the previous 15 days. Morocco Morocco is open to travelers who have confirmed hotel reservations. Visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 test that’s no more than 48 hours old upon arrival. Heavily touristed cities, including Marrakesh, Fez, Casablanca and Tangier, are still under a strict lockdown that started at the end of July and is in place until further notice. Mexico Land crossings between the US and Mexico are closed until October 21 but visitors can arrive by plane. However, the CDC currently recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to Mexico as the COVID-19 risk there remains high in places such as Colima, Nuevo León, Nayarit, Mexico City and Baja California Sur. Tourists may be subject to health screenings at airports. Namibia Namibia requires visitors to present a recent negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival, and undergo a second test five days later. Safari parks are open in Rwanda ©Goran Bogicevic/Shutterstock Rwanda Travelers must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate for a test taken no more than 120 hours before their initial flight. The US Embassy recommends that travelers carry a printed copy of their negative test results "during all legs of their flights to Rwanda." They must also take a second test and quarantine in a designated hotel for approximately 24 hours while awaiting their results. St Bart's See St Bart's requirements here. St Lucia See St Lucia's requirements here. St Maarten See St Maarten's requirements here. Serbia Serbia is open to US citizens but they must fill out on online health assessment before traveling and a second assessment 10 days into their trip. St Vincent and the Grenadines Travelers who arrive in the country must sign a Pre-Arrival Form. All travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within five days prior to travel. They will also need to quarantine in an approved hotel for five days and undergo a second test on the fifth day. South Korea US citizens must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine when entering South Korea. The US Embassy advises that travelers will also experience "some combination of temperature screening, health questionnaires, and/or COVID-tests." All arriving passengers are required to download and respond to daily questions through the Self-Diagnosis Mobile App for 14 days. Tanzania Travelers must provide a negative test result for COVID-19 upon arrival and may be subject to health screening. View of Galata Tower, Galata Bridge in Karakoy quarter of Istanbul ©vovik_mar/Getty Images Turkey Travelers arriving in Turkey will be required to complete an information form and will be checked for symptoms. Anyone suspected of having COVID-19 will be transported to a hospital for examination. Curfews remain in place in some areas but these do not apply to foreign tourists though the US Embassy warns "local authorities may put in place additional COVID-19 restrictions, including curfews, with little or no advance notice." Turks and Caicos See Turks and Caicos' requirements here. Uganda Passengers must arrive with a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate for a test conducted within 72 hours prior to arrival in Uganda, and undergo a health screening upon arrival, including a temperature check and assessment for other signs or symptoms. In its commitment to keep people safe, Uganda has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels Global Safety & Hygiene Stamp for complying with enhanced health and safety rules. See full requirements here. United Arab Emirates In Dubai, visitors are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within 96 hours of arrival, and have medical travel insurance to cover any illness-related expenses. While in Abu Dhabi the rules are more strict; visitors are required to quarantine for 14 days and wear an electronic wristband to ensure quarantine adherence, in addition to providing a negative test result. United Kingdom US citizens arriving into the UK are required to self-isolate for 14 days. There are fears that a second wave is incoming due to a recent surge in new daily coronavirus infections. As a result, new regional lockdown measures have been applied across the country. This article was first published on September 22 and updated on October 20, 2020.
