If you have the covid-19 stay at home blues and want to move about, possibly the safest travel are day trips planned in areas close to home. We have covered some of these in previous emails. You can access all of our recent emails here.
There is plenty of data out there to see what areas are safe. County by county Florida data is here. You will find that many counties in Florida have had very little coronavirus activity.
The second form of comparatively safe domestic travel is overnight stays within the state. The question here is are hotels safe? First, look at these guidelines from the American Hotel and Lodging Association. If followed, they may be safer than your home!!
Our experience over the last few weeks is that the major hotel chains we have been in are following very stringent cleaning and social distancing measures. We have been from the Keys to Amelia Island (all relatively safe counties) at hotels that were practicing social distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing constantly.
One WARNING NOTE – unfortunately many restaurants, shops and retail outlets are not as safe as they could be. However, you have a choice – you can turn around and walk out!
AIRLINES – While we haven’t ventured onto a plane yet (first reservations in November) here are some reports from some of the regular travelers we talk to. Apparently there is NO CONSISTENCY! Some airlines, like Southwest, are not booking the middle seats and travel is safer than some of the bargain airlines that fill every possible seat. The CDC tells the crews how to protect themselves, but apparently doesn’t issue guidelines for safe passenger travel!
According to Forbes magazine, the safest airlines are Alaska, Delta and JetBlue. The complete list is here. Our advice is not to get into situations where you cannot distance yourself from large crowds.
CRUISES – As far as we know, cruise lines do not start departures until November, 2020. Our advice – don’t be the first to find out how safe they are! For transparency sake, we do have a cruise booked in the first week of January that was scheduled well before we ever heard of anything call covid-19. In discussions with others going on this cruise (maybe), we have decided to see what happens on the cruises people are taking in November and December. Then we will make our decision.
One thing we are sure of, cruises WILL be different. They must be clean, sanitized and safe or they will be out of business quickly! There goes those endless self-serve buffets!
OTHER TRAVEL NOTES
- Many Caribbean Islands have been very cautious about allowing travelers into their countries. Most require a negative covid-19 test within 3 days of entry. Many countries have less than a dozen or so cases. Here is the Caribbean Covid-19 Tracker website will all the data.
- Foreign travel is very difficult and must be planned carefully. This US State Department site has some valuable information. Even more valuable is a site the CDC has made interactive for travel around the world.
- Cases around the world and death rates are here. The death rate in the United States is less than the international average according to this data. Politics aside, our healthcare system has done a good job with the spread. Many countries have suffered greatly. Our death rate per case is about 3%. There are countries with death rates higher than 10%.