ROCHESTER, Minn. - March is known as one of the busier months for airports because of spring break. Last year, the start of COVID-19 canceled a lot of vacations, but this year is a different story.
One of the most important things you should know right off the bat before traveling through an airport right now is you need to be wearing a face mask at all times. If you don't, you could be fined up to $1,500. President Biden implemented a federal mandate for travelers to wear a mask when they're in airports, bus and rail stations as well as on airplanes and any type of public transportation.
With spring break right around the corner, the CDC recommends not traveling at all right now. If you must travel though, it's advised you get a COVID-19 test at least 3 days before you leave for your destination. If you're able to get the vaccine, wait two weeks after your second dose to travel. When it comes to going through security at the airport, travelers are allowed to carry a 12 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer, which is more than the original amount.
Tiana O'Connor with the Rochester International Airport said knowing information about your destination ahead of time is beneficial. "Make sure that you're an informed traveler. Hop on to your airlines website. Make sure you learn about any of their current requirements," she explained. "Study up on any of the restrictions that might be in place for the location that you're headed to."
O'Connor explained historically, March brings in a higher travel volume because of spring break. She said RST is anticipating to slowly see an increase of passengers. "We have been regaining passengers as people have had more confidence in travel with safety measures in place and with the introduction of the vaccines," said O'Connor. "So we have seen an increase in passengers at RST. I would say about 15% in February over the previous month."
The CDC recommends getting tested within 3 to 5 days once you're home and self quarantine for 7 days, even if you test negative. If you're traveling out of the United States for vacation, you must have a negative COVID-19 test before coming back. You'll be asked to show proof, so make sure you keep your results.