A state-by-state guide to travel restrictions in the US
If you’re planning to travel between states for a vacation or a short trip, the situation is constantly changing, so it's best to check all local travel advisories before packing your bags. Editor's note: This story was last updated on November 2, 2020. We will update this piece regularly to stay on top of the latest travel advice. Alabama As of November 2, Alabama has no statewide restrictions on travel. According to the governor’s most recent coronavirus-related state of emergency proclamation, issued September 30, masks, social distancing, and other measures are required. Visit the Alabama Tourism Department’s website for updates. Alaska As of August 11, non-residents arriving from out of state must submit a travel declaration form and self-isolation plan to the Alaska travel portal, and either arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before departure or submit to a test upon arrival, which costs $250 and mandates a quarantine until the results are in. Negative pre-arrival test results can be uploaded to the portal in advance, and travelers awaiting their results can upload proof that they’ve taken the test as well, though they’ll have to quarantine in the meantime. Residents of Alaska returning from another state or country must also follow the steps above, but they can either receive a free COVID-19 test upon arrival and self-quarantine until their results arrive, or skip straight to the self-quarantine – either for 14 days or the duration of their trip, whichever is shorter. See the state’s Safe Travels hub for further details. Arizona As of November 2, there are no travel restrictions for individuals traveling to or through Arizona. Check with the Arizona Office of Tourism for updates. Arkansas As of November 2, Arkansas “encourage[s] potential travelers to assess their own health risks before traveling,” but no overarching guidelines are in place. The state’s Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism has updates. California California’s government is currently discouraging long-distance leisure travel to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but as of November, there are no restrictions on entering from another US state. Travelers are asked to wear a mask in public, keep 6ft away from anyone not in their household, check on local health guidance at all points along their itinerary from start to finish, and refrain from traveling if they’ve been sick in the past 14 days or live with someone with COVID-19. Check Visit California for travel alerts and updates. Colorado As of November 2, Colorado has a statewide mask mandate that requires face coverings be worn indoors and, in some areas, outdoors as well when social distancing isn’t possible. There are no restrictions on travel to the state at this time, but the Colorado Tourism Office has updates and details. Connecticut As part of a joint travel advisory issued with New York and New Jersey, anyone arriving in Connecticut from a state with a positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average, must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. There are 41 states on the list as of October 27, and anyone entering from one of them must fill out a travel health form online or upon arrival, including returning citizens. Connecticut’s official state website has more details. Delaware As of November 2, Delaware has no statewide travel restrictions in place, but social distancing is in effect and masks are required in all public spaces, including parks and boardwalks, and highly encouraged on beaches as well. See the Delaware Tourism Office’s website for information and updates. Florida As of November 2, Florida has no travel restrictions in place, but the health department advises that crowds, closed spaces, close contact, and gatherings of more than 10 people should be avoided, and face coverings should be worn when social distancing isn’t possible. The state’s COVID-19 response site has more details. Georgia As of November 2, there are no restrictions for travel to, from, or within Georgia, though social distancing, sanitation, and public health safety measures are in place and local restrictions may apply. Masks are encouraged, and home isolation is required for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. For updates on travel restrictions, check the state of Georgia’s website. Hawaii As of October 15, all US travelers will have an alternative to Hawaii’s mandatory 14-day quarantine: a pre-travel test with one of the state’s 11 trusted testing partners. Travelers have to register with the State of Hawaii Safe Travels online system, then submit to a temperature check and complete an online health questionnaire before they can leave the airport. Some counties may require a secondary test upon arrival, including the Big Island’s county of Hawaii, so travelers should check local mandates at their destination. Websites for the state’s tourism authority and transportation department have updates and details, as well as links to the individual counties’ websites. Idaho As of November 2, a 14-day self-quarantine is encouraged for anyone entering Ada County, which includes the city of Boise. The Visit Idaho website has information on the sanitation and social distancing requirements in some communities as well as travel resources across the state, and the governor’s Coronavirus Resources page has regular updates. Illinois Illinois doesn’t currently have any statewide travel restrictions in place, but Chicago has recently updated its emergency travel order requiring visitors from high-risk areas to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. As of November 2, there are 31 states and territories on the list: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The Illinois Department of Public Health has guidance for travelers. Indiana As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s travel website has information on restrictions within each individual county, and the state’s coronavirus hub has regular updates. Iowa As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in Iowa, but everyone over the age of 2 is “strongly encouraged” to wear masks in public, especially when social distancing isn’t possible. The Iowa Tourism Office has more information for travelers. Kansas As of November 2, there are no statewide restrictions in place in Kansas, but some residents and visitors are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the state: anyone who attended an out-of-state gathering of 500 people or more where social distancing and mask-wearing were not observed; anyone who has been on a cruise ship or river cruise since March; and anyone who has been notified