CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now stating that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely travel both domestically and internationally.
The federal health agency adds that members of the public who are inoculated no longer need to be tested for the virus before or after trips as well as not having to self-quarantine if safety precautions are practiced.
The change comes after airlines were devastated when the pandemic first struck more than a year ago.
“It’s a happy day for the airlines when the CDC comes out with that kind of statement,” said Kim Bridger-Hunt, Corpus Christi International Airport Marketing Manager. “This has been a very very difficult time for anyone really who works in or owns a business that has anything to do with the travel industry.”
As previously reported, this past March brought a significant increase to CCIA, with the airport sometimes experiencing more than a thousand people a day. Bridger-Hunt said most of their flights have returned to similar level pre-pandemic.
“When you look at the traffic that we experienced here in March, the number of people that were coming out to get on airplanes represents 77 percent of the traffic that we had for March 2019,” she said. “We have every reason to be encouraged by the fact that the vaccinations are getting out there — that we are now broadening it to more age groups. Eventually, children will be able to be vaccinated, and so that’s going to change the landscape a lot, we think.”
With vaccinations ongoing, Bridger-Hunt said she believes it’s possible the remainder of spring and the upcoming summer could also bring in strong travel numbers.
“We hope that people will appreciate that and feel comfortable if they come to the airport,” she said, reaffirming that masks will still be required and that constant sanitization at CCIA is continuing.
Bryan Menard, a former Corpus Christi local who now resides in Lubbock, said he’s been traveling since the pandemic began. Although he said he knew each flight was a risk, he’s now received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“People have already been steadily traveling more,” Menard said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction, and if the numbers add up, and that’s why think the right thing to do is — go right ahead.”