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Are New Testing Policies Due to Omicron Affecting Holiday, 2022 Travel Plans?
President Biden’s new testing requirements for international travelers, which went into effect just today and were implemented in response to the increased public health threat posed by the Omicron variant, come at a rather inconvenient time for travelers.
With the end-of-year holidays just a few weeks away, Americans traveling abroad will need to adjust their itineraries to make certain they’re able to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within just one day of their flight back to the U.S.
The folks at bargain airfare site Scott’s Cheap Flights decided to survey their two million members over this past weekend to see how the policy change might be affecting their upcoming travel plans.
—Although roughly two-thirds of respondents are concerned about Omicron disrupting their holiday plans, thus far, cancellations have been minimal. Between 85 and 87 percent of people are going ahead with their holiday plans.
—Scott’s Cheap Flights believes this is because, as was discovered in a previous survey conducted about a month back (pre-Omicron), most people are traveling to visit their families, as opposed to traveling for pleasure.
—People seem to be more worried about Omicron messing up their 2022 travel plans than they are about it impacting their 2021 holiday plans. Sixty-two percent of participants said they’re worried about Omicron disrupting their holiday travel plans, compared to the 79 percent that are worried the variant will disrupt their 2022 travel plans.
—Of those who were planning to travel for Christmas prior to the news of the Omicron outbreak, 87 percent have not changed their plans. Ten percent canceled or postponed plans, while three percent changed their destination.
—Of those who were unsure about their plans prior to the Omicron announcement, 27 percent have since decided not to travel, while 45 percent remain undecided.
—Of those who were planning to travel for New Year’s before Omicron’s existence was announced, 85 percent have not changed their plans, while 11 percent have either canceled or postponed, and four percent changed the intended location.
— Of those who were unsure about their plans prior to the Omicron announcement, 14 percent have since decided not to travel, and 61 percent are still undecided.