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International travel bookings increase compared to 2020, 2019

Updated: May. 24, 2021 at 6:39 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - More Americans are taking to the skies, with numbers now approaching pre-pandemic levels.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it screened 1.86 million people on flights Sunday. That is about 90% of travelers on the same day Sunday in 2019.

At the same time in 2020, the TSA reported 267,000 screenings.

This trend continues locally as well.

Burkhalter Travel reports an increase in bookings from 2020, but from 2019 as well.

“Compared to last year, everything is way up,” Ed Mani, Pres. of Burkhalter Travel said.

Mani says his agency is seeing a drastic increase in clients booking international trips compared to 2019.

“For us, Mexico is up 80%, the Caribbean is up almost 45%, Europe 30%,” Mani said.

However, there’s one thing to keep in mind when traveling- when every country will reopen is different. That means varying COVID-19 protocols for those vaccinated and unvaccinated.

“Each country has its own rules and regulations: Do you need a proof of a vaccination, or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of arrival,” Mani said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends checking with your destination before leaving home. Mani adds that especially applies in Europe.

“The EU declared they’ll open up to US citizens sometime this summer. They haven’t set a specific date, I’m going to guess it’ll be on a country-by-country basis,” Mani said.

Another CDC guideline when returning to the United States from overseas, everyone must test negative for COVID-19 within three days of their arrival.

NBC15 also spoke with some Epic employees who travel domestically in the US regularly assisting customers and asked them what pandemic trends will stay around once things return to normal.

“I do think we’ll do a couple more things virtually, but I think we now know what is even more important to do in person and we’ll specifically plan our travel around those events,” Steph Cowdy, a member of the Implementation Services, Recurring Care Team said.

“I think we’ve learned we can do things successfully virtually, so we’ll take a look at what things and when it makes sense to do virtually and what things make sense for us to go out and travel,” Max Wasserman, Hospital Billing Application Services Team said.

As things continually evolve, the CDC recommends following their latest guidelines and paying attention to where you are visiting, whether it is for work or for play.

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