Wed | Aug 5, 2020

Quarantines are crimping some US travellers

Published:Friday | July 31, 2020 | 11:57 AM
Passengers boards a Casco Bay Lines ferry bound for Peaks Island, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Portland, Maine. State officials reported more cases of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Families trying to squeeze in a summer vacation before school starts better do some homework on COVID-19 restrictions before loading up the minivan.

The web of state and local quarantines is growing more tangled by the day: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have ordered visitors from a whopping 34 states to quarantine for 14 days.

Chicago and Washington, D.C., have each singled out travellers from about two dozen states.

Other states have their own lists.

Some have an option for visitors to get tested instead.

“Complicated doesn’t begin to describe it. I feel sorry for people. They just want to go to Cape Cod. They want to go to Vermont. I don’t know what to tell them. People are pretty much left on their own to figure out,” said Kathy Kutrubes, owner of a travel agency in Boston.

The restrictions — and maybe the confusion, too — are contributing to a sharp drop in travel, dealing a blow to a key industry.

Before the outbreak, Americans were expected to take 2.3 billion domestic trips this year, according to the US.

Travel Association. But that’s expected to drop about 30% to 1.6 billion, the lowest level since 1991. Normally nearly a third of domestic travel happens in the summer.

Abroad, a drop-off in tourism from US visitors and restrictions on crossing borders have also led many travel-related businesses to wonder if they will survive.

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