People are finding themselves stuck in other countries for up to 14 days after testing positive for COVID-19 including this Houston resident.
- It sounds like a dream come true. You're stuck in paradise. But if your vacation was supposed to be over, you have obligations. And of course, there's that work you got to get back to. Having to isolate because of COVID-19 is less than ideal.
Brhe Berry joins us now with a warning for all travelers after we met a Houston couple. They thought this was great, but maybe not. Right, [? Bri? ?]
BRHE BERRY: Yeah, it didn't turn out exactly like they had hoped. Vaccinations are happening at a much faster pace right now, people really eager just to get back to some normalcy, like traveling. But there's still a risk if you choose to travel, and one Houston couple learned this after extending their anniversary trip-- not really by choice-- in Mexico, not to enjoy the amenities but to isolate after they weren't allowed back in the country.
Now airline providers and carriers are seeing a massive spike in travel, as much as 400% increase in bookings compared to just this time last year, but the CDC still issuing warnings about traveling. You don't need a negative COVID-19 test to leave the country, but you will need one to return. Now, Houston couple Antonio Delgado and his wife were on their first trip since the pandemic-- he mentioned no kids. They were celebrating their 20th anniversary in Mexico.
- Right back at the hotel, they were waiting for us out front and said, go straight to your room. Don't touch anything. Don't talk to anybody. Go straight to your room.
BRHE BERRY: OK, so this is what happened. After just four days into their vacation, he tested positive-- wasn't showing any symptoms, though. He said he felt fine. He was told he needed to isolate in his room for 14 days as his wife, who tested negative, well, she had to head home.
All in all, the extended stay cost him $1,400 in addition to what he'd already paid for the vacation-- food, hotel, airfare, COVID-19 testing, those are all the costs that added up. Now, some hotels are betting Americans will travel despite the CDC director's warnings, and they will cover the cost if you have to isolate. But as we just heard, that's not the situation for everyone. Some places, like where Delgado stayed, only offer discounts. He says he will not be leaving the country again until everything is for sure back to normal.
- That's a hard lesson to learn, no doubt. And so I guess the lesson is don't leave unless you have a vaccination-- at least out of the country, perhaps.
BRHE BERRY: Well, you know, what's interesting is they actually had their vaccination, and they'd already had COVID about a year prior. So they were kind of thinking, hey, we're safe, you know, leave the kids at home, enjoy our anniversary, and it didn't really turn out that way. So his warning was it doesn't matter. Vaccination or not, I wouldn't recommend going.
- And Brhe, actually, they test you in Mexico. So the problem is not leaving here and going somewhere else.
BRHE BERRY: Mm-hmm.
- It's getting there. And if you test positive, you've got to come back-- you cannot come back here.
BRHE BERRY: Right. So they had tested just a couple days into their vacation. That way, it would give Mexican health officials enough time to be able to get that positive or, you know, negative result that they were hoping for before they have to board their flight back to the US. So there is a little bit of a window, and that's why he ended up getting stuck, you know, just four days into vaca.