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Looking To Travel? Experts Offer A Word Of Caution: Know Before You Go

pic of person rolling suitcase

Local travel experts say they’re starting to get more calls about travel and booking trips as we edge closer to the one-year mark of the coronavirus.  However, if you’re thinking about traveling, there are some things you need to know.

“I think people are tired of not having ventured out of Michigan and with our cold weather here, many are looking forward to some place that’s sunny and warm.”

Travel expert and owner of Gagnon Travel in Grand Rapids, Jo Anne Verboom, says she is now fielding numerous calls from West Michiganders looking for some fun in the sun.  Typical destinations include Mexico and the Caribbean.  But Verboom warns, if traveling, there’s some important news you need to know-before you go.

“The CDC has recently announced that anyone over the age of two, starting January 26th, and this includes U-S citizens. If you are returning to the U.S. and you’ve been out of the country, you need to provide a negative Covid test prior to returning to the U.S. “

Not only that, but Verboom says the test has to be taken with 72 hours of your return flight.  While that may scare some folks away from taking a trip right now.. Verboom says not to worry.  It generally will not be difficult to get the test.

Another big question Verboom has been getting and that is, if you have been vaccinated for the coronavirus, do you still need a negative COVID test to back into the U-S. ? The simple answer, is yes.

The only two exceptions notes Verboom, is if you’re returning from Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands.   And on one other note, if you plan on traveling abroad, make sure you check your passport for its expiration date; Verboom says most countries require your passport be valid for minimum of six months after your planned return to the U.S.  And, if you apply for a new passport or a renewal, you should do so at least three months prior to when you plan on traveling.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.