Expert: Holiday travelers should prepare for possible changes, cancellations due to omicron
The Biden administration this week blocked non-U.S. citizens from entering the country from eight African nations amid concern about the new omicron variant. Local travel professionals say the restrictions won't affect holiday travel to Europe or the Caribbean - for now.
Fairfield travel agent Noel Zanvettor says some of her clients are going to be concerned when they hear about new travel restrictions.
"There are those that are going to be and those that are not. And yes, I expect a few calls over the next few weeks as we ramp up for the holiday season travel," said Zanvettor.
Zanvettor says international flights are more COVID-conscious than domestic ones.
"Most of the countries are requiring pre-testing, vaccination, proof of vaccination," she says.
But if more travel restrictions come down the line, some flights planned for the holidays could be changed or canceled.
"What we've learned from COVID or in the travel industry, what we're dealing with now and will probably for a while, is that this is just constantly changing," said Zanvettor.
Zanvettor says booking through an agent can help make sure you're informed and prepared as the pandemic situation changes.
"Definitely work with a travel professional who's going to walk you through changes should they arise, and advocate for you when they do," she says.
Zanvettor says if a new variant does end up causing your flight to be canceled, you'll want to be able to recoup some of what you spent.
"Travel insurance is definitely strongly recommended right now. Really always, I always recommend insurance, because you can't plan for something not to go as planned," she says.
Zanvettor says bookings for 2022 have shot up since the Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 vaccines for kids ages 5 and up.