WINDSOR LOCKS, CT (WFSB) -- Among the changes happening this month regarding the state easing up on the COVID-19 safety restrictions, travel is included.
Starting March 19, Connecticut’s travel advisory will go from being a requirement to a recommendation.
Easing travel restrictions comes at a time when more people are getting vaccinated.
Due to this added layer of protection, more people are booking trips in the coming weeks.
Bradley International Airport said travel is still down on average by 70 percent pre-pandemic levels.
However, industry experts say consumer confidence is growing, thanks to little vials of hope.
“Now with the vaccines, the response from clients, it’s been exponential of wanting to get something on the books, wanting to have something to look forward to, and being more for comfortable in a travel setting again,” said Melissa Albright, of Wethersfield Travel.
She credits the vaccination rollout and believes the state’s ease on restrictions will boost travel.
But in the effort to mitigate spread, many may be wondering how travel can be safe.
The answer may be found in what’s being called ‘digital health passports.’
“It’s going to allow the airlines and the governments to efficiently verify that the traveler has met all the requirements for their scheduled itinerary,” Albright said.
Platforms will allow users to upload verified test results and vaccination proof.
But there are a few problems, said Dr. Jan Jones of the University of New Haven where she’s the program coordinator of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
“The biggest problem is there’s no coordinated effort right now,” Jones said.
That means several airlines may use different health passports.
There are also concerns over data privacy. Whether you opt in for a vaccine passport, know there may be other requirements upon returning home, even if Connecticut relaxes travel restrictions.
“You do also have to remember that maybe your school system will require it. Or maybe your employer will require it,” Albright said.
The Connecticut Airport Authority praised the rollback on travel restrictions, saying in part “The CAA is pleased with the governor’s revisions to the travel advisory, and we believe that this will set the stage for further recovery at Bradley Airport.”
If you’re planning to travel, even if you’re vaccinated, you’ll still have to show proof of testing negative for COVID-19.