CLEVELAND — It seems like just yesterday we were talking about the massive uptick in travel, airports across the country were packed with a record high number of people.
A week later, the Omicron variant is now the topic of discussion, and travelers at Cleveland Hopkins Airport are talking about it too.
“There are definitely concerns,” said Brad Stefanski. “I have a daughter at home and I’m going back to her. I want to make sure I do everything as safe as possible.”
President Joe Biden said safety is the motive behind his new COVID travel guidelines.
Starting Monday at 12:01 a.m., all travelers heading into the U.S. from another country must test negative one day prior to their departure, the previous rules allowed inbound travelers to test up to three days before entering the country.
“It’s concerning whenever you travel,” said Callie Hopes. “I think any responsible person is thinking about how to protect themselves.”
Your vaccination status will not make a difference in Biden’s new rule, meaning a fully-vaccinated American citizen heading back to the states is not exempt but any foreign national who travels to the U.S. must be fully vaccinated.
“I think it [testing requirements] should be strictly enforced for international travel,” said Toshiba Carter. “If everyone does that and wears their mask, I think everything would be okay.”
Rocky River travel agent Leah Molinari said many of her clients already have questions about the variant.
“People are just letting me know they are going to wait and see for now, but if something changes then they are not comfortable traveling,” said Molinari. “A lot of these trips were postponed from 2020. If people can travel, especially the ones who are vaccinated, they’re ready to go.”
Download the News 5 app for free to easily access local coronavirus coverage, and to receive timely and limited news alerts on major COVID-19 developments. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
Vaccinating Ohio – Find the latest news on the COVID-19 vaccines, Ohio’s phased vaccination process, a map of vaccination clinics around the state, and links to sign up for a vaccination appointment through Ohio’s online portal.
See data visualizations showing the impact of coronavirus in Ohio, including county-by-county maps, charts showing the spread of the disease, and more.
Rebound Northeast Ohio News 5’s initiative to help people through the financial impact of the coronavirus by offering one place to go for information on everything available to help and how to access it. We’re providing resources on:
Getting Back to Work – Learn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends Meet – Find help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the Stress – Feeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s Right – Keep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
We’re Open! Northeast Ohio is place created by News 5 to open us up to new ways of thinking, new ways of gathering and new ways of supporting each other.
View a map of COVID-19 testing locations here.
Visit Ohio’s Coronavirus website for the latest updates from the Ohio Department of Health.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.