by public health officials that they’ve been in close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. The state’s Department of Health and Environment updates its travel quarantine list approximately every two weeks, and Kansas Tourism offers regular travel updates and resources. Kentucky The latest update to Kentucky’s travel advisory was issued August 12 and recommends a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone entering from states and territories with a positive coronavirus testing rate equal to or greater than 15%, including Florida, Nevada, Mississippi, Idaho, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama, and Arizona. Team Kentucky has COVID-19 reports and updates. Louisiana As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Louisiana, but a mask mandate remains in effect. The Louisiana tourism office has travel alerts and updates. Maine As of November 2, all travelers visiting Maine must self-isolate for 14 days or have a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test within 72 hours of arrival; only those traveling from New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts are exempt. Maine’s Center for Disease Control & Prevention has travel advisories and updates. Maryland Since late July, Maryland has advised against nonessential travel to states with a 10% or higher positivity rate, including Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, South Carolina and Texas, as of November 2. People who travel to those states are required to get tested upon returning to Maryland and self-isolate while awaiting results. The tourism office has travel updates and alerts. Massachusetts As of August 1, all arrivals must quarantine for 14 days or present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel. Arrivals from high-risk states are required to fill out a health declaration form upon entering the state, and those caught breaking quarantine rules could face fines of up to $500 per day. Essential workers are exempt from the quarantine directive, as are those arriving from lower-risk states – California, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington, as of November 2. Visit the Department of Public Health’s website for updates. Michigan As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Michigan. For updates and guidelines, see the government’s coronavirus hub or the official tourism website. Minnesota As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Minnesota. Masks are required indoors. Explore Minnesota has details on the state’s COVID-19 protocols. Mississippi As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Mississippi. The state’s tourism authority has travel alerts, and the health department has coronavirus updates. Missouri As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Missouri. Check with the state’s Division of Tourism for updates. Montana As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Montana, but masks are required in counties with more than four active COVID-19 cases and encouraged everywhere else. The state’s seven Native American reservations may have different guidelines; visit the Montana tourism office for links to each tribal government’s website as well as general travel alerts. Nebraska As of November 2, travelers returning from international destinations are no longer required to self-quarantine and self-monitor for 14 days upon arrival, though strict social distancing is still recommended. The Nebraska Tourism Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services both have resources and recommendations for travelers. Nevada As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in Nevada. Travel Nevada and the Nevada Health Response both have information for travelers. New Hampshire As of November 2, travelers to New Hampshire from the surrounding states of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are no longer required to self-isolate, but those arriving from non-New England states for an extended stay will still need to quarantine for two weeks. Anyone overnighting at a lodging property is also required to sign a document stating that they “remained at home for at least a 14 day quarantine period prior to arriving in the state.” The Department of Health and Human Services has general travel and quarantine guidance, and the state’s official website has information for out-of-state visitors; for updates, see the website for the Division of Travel and Tourism Development. New Jersey Per an incoming travel advisory in effect in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, anyone entering from an “impacted state” – those with an average daily number of new cases higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period, or those with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day period – is expected to quarantine for 14 days. As of November 2, there are 41 states and jurisdictions on the list: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The state’s COVID-19 information hub has news and updates. New Mexico As of November 2, travelers arriving in New Mexico by car or plane – from states other than Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington – are required to quarantine for 14 days, unless they can provide documentation of a valid negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of entry. Those awaiting test results must self-isolate, and masks are required across the state, with fines of up to $100 for violations. The tourism department has details on updates and exemptions. New York In a joint travel advisory with Connecticut and New Jersey, anyone arriving from a state with a positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10% or higher rate over a seven-day rolling average, must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, including returning citizens and arrivals from Puerto Rico. Out-of-state travelers must fill out a health form upon arrival. Beginning November 4, out-of-state visitors may "test out" of the two-week quarantine. Travelers who were in another state for more than 24 hours must get a test within three days of departure from that state. Then, upon arrival to New York, they must quarantine for three days. On day four of their quarantine, the traveler must get a second COVID test. If both tests are negative, the traveler may leave quarantine early. The list of states on the quarantine list is updated regularly as infection rates change, and the state’s coronavirus hub has updates as well. North Carolina As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in North Carolina, and visitors are not required to quarantine upon arrival. Social distancing is encouraged, and cloth face coverings are required in public when