ATLANTA (WSAV) – Georgia health leaders say Thanksgiving travel is largely to blame for the recent surge in COVID-19 infections.
That trend is expected to continue after the Christmas holiday.
“Unfortunately, I have to advise people not to travel,” said Emory TravelWell Center Director Dr. Henry Wu. “When gathering, whether it’s local or during travel, keep it small.”
Vaccines are being rolled out to health care workers across the state, but airlines and hotels are further down on the list.
Wu explains that vaccination requirements for travel aren’t new but are typically established by countries rather than airlines.
“The vaccines are extremely promising and potentially could be the game-changer, but we are talking about several months before a large-scale rollout,” Wu said.
Health experts say testing requirements and quarantines could get stricter, with potential bans from high-risk areas.
“Many countries and states are doing mandatory quarantines after arrival, particularly if the traveler has not tested negative for COVID,” Wu said.
“I don’t see this changing in the near future,” he added.
Officials from Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines say they have not made a decision on mandating vaccines for its employees. But the CEO says they will strongly encourage airline staff to get the doses — especially those on international routes.
The Emory TravelWell Center expects flights to return to normal by summer as more people get vaccinated.