(WGGB/WSHM) — Big changes are being made to travel guidance ahead of the Easter holiday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S. without having to quarantine or test negative for COVID-19, but with rising cases around country, they are still recommending social distancing precautions if meeting with unvaccinated people.
The good news is that fully vaccinated people should feel more comfortable traveling to see loved ones for Easter.
However, the bad news is that unvaccinated people should still keep their guard up as cases of COVID-19 are rising both around the country and locally.
In terms of COVID-19 risk, an outdoor Easter egg hunt in a huge field is likely pretty safe. Lisa Thompson, a Springfield resident who is organizing the event, wants to make sure the only thing that’s picked up are plastic eggs.
“Mask on, social distance, go with your parents, find eggs,” Thompson said.
Thompson told Western Mass News the event will encourage children to socialize while parents can watch over their soon-to-be school-bound little ones.
”Their parents can critique their COVID-19 social behavior by saying ‘Hey, you’re too close’ or ‘No, you can’t open your candy and share it with your friends anymore.’ We can’t do that,” Thompson noted.
While Easter 2020 was overshadowed by COVID-19 concerns, Easter 2021 may provide fully vaccinated people the opportunity to gather without masks, but also the chance to travel.
The CDC said vaccinated people can travel in the U.S. While they should still wear a mask in public, the CDC said they won’t have to quarantine afterwards or test negative. They said vaccinated people who travel outside the U.S. also don’t have to quarantine, but said they should still get a COVID-19 test upon their return.
However, state officials are asking unvaccinated people to keep up with social distancing if they plan to celebrate with other unvaccinated people from different households.
“…When you do gather with family and friends, we ask you not to drop your guard. The virus, as we know from previous holidays, has a particular opportunity to spread in those environments. We saw it happen at Thanksgiving, we saw it happen at Christmas. Let’s try to make this particular weekend a little different than what we saw at the previous two,” said Gov. Charlie Baker.
Springfield recently became a high-risk community again for COVID-19 after a rise in cases.
Just on the cusp of returning to school, Thompson wants children not only to find Easter fun, but also good habits.
“The only way they’re going to learn how to keep their mask on, how to social distance, how to act in this COVID-19 environment is to watch their parents,” Thompson noted.
The Easter egg hunt in Hubbard Park is Saturday at 1 p.m.
On Monday, elementary students will return to Springfield Public Schools in the hybrid model for the first time since the pandemic began.