physical distancing of 6 feet is not possible. See the state’s official website for COVID-19 travel resources. North Dakota As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in North Dakota. The state’s Department of Health has guidance for travelers. Ohio Travelers visiting Ohio must quarantine for 14 days if traveling from states with a 15% or higher rate over a seven-day rolling average – as of November 2, Alabama, South Dakota, Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Nevada, and Utah. For updates, visit Ohio’s coronavirus portal. Oklahoma As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place, but anyone entering Oklahoma from an area with “substantial community spread” should wear a mask in public and refrain from attending indoor gatherings for 10 to 14 days. The state’s department of health has updates and travel advisories. Oregon As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in Oregon. Visit the tourism department’s website for travel alerts and information. Pennsylvania As of November 2, a 14-day quarantine is recommended for those arriving from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has information for travelers. Rhode Island Anyone returning from an international destination must self-isolate for 14 days, as must those traveling into Rhode Island from states with a COVID-19 positivity rate higher than 5%. Arrivals who present a negative COVID-19 test result taken no later than 72 hours before travel can bypass quarantine, though quarantine is preferred as the best way of limiting the spread of COVID-19. Non-residents are required to complete a certificate of compliance and an out-of-state travel screening form upon arrival in Rhode Island. The Department of Health maintains a running list of states with travel restrictions upon entry to Rhode Island. South Carolina As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place. Visit South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control for travel updates and information. South Dakota As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in South Dakota, though some routes through tribal lands may be closed. Travelers should check their itinerary on SafeTravelUsa.com and consult the Department of Tourism’s document regarding travel restrictions on tribal lands. Tennessee As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in Tennessee. Check with the state’s Department of Tourist Development for updates. Texas As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions or mandatory quarantine requirements in place in Texas. Face coverings are required inside public spaces and outdoor areas where social distancing is not possible, and the government encourages travelers to review the health and safety guidance at their destinations. Travel Texas has updates and information. Utah As of November 2, there are no COVID-19 travel restrictions or quarantine requirements in Utah. Visit the state’s coronavirus hub for travel guidance. Vermont As of November 2, travelers to Vermont must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, unless they receive negative PCR test results on or after day 7 to end their quarantine early. For some travelers, quarantining at home before coming to Vermont is an option. See the Department of Health’s website for updates and details on exceptions to the quarantine requirement. Virginia As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions or quarantine requirements for people arriving from domestic or international destinations to Virginia, but masks are required in public buildings for anyone age 10 or older. Visit the Department of Health for travel updates. Washington As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions or quarantine requirements for arrivals to Washington, though people traveling from high-risk areas should quarantine for 14 days. Masks are required in public spaces indoors, and outdoors as well when social distancing isn’t possible. The Department of Health has updates and frequently asked questions. Washington, DC All nonessential travel outside of the DC metro area is currently discouraged, and any nonessential traveler arriving from a high-risk area – with a positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average – is required to quarantine for 14 days. Travelers from the border states of Maryland and Virginia are exempt from this rule. For the current list of states requiring a quarantine, last updated November 2, visit Destination DC. West Virginia As of November 2, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in West Virginia. Visit the tourism office’s website for updates and alerts. Wisconsin As of November, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place in Wisconsin, but the government discourages all travel, including travel within the state and between multiple private homes, and recommends that people practice social distancing and stay home as much as possible. In some counties, there are travel advisories for seasonal and second homeowners, so check for for area-specific safety updates, closures, and quarantine requirements before departure. Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services has updates and information for travelers. Wyoming As of November, there are no statewide travel restrictions in place for US travelers in Wyoming. Visit Wyoming’s Department of Health for updates.
Southwest Airlines announces they will begin booking flights at full capacity
Southwest Airlines has announced that it will begin booking flights at full capacity, allowing middle seats to be booked. The airline has been leaving middle seats open since the start of the pandemic in March in order to meet social distancing requirements in the wake of COVID-19. “This practice of effectively keeping middle seats open bridged us from the early days of the pandemic, when we had little knowledge about the behavior of the virus, to now,” Southwest CEO Gary C. Kelly said during the carrier's third-quarter report.“Today, aligned with science-based findings from trusted medical and aviation organizations, we will resume selling all available seats for travel beginning December 1, 2020.” The decision comes after Southwest posted a third quarter net loss of $1.2 billion, with revenues down 68.2% year over year. Southwest says that it will alert all passengers if the flight they are scheduled to be on is full, and will continue their policy of no fees to cancel or change flights. You can read more about Southwest's COVID-19 response here: https://www.southwest.com/Coronavirus
Hawaii to reopen October 15 with new Covid-19 testing requirements
Last week, Governor David Ige announced that while all visitors are still required to fill out a travel health questionnaire and have their temperatures checked upon arrival, as of October 15, they’ll have the option to show proof of pre-testing instead of having to quarantine for 14 days. Note that only negative test results from “FDA-authorized NAAT Covid-19 tests, processed by a CLIA-certified laboratory” are being accepted and these must have been completed “no earlier than 72 hours prior to their flight arrival in Hawaii.” The Hawaii State Department of Health website specifies CVS and Kaiser Permanente as trusted testing partners, though tests from other sources will be accepted if they meet required testing parameters. Ultimately it’s up to travelers to provide the proper test results to Hawaii health officials. And no, antibody tests will not be accepted. Note that anyone who is unable to show negative test results will be required to quarantine for 14 days or as long as it takes your negative test results to be reported. Testing is not available upon arrival except for travelers with symptoms or temperatures over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Those visiting before the changes go into effect on October 15 will still be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival regardless of which Hawaiian Island you fly into—Oahu, Maui, Kauai or Hawaii Island (the Big Island). As far as inter-island travel is concerned, a mandatory 14-day quarantine is still in effect, except for those who originally arrived on Oahu. It’s not yet clear if this policy will be extended beyond its September 30 end date or if things will change as a result of the October 15 reopening. How to safely visit Hawaii Things change quickly so keep an eye on the Hawaii tourism board’s Safe Travels website for updates and check the Special Alerts and Notices page to make sure your hotel will be open, as many are currently closed. As of July 31, all bars on Oahu are closed, though most restaurants have reopened as per the CDC guidelines for indoor and outdoor eating. Some attractions are open on a limited basis or may want to see proof you’ve quarantined, while others, like the Polynesian Cultural Center, are slated to reopen in 2021. Many of Hawaii’s parks, beaches and trails reopened September 10, though you’re only allowed to go to the beach solo or hike in groups of two unless you’re going with others who are members of your immediate family unit. In the spirit of safety and doing what you can to prevent the spread of Covid-19, here are some social distance activities you can do on each of the main islands. Just remember to wear your mask—over your mouth and nose—stay at least six feet away from anyone outside your group and follow the rules set by each site or attraction you’re visiting. Visit Hawaii’s historic neighborhoods The Hawaiian Islands are home to a number of historic neighborhoods that are great for a socially distanced stroll around town. Oahu: Head to Haleiwa, about an hour’s drive from Waikiki on the North Shore, to see local art galleries, watch the surfers take on some of the best waves in the world and taste local delicacies from one of the many roadside shrimp or food trucks. Kauai: Old Kapa’a Town is a charming spot about a 20-minute drive from Lihue, just above Wailua along the east coast. Grab some shave ice—Hawaii’s version of a snow cone—at Wailua Shave Ice, shop for souvenirs, learn how to play the ukulele at Kamoa Ukulele Company or grab some local grub at the Pono Market. Maui: Learn about the island’s whaling history in Lahaina, once the capital of the Hawaiian Islands and now a town on the National Registry of Historic Places. Keep an eye out for humpback whales if you’re visiting November through May when they migrate, and consider the Pacific Whale Foundation’s eco-friendly whale watching cruise for a closer look at these majestic creatures. Hawaii Island: See why Hawaiian royalty once used Kailua-Kona as their retreat. Pay a visit to Hulihe’e Palace, a museum showcasing artifacts from the days of King Kalākaua and Queen Kapi‘olani. Stop by the Hilo Farmers Market to pick up some locally grown fruits, veggies and flowers or to shop for souvenirs for loved ones back home. Enjoy the great outdoors, Hawaii style Being outside in Hawaii is a real treat, whether you’re into hiking, cycling, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or horseback riding. Oahu: While iconic Diamond Head State Park is closed, other scenic spots like Waimea Bay Beach Park on the North Shore and the Waahila Ridge Trail in Manoa Valley are open to hikers who social distance. If you have your heart set on horseback riding, Gunstock Ranch in Kahuku is open, while Kualoa Ranch will reopen September 25 with temperature checks, social distancing and mandatory mask-wearing. Maui: The Valley Isle’s legendary Haleakalā National Park is partially reopened, though crater trails and visitor centers remain closed. Bike Maui offers memorable rides down Hawaii’s most impressive dormant volcano and is reopening October 15 with Covid-19 safety measures in place. All bikes, helmets and other gear will be sanitized, while guests are expected to wear masks, social distance, have their temperatures taken and answer health questions before the tour begins. Mākena Beach State Park is now open, but only if you lounge and swim with those in your immediate family group and stay at least six feet away from others. Kauai: Waimea Canyon State Park on Kauai is open, as is Poipu Beach. Feeling adventurous? Try your hand at kayaking or stand up paddle boarding along the mighty Wailua River on the eastern side of the island. Hawaii Island: Hāpuna Beach State Park is open, while Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is mostly reopened at this time, though the Thurston Lava Tube and all visitor centers remain closed until further notice. Hit the links While many of Hawaii’s 75 golf courses are still closed at the moment, some of the most popular ones have remained open, though golfers must adhere to special rules like social distancing and wearing a mask whenever they’re in clubhouses and pro shops. Among other rules specific to each golf course, rental clubs are generally not available and showers and locker rooms are closed until further notice, holes have been modified to allow for fewer touch points and golf carts are sanitized after each use. Single rider golf carts can be rented, though you’re only allowed to share if it’s with one other person from your immediate family—walking is highly encouraged as an alternative. As of this writing, Princeville Makai Golf Club and Poipu Bay on Kauai are open, as are Kapalua Bay Golf Course on Maui, Ko Olina Golf Club and Hawaii Prince Golf Club on Oahu and Mauna Kea Golf Course and Hapuna Golf Courses on Hawaii